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Previous Features
2009 Articles

Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Protect

  • Watershed Steward: Ed Bodmer - Located in a heavily forested section on the east slope of Mar-lu-Ridge is a 19 acre forested tract owned by Ed and Nancy Bodmer of Buckeystown Maryland.  The Bodmer’s purchased this property in the late 1970’s with the idea of building a home on it some day.  However, these plans were abandoned and the Bodmer’s now treasure the property as a as a place to escape to for some peace and quiet and a source of firewood. 

  • Smarter, Greener, and Growing Maryland - Through “Marylanders Plant Trees,” the State is partnering with businesses, communities and citizens to help fund and plant new tree cover. State agencies have a goal of planting 1 million new trees by 2011, and private citizens are being asked to plant 50,000 trees by 2010.  The program, which also includes longer term goals, is part of Smart, Green & Growing, a statewide initiative to involve every Marylander in creating a more sustainable future.

  • Septic Systems Get Overhaul - Are you aware that Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners are working with the Frederick County Health Department and the State of Maryland Department of the Environment to offer grants to replace old septic tanks?  Old tanks leak nitrogen into groundwater.  New tanks create an aerobic environment to neutralize the nitrogen resulting in a system that leaches very little nitrogen into groundwater.

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Restore

  • Big Hunting Creek Cleanup - On Sunday, March 22nd the Potomac Valley Fly Fishers and friends organized a “Trash Pick Up” on Big Hunting Creek.  Art Friedlander, who initiated the clean-up, notified members of the National Capitol Trout Unlimited, Seneca Valley Trout Unlimited and Potomac Patuxent Trout Unlimited chapters

  • Slowing Down the Runoff at Kemptown Park - Bryan Seipp with the Potomac Conservancy has been working with Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation, the Center for Watershed Protection and other Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA) partners to create a $40,000 bioretention project at Kemptown Park, behind Kemptown Elementary School in the Bennett Creek Watershed. 

  • FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Program Update - Frederick Count Public Schools (FCPS) Schoolyard Habitat Program received a $300,000 National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (NOAA BWET) grant to continue the Schoolyard Habitat Program for the next 3 years (pending final funding approval). This program works to educate students about the important connections between the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and their local watersheds and land use on their school campuses.

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Enjoy

  • Den 1 Digs Trash on Yeagertown Road - Cub Scouts in Den One are getting better and better at spotting and digging and gathering trash as a part of its Service project.  Happily wildlife discoveries are also part of the job.

  • Nature Fest:  Fountain Rock Park - If you and your family and friends love interacting with nature, wetting a line and catching a fish, meeting and petting some farm animals, learning how bees make and store honey, taste some excellent local organic food, meet some critters introduced by the 4-H Bug Patrol and all manner of other interesting activities, plan to come to the Fountain Rock Nature Center in Walkersville to its Nature Fest on Saturday, May 30th from 10 am until 4 pm. 

  • Rain Barrels to Harvest the Rain! - We are pleased to announce that three Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners are offering rain barrels to Frederick County residents this spring:   the County’s Scott Key Center; Rick Hood, a local organic farmer at Summer Creek Farm; and Jennifer Willoughby with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB). 

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Connect

  • Spring Native Plant Sales - Two Alliance partners are offering annual native plant sales at the end of April.  You won’t want to miss them!

  • Frederick County Landscapes: Marshy Glade Area near Garfield - Middle Creek winds across much of the northwestern part of Frederick in a heavily wooded section of the county.  Forest surrounds much of this stream; however, in some cases, periodic flooding at the hands of beaver has resulted in the development of small ponds or open marshy glades that contain shrubby species that are well adapted to periodic flooding.

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Educate

  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees - Trees have become one of the poster children for clean water, with their inexpensive price tag, long life spans, and numerous benefits for water quality. Watershed groups, government groups, including ICPRB, and others have helped fuel this effort by hosting tree planting events, assisting with funding for riparian buffers, and even collecting seeds and nuts.

  • New County Sustainability Commission - The Frederick Board of County Commissioners yesterday appointed 13 citizens to the inaugural Sustainability Commission.  The appointees were selected from a strong and diverse applicant pool comprised of 47 applications.

  • Shrubs for Plantings - Eastern Elderberry - Over the years we have planted a number of shrubs in various reforestation, wildlife enhancement and stream restoration projects.  Small growing, multi-stemmed shrubs have many desirable qualities in that they can be used in smaller growing spaces, provide dense cover for birds and other animals, create a transition zone between a high forest community and a field, do not encroach on agricultural crops like a large growing tree, produce berries and other fruits, and many have beautiful blooms that enhance the landscape.

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Study

  • Stronghold's Demonstration Forest - Over the years we have planted a number of shrubs in various reforestation, wildlife enhancement and stream restoration projects.  Small growing, multi-stemmed shrubs have many desirable qualities in that they can be used in smaller growing spaces, provide dense cover for birds and other animals, create a transition zone between a high forest community and a field, do not encroach on agricultural crops like a large growing tree, produce berries and other fruits, and many have beautiful blooms that enhance the landscape.

  • The Monocacy River Report - As mentioned on their website, The Monocacy Scenic River Citizens' Advisory Board was created in 1978 and its members provide recommendations to County government about land use, land development, and resource management issues regarding the Monocacy River. The Board recently released a new report about the Monocacy River called "The Monocacy".

  • Urban Wetlands Program - Wetlands are unique, low-lying areas where land meets water.  Their features often change from season to season.  Wetlands can be covered with water all or some of the time creating a unique habitat for a variety of plants and animals, many of which humans consume or use on a daily basis.  They act as a sponge, helping to lower the impact of flooding; they act as a filter, absorbing excess nutrients from polluted water that runs off of the land; and they provide numerous recreational opportunities. 

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Summer 2009

 

There were no summer 2009 updates.

 

Fall 2009

Protect

  • New Conservation Stewardship Program - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin continuous sign-up for the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) on August 10 with the first signup period cutoff scheduled for September 30. CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations.

  • 2009 Supplemental Gypsy Moth Program - The Frederick County Gypsy Moth task force met during the fall of 2008 and determined that a supplemental gypsy moth suppression program would again be needed in 2009 given the expected levels of infestation throughout the county.  Parkton Woodland Services was once again retained to provide administrative support and, the task force submitted bid requests to numerous spray contractors.  Helicopter Applicators provided the successful bid and were chosen as the spray contractor. 

  • Learn more about Catoctin Land Trust - The Catoctin Land Trust (CLT) was established as a local non-profit land preservation organization in 2000. It is the mission of the CLT to preserve and protect the rural landscape and cultural history of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions of Central Maryland, Northern Virginia, Northern West Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania. 

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Restore

  • Volunteers Needed: Waterford Park - The Friends of Waterford Park have been working since 2005 on the 18 acre site between Baughmans Lane and Route 15 in Frederick. In coordination with the City of Frederick, Frederick County Noxious Weed Control and the MD Dept. of Natural Resources, we have removed hundreds of invasive honeysuckles, multiflora rose, ailanthus and Norway maple, as well as pulling thousands of garlic mustard, mile-a-minute and Japanese hops.

  • PLANT and BE COUNTED - Citing the importance of trees to our environment, our quality of life – and even our pocketbooks – last fall Governor Martin O’Malley offered up a commitment and a challenge: The State of Maryland has committed to a program to plant one million new trees by 2011. And the Governor is challenging Maryland citizens to join us in reforesting our state by planting 50,000 trees this year.

  • Introducing the Catoctin Forest Alliance - The Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) represents a diversity of people with a common mission of preserving and promoting the health of the Catoctin Mountain Forest for the enjoyment of present and future generations.  Protecting and preserving the integrity of environmental processes, wildlife habitat, air quality, healthy soil, vigorous forests, and striving for a pollutant-free watershed are some of the main goals of the CFA.  The CFA was founded and modeled after  the former New Forest Society and represents the birth of an alliance of private landowners, businesses, non-profit organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies working together.    

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Enjoy

  • 2009 Potomac River Ramble - Have you woken along the shores of a river to the sounds of birds and swirling waters?  Climbed into a canoe instead of a car for your day’s travel? Stopped to explore depths and shallows to see the kinds of critters that live there? On the 2009 Potomac River Ramble, for four days and nights, 45 curious explorers did just that and more.  They became the river’s guests, were moved by its hospitality, and gained an understanding of a river like never before.

  • Growing Native - Get Nuts for Clean Water - Each fall, thousands of Growing Native volunteers collect native hardwood seeds to be used for reforestation through out the Potomac River watershed. Growing Native is off to a great start this season.  Our first collection event was September 12 at Eidolon Nature Preserve in Berkeley Springs, WV.  The Potomac Valley Audubon Society and other local volunteers came out to collect thousands of seeds, including red bud, black cherry and flowering dogwood.
     
  • MCWA at the Great Frederick Fair - Once again, visitors to the Great Frederick Fair had an opportunity to learn about the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance’s efforts to protect and improve water quality via our MCWA booth located in the City Streets, County Roads building.  The booth’s “Wonderful Wetlands” theme was popular, with a number of children stopping by to search for live frogs in the constructed “wetland” next to the booth. There weren’t actually any live frogs in the wetland, but there were live wetland and upland plants thanks to donations by the Scott Key Center Greenhouse, Frederick County Watershed Management Section, and ICPRB.

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Connect

  • Frederick Co. Recycling Program Grows - The Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management (DUSWM) announced that its recycling program will now accept even more materials, making it one of the most comprehensive recycling programs in the region.  The expanded program will now take more rigid plastic items, including over-size materials that have previously been placed in the waste stream.  

  • Become a Maryland PLANT Community - Has your community—a homeowners association, school, park, town, etc—participated in a tree planting event this year? Have you and others maintained the health of your community’s existing trees through watering, mulching, and more? If so, your community may be eligible for state-wide recognition as a Maryland PLANT community! There are four PLANT (People Loving And Nurturing Trees) award levels based on communities’ commitment to planting and caring for their urban forests: green, gold, silver, and bronze.

  • Fall PWP Information Exchange - The Potomac Watershed Partnership is holding its next Information Exchange on September 30 at Cacapon Resort State Park in Berkeley Springs, WV. The topic will be Achieving Success in Restoration Plantings and Projects, with a focus on planning and maintenance.  Speakers will address issues such as wetland restoration, alternative ground cover, deer browse and controlling invasives.

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Educate

  • Natural Resources Careers Conference - Once again the Natural Resources Careers Conference (NRCC) took place the last full week in July at the Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County, MD.  The days were warm, the nights were cool, the forests were green and plentiful.... the perfect setting for this indoor/outdoor program to introduce high school students to career options and regional college programs in forestry and natural resources. 

  • Schoolyard Habitat Program Update - Frederick County Public Schools received a new 3 – year  $300,000 grant  through the NOAA Bay Watershed Education & Training Program. This grant will allow the FCPS SYH program; "A Systemic Approach: Schoolyard Habitats as Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences" to be continued and expanded.

  • "Urban Wetlands" School Projects - The Urban Wetlands, Bennett Creek Watershed Pilot Program (UWP), moved into its Project Installation stage this fall with the completion of two wetland projects at Urbana High School and Windsor Knolls Middle School.

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Study

  • New Sediment TMDLs Approved - A final "Total Maximum Daily Load of Sediment in the Lower Monocacy River Watershed, Frederick, Carroll, and Montgomery Counties, Maryland" and final "Total Maximum Daily Load of Sediment in the Catoctin Creek Watershed, Frederick County, Maryland" have been approved by EPA Region 3.

  • The Importance of USGS Stream Stations in Maryland - When is it is raining outside or as the snow melts, water flows over the land or underground into Maryland’s streams.  The quantity and quality of this water in many areas is measured by stream stations maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey.  Water conditions vary throughout the year and over time and a better understanding of these changes is important for human health and aquatic ecosystems. 

  • CMP Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey - At Catoctin Mountain Park, Mid-Atlantic Invertebrate Field Studies, led by researcher Richard Orr, is conducting a survey to determine the species of dragonflies and damselflies found in the park. Damselflies and dragonflies, referred to collectively as odonates, are indicator species. When the aquatic ecosystem odonates live in is degraded, the population of odonates decreases. Currently, there is no data on the number of these species in the park. Odonates are important to aquatic ecosystems because they are first level trophic predators. Any information on damselfly and dragonfly presence in Catoctin Mountain Park would help the Park staff decide how to best protect the odonates as well as the ecosystem in which they live.

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Winter 2009

Protect

  • County Fee-In-Lieu Program- The Fee-in-Lieu Program is a subset of the Frederick County Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO) and Maryland Forest Conservation Act requirements. In certain cases, a developer may meet forest planting requirements by paying a per-square-foot fee in lieu of planting forest.  Money collected under this program may be used for planting forests (including site identification, acquisition, preparation, and maintenance), for maintenance of existing forest that are protected by perpetual easements, and for achieving urban canopy goals.

  • EPA's Role in the Chesapeake Bay TMDLs- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week provided the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia with rigorous expectations for jurisdictions to reduce pollution in streams, rivers and the Bay to meet water quality standards.

  • Developing a Countywide Green Infrastructure Plan- Staff from Frederick County’s Watershed Management Section of the Division of Public Works have been working with staff from the Division of Planning to put together a Green Infrastructure (GI) effort in Frederick County. The purpose of GI is to identify high-quality natural resources and the systems needed to support them. GI is a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency and is tied to funding opportunities and regulatory programs. GI analyses produce detailed maps of the resources that include prime agricultural soils, wetlands, forests, and streams.

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Restore

  • Watershed Steward: Jeff Long- The Long Family farm is located in the east central part of Frederick County near New Market.   Mr. Long decided to reforest a section of his property that was adjacent to his home and which laid in a floodplain adjacent to a stream.  This unnamed stream empties into Linganore Creek a short distance to the east. 

  • Resources for Restoration Projects- The Maryland Urban & Community Forest Committee's (MUCFC) is currently accepting grant applications for up to $1,500 for community tree planting events. Deadline for proposals is February 15. For more information, please visit: http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/forests/programs/urban/mcfc.asp.

  • Urbana Schools Tree Canopy Increase- Tree planting efforts continue to be led by the FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Program, Potomac Conservancy, and other Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners to help the school district reach its 20% tree canopy goal. This past fall, Frederick County Watershed Management Section staff collaborated with Potomac Conservancy to use funding from the EPA and the Frederick County fee-in-lieu program to plant more than 70 large caliper native trees on Urbana High and Middle School properties.

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Enjoy

  • Learn About Plant Coloration- Have you ever wondered why plants are the color that they are?  As we know, most plants leaves are green in coloration; however, some varieties can be yellow, red, blue, and even purple.  The reason for these various colorations depends on the three major chemicals found in leaves,  chlorophyll – green, anthocyanins - red, blue, purple and carotenoid  pigments yellow, orange, red. 

  • Seeking Students Interested in Natural Resource Careers- Attention high school students interested in college programs and/or career pathways in forestry and natural resources- it's not to early to start thinking about applying for this year's Natural Resources Careers Conference (July 25 - 31, 2010 in Garrett County, MD)!

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Connect

  • County Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing- The Division of Planning has announced the release of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners’ (BOCC) Draft Plan for the Countywide Comprehensive Plan titled, “Frederick County’s Future:  Many Places, One Community.” 

  • Invasive Plants Workshop- Join members of the Carroll County Forestry Board for the Alien Nightmares: Invasive Plant Workshop on Saturday, January 16! Learn about the ecological effects of non-native plants on a global and local basis and how to develop a plan to control invasive plants on your property. 

  • Office of Environmental Sustainability Update- Frederick County was recently awarded $659,800 for Green Building and Energy programs. The County will perform energy efficiency retrofits/upgrades to county buildings, initiate a solar water preheating (renewable energy) project at the Adult Detention Center, kick off a home energy audit pilot program, make building code amendments, and conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, among others, as part of this Recovery Act based grant program. 

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Educate

  • Youth Create Rain Gardens at Bar-T- Volunteer Frederick’s Youth Action Corps (YAC) participated in Make a Difference Day by partnering with Bar-T Mountainside Retreat Center, Streamlink, the Frederick County Watershed Management Section, Terry Welsh of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Potomac Conservancy for an environmental project at the Bar-T Mountainside Retreat Center. 

  • Schoolyard Habitat Celebration- A program that gets students focused on hands-on environmentalism is spreading through Frederick County. The Schoolyard Habitat program helps students and teachers in elementary, middle and high schools turn a piece of school property into a habitat. Some schools have "no-mow" zones, an area where the lawn is replaced by plants and wildflowers. Brunswick High School is growing plants that gauge how much pollution is in the air.

  • Forestry for the Bay- Woodlands provide a wealth of services from filtering water and air to providing wildlife habitat to supplying products and jobs. Approximately 80% of the woodlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are privately owned, and they are disappearing at an alarming rate due to development. The number of private woodland owners in this region, however, is increasing rapidly as land changes ownership and is often sub-divided. At the same time state forestry budgets to address their growing needs are shrinking. Forestry for the Bay (FFB) is intended to help fill this service gap.

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Study

  • Urban Wetlands Monitoring Results- Since 2007, Frederick County’s Watershed Management Section (WMS) has been building an Urban Wetlands Program in a pilot watershed, Bennett Creek.  The Bennett Creek watershed is located in the southern part of the county, near Urbana, MD, with its headwaters in Montgomery County.  The long-term goal of the pilot project is to develop a program that maintains data on current wetland locations and conditions in the County.
     
  • Urban Forestry Resources- Staff from the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) recently traveled to Portland, Oregon to showcase Frederick County watershed forestry projects at the 2009 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation. The annual conference was attended by more than 300 participants and presenters.

  • Potomac Conservancy's State of the Nation's River Report- Potomac Conservancy has released its third annual State of the Nation’s River report, calling attention to a variety of pollutants found in the Potomac River that disrupt the endocrine system, which regulates the normal growth and sexual development of vertebrate species, including humans and fish.

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