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Previous Features
2010 Articles


Spring 2010

Protect

  • A Conservation Vision Becomes Reality: Fedak Property Easement- The easement, which was signed and recorded in December, provides a boost for land preservation and water quality in the Catoctin Mountains. It helps to ensure that the Fedaks’ vision for keeping the property as farmland and forest forever will manifest in reality.

  • Trout Unlimited's Conservation Success Index - The Conservation Success Index is a GIS-based model that integrates fish data (from the Eastern Brook Trout Venture and other GIS data) to score subwatersheds; this helps to paint the picture of conditions of fish communities & subwatershed landscapes and prioritize protection and restoration efforts.

  • Preservation Program Expanded for Farmers - In September 2009, Governor Martin O'Malley announced the approval of a program that will provide funding to acquire permanent conservation easements on streamside forests, natural areas, and wetlands that have been restored through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Frederick County has been deemed a top priority of this program.

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Restore

  • Clean Water is in the Bag - The Potomac Watershed Partnership, in cooperation with Maryland Forest Service, the Monocacy River Watershed Restoration Action Strategy Committee, and other state, county, and local conservation groups can help by offering the Backyard Buffers Program to Frederick County homeowners.  If you have a drainage ditch, stream, creek, or river flowing through your property or live adjacent to such a waterway, you could qualify for a free “Buffer in a Bag”.

  • 22nd Potomac River Watershed Cleanup - Time to remove those refrigerators, shoes, shopping carts, and anything else you can think of, from our Potomac River Watershed. 

  • Worthington Manor Golf Course : Wetland Enhancement & Riparian Buffer Project- Frederick County Watershed Management Section (WMS) staff has worked with Potomac Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage to develop a wetland enhancement project that also includes the establishment of a robust riparian buffer. 

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Enjoy

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Connect

  • Register Now for the Neighborhood Green Training- Would you like to learn how to design a sustainable and environmentally friendly landscape for your property and acquire the tools necessary to make your vision a reality? If so then we welcome you to attend the Neighborhood Green training scheduled for May 11, 18, and 25 in Frederick, Maryland. 

  • City of Frederick Arbor Day Celebration- The City of Frederick will be celebrating its 30th year as a Tree City U.S.A. on Arbor Day, April 7, 2010. The Arbor Day program will take place at Lincoln Elementary School on Madison Street at 1:30 PM.  Lincoln Elementary School is home to an Arboretum and the new Earth and Space Science Laboratory.

  • Frederick County Comprehensive Plan Update - “Many Places, Once Community”  aptly describes Frederick County and is the title of the 400+ page comprehensive land use plan to be adopted by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on April 8, 2010. 

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Educate

  • Volunteer Frederick Receives Grant Award - Volunteer Frederick is excited to announce that they are the recipients of a 2010 State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant!

  • VIDEO: The Importance of Streamside Forests to Chesapeake Bay Waterways- Studies by internationally acclaimed Stroud Water Research Center have shown that healthy forests bordering streams not only prevent numerous pollutants from reaching the water, but also multiply the stream’s natural ability to cleanse itself of pollutants that do make their way into the water.

  • Marylanders Plant Trees School Challenge - The Marylanders Plant Trees encourages citizens to plant and register 50,000 trees each year to help improve air, water and quality of life in Maryland. To help meet that goal the state is announcing a School Challenge for all Maryland elementary, middle and high schools.

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Study

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Summer 2010

Protect

  • Planting & Protecting Seedlings at WKMS- In September 2009 Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) requested and received approximately $37,500 from the Frederick County Fee-in-Lieu Program (a subset of the County’s Forest Resource Ordinance (FRO) Requirements) to plant and maintain trees at Urbana High, Urbana Middle, and Windsor Knolls Middle Schools.

  • $15 Million Cost-share Available to MD Farmers- The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have teamed up to offer Maryland farmers more choices and better incentives to plant cover crops in their fields this fall. This year, MDA will provide farmers with approximately $15 million to plant cover crops.

  • County Adopts Comprehensive Plan- The Frederick Board of County Commissioners has completed the Growth Management Initiative launched in January 2008 to re-write the Countywide Comprehensive Plan, strengthen and modernize the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) and update the Zoning Ordinance.

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Restore

  • Potomac Watershed Forestry Update- The Potomac Watershed Forestry staff—made up of Maryland DNR Forest Service employees—focuses its energies on water quality issues within the targeted improvement areas of Washington and Frederick Counties. 

  • Golf Course Warm Season Grass Project- In addition to the large wetland enhancement project being undertaken by Frederick County Watershed Management Section (WMS) and partners, WMS staff also recently managed a 5.5 acre installation of warm season grasses and wildflowers on the golf course property.

  • Reforesting Catoctin Mountain Park- The protection of the Owens Creek headwaters provides cool water to downstream trout habitats and is critical to the survival of the brook trout. Volunteers at Catoctin Mountain Park have been instrumental in the restoration of native vegetation in the southern headwaters of Owens Creek. 

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Enjoy

  • Watershed Wildlife- Frederick County’s Watershed Management Section has conducted habitat assessments to collect information on amphibians, birds, and vegetation at a number of wetland sites in the Bennett Creek watershed over the past four years...

  • Mixed Hardwood Forests- Certain sections of forest enjoy the best of conditions, deep, rich, fertile soils, adequate moisture, and gentle topography. Examples of these areas are mountainous foot slopes, bluffs overlooking streams and rivers, coves, hollows, and north facing aspects. 

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Connect

  • Fish Mystery Campaign Launch- Potomac Conservancy recently announced the launch of its Fish Mystery campaign, calling for more research into why over 80% of male smallmouth bass in the Potomac River are now exhibiting female traits, such as eggs.

  • Keep Maryland Beautiful Grant Awards- Three Frederick groups will receive awards to restore streamside habitats and community gardens. The grants are part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program, from the Maryland Environmental Trust, and funded by the Department of Natural Resources and the State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

  • Help Odwalla Plant Trees in Maryland- Love trees but don't have the time, money, or yard to plant one? Follow the link to Odwalla's plant a tree site.

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Educate

  • Trout in the Classroom Released- The students in Mrs. Saylor’s’ middle school classroom at Windsor Knolls Middle School raised over 100 rainbow trout this season.

  • Local High Schools to go Solar- Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley notified the Frederick County Office of Environmental Sustainability on April 16 that the county has been selected to receive $500,000 to install solar photovoltaic systems on Oakdale and Linganore High Schools. 

  • New Tree Class Offered at Frederick Community College- Trees have shaped our history, art, and literature throughout time. In learning about the art and history of trees, we also will learn about the science in this hands-on field class that meets at various locations throughout Frederick County.

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Study

  • WKMS Bluebird Box Study- The Windsor Knolls Middle School Bluebird Box project first started during the 2008-2009 school year with the start of the 'Green Team' club.

  • Northern Hardwood Forest- The high elevation forests and north facing slopes in the northern part of Frederick County contain a tree mixture that is much more common in northern states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, or Garrett County, Maryland. 

  • Scientists Give Bay's Health a C, Up from Last Year- Scientists grading the Bay's health for 2009 reported there were modest improvements in parts of the Chesapeake, and they gave the Bay an overall grade of C, up from a C minus in 2008.

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Fall 2010

Protect

  • Maryland's Forest Resources Assessment and Strategy - On June 18th, 2010, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service submitted a State Assessment and Strategies to the USDA Forest Service as required by the 2008 Farm Bill. The broad purpose was to identify, protect, and encourage management of working forests and special forested areas on private and public forestlands.

  • Seeing the River for the Trees - The forests that surround many of the Potomac basin’s headwater streams are the first line of protection for preserving the high quality sources of the region’s drinking water. Changes in the forests, both from human and natural causes, can create new water quality challenges.

  • New Angle for Stream Efforts - Native brook trout are disappearing throughout the Chesapeake region. However, they have recently made a welcome appearance in a surprising place - the new federal strategy to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

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Restore

  • Floating Islands (Wetlands) Tour- This month, staff from Frederick County Division of Parks & Recreation (DPR) and Frederick County’s Watershed Management Section (WMS) joined Kevin Hedge from BlueWing Environmental Solutions & Technologies to view a new technology—BioHaven(R)  Floating Islands—at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Wiconisco, PA.

  • Environmental Pump Improves Water Quality at Bar-T Mountainside - The farm pond at Bar-T Mountainside was full of algae last week. This week, it’s nearly clear.
    And not because owner Joe Richardson added chemicals to get rid of it.


  • Programs Support Fall Tree Planting - The fall season is a great time to plant native trees and shrubs!

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Enjoy

  • Growing Native Season is Here - Each fall, thousands of volunteers participate in Growing Native by collecting native hardwood tree and shrub seeds such as acorns and walnuts.  The seeds are donated to state nurseries where they are planted and later used to restore streamside forests throughout the Potomac River region.

  • First Friday Sustainability Conversation: "Buying and Eating Locally" - The Frederick County Office of Environmental Sustainability is hosting a new event series for County employees entitled “First Friday Sustainability Conversations”.  Employees have an opportunity to connect with their colleagues at lunch time and join in sustainability discussions relevant to work, home and community. 

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Connect

  • iPhone Field Guide to the Chesapeake Bay- The Chesapeake Bay Trust has released a brand new Field Guide to the Chesapeake Bay! Free and available initially to iPhone users and on the Trust's website, the new mobile app is a comprehensive, ecosystem-based guide to the flora and fauna of nine ecologically distinct regions within the Bay’s watershed. 

  • Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) & Chesapeake Bay TMDL public meetings - A draft version of Maryland's Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan (Plan) was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, for EPA's review prior to the public comment period (September 24-November 8) for the draft Plan and EPA's draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report. 

  • BOCC Adopts Sustainable Action Plan - The Frederick Board of County Commissioners adopted a Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations and implemented the first recommendation in the plan to adopt a resolution stating Frederick County Government’s organizational commitment to sustainability.

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Educate

  • Sept. 25: Free Rain Garden Workshop - The Potomac Conservancy, in partnership with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, is hosting a rain garden workshop at Bar-T Mountainside on September 25.

  • Green Valley Elementary Rain Garden - The Potomac Conservancy is continuing its ongoing partnership with the Frederick County Public School system this fall at the Green Valley Elementary School. or years, the school had been dealing with flooding and sediment buildup in their parking lot caused by an eroding ballfield upslope of the school and poor stormwater management. To remedy this problem and to better capture and manage stormwater runoff, a number of different BMPs were installed at the school.

  • Online Now: FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Program Website - Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Schoolyard Habitat Program now has its own website!

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Study

  • Fish Shocking in Ballenger Creek - Freshwater streams are highly valued natural ecosystems that provide clean water and support fish and other aquatic life. Frederick County has initiated a stream monitoring and assessment program to collect information on the health and quality of the County’s streams.

  • New Forest Buffer Targeting Tool - Riparian forest buffers are one of the key best management practices used in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to affect water quality.  Nutrient reduction goals for the Chesapeake Bay are lagging, therefore the Environmental Protection Agency is placing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) limitation on the Bay.  Under the circumstances it is very important that efforts to improve water quality be strategic and effective. 

  • BOCC Receives First Greenhouse Gas Inventory - The Frederick Board of County Commissioners received a report on a Frederick County greenhouse gas inventory conducted by the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES).

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Winter 2010

Protect

  • Frederick County Easements Granted - The state Board of Public Works has selected two Frederick County properties encompassing 130 acres of streamside forests, natural areas and wetlands for inclusion in Maryland’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Easements program, Gov. Martin O’Malley has announced.

  • Felt Sole Boot & Wader Ban Expected - DNR is moving forward with a regulation to ban the use of felt-soled boots and waders in Maryland waters.

  • Catoctin Mountain Park Thins Deer Herd - Portions of Catoctin Mountain Park will be closed weekdays starting Monday to allow for a deer hunt.

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Restore

  • Trees Face Threats from Above, Below - It’s not easy to be a tree these days. Deer, voles, mice and now Asian pests threaten the tree canopies we’ve been trying so hard to replenish in the past 20 years.

  • Little Lucy School Plants Trees -  The campus of the Lucy School in Middletown was a temporary extension of the Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday.

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Enjoy

  • 2nd annual IMAGINE! Frederick Film Series - OURCOMMONWEALTH is proud to partner with local businesses and organizations to present the 2nd annual IMAGINE! Frederick Film Series, a free community education program that will offer residents the venue to learn and discuss actions to move our community towards economic, environmental and social sustainability.

  • Gambrill State Park Boasts Tree ID Trail - The Frederick County Forestry Board, an advisory and educational volunteer body, found the funding to pay for 30 signs that describe trees and a few shrubs — from their bark to their berries.

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Connect

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Educate

  • Catoctin Forest Alliance Raises Money for Scholarship - This past year, the Catoctin Forest Alliance has continued its commitment to preserve and promote the health of the Catoctin Mountain forest lands for the benefit of present and future generations. 

  • Green Valley Elementary's New Rain Garden -The Green Valley ‘Earthology’ club, a group of nearly 30, 4th and 5th grade students helped to plant the the rain garden in October, 2010. Prior to planting, the club weeded the garden weekly to prepare it for planting and they will continue to weed, water and maintain the garden throughout the school year.
     

  • Forest Fire Behavior - Forest fires can be very destructive causing extensive property and environmental damage along with the human toll it can extract.

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Study

  • Owens Creek Water Quality Study - Owens Creek is a headwater stream that is valued by the Catoctin Mountain Park for its historical, recreational, and aesthetic qualities.  It is the home to populations of rainbow and brook trout which attract many visitors to the park for fly-fishing each year. 

  • Green Ridge State Forest Certification - Mike Kay, the Frederick County forester for the Department of Natural Resources, is part of a large effort to inventory the 48,000-acre forest. The state is applying to the Forest Stewardship Council to have the land certified as sustainable.

  • Students Participate in Watershed Study - Three teenage girls who at first weren’t sure they wanted to go near the water were soon begging for a chance to go back one more time.

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