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Previous Features
2011 Articles


Spring 2011

Protect

  • HandsOn Frederick County! Big Sweep - Since 2002, The Big Sweep has mobilized 8,103 volunteers who have picked up over 144 tons of trash and recyclables and 3,989 tires from Frederick City and County roads, parks and waterways. These teams have raised $380,000 for their nonprofits of choice!

  • Purchase Preserves Land Near State Park - More than 200 acres of much-coveted land near Cunningham Falls State Park will be permanently preserved following an agreement by the state Board of Public Works to purchase the site for $370,000. (Article available for viewing until March 2012)

  • Maryland's Felt-Sole Wader Ban FAQs - The new regulation states “An individual may not use footgear with external felt soles in State waters or within five feet of State waters.”

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Restore

  • Free trees through Backyard Buffers! - Since 2003, the Potomac Watershed Partnership’s “Backyard Buffer” program has helped Frederick County homeowners with streams near their property build “a landscape that will make a difference.”
     
  • Volunteers Needed:Plant Tree Seedlings - Frederick County’s Division of Parks and Recreation is looking for volunteers to assist in planting 5 acres of seedlings at Old National Pike Park (12406 Old National Pike Mt. Airy, MD 21771) on Saturday, April 9 from 9am to 12pm.

  • Lake Lingnore Needs Better Tree Cover - Lake Linganore is a source of drinking water for residents of the City of Frederick and Frederick County. It is also filling up with sediment. (Article available for viewing until March 2012)

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Enjoy

  • 23rd Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup - Since 1989, more than 90,000 volunteers have teamed with 425 partner organizations to tug over 5 million pounds of trash from the watershed’s streams, rivers and bays.

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Connect

  • Geocache (and more) for the International Year of the Forests! - The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as International Year of Forests to celebrate the sustainable management of the world’s forests. Organizations throughout Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed have taken this opportunity to encourage the celebration of forests for people.

  • Join the Green Homes Challenge! - The Frederick Board of County Commissioners has launched the Green Homes Challenge, a major community initiative of the Office of Environmental Sustainability that will help residents reduce energy use and utility bills, adopt environmentally friendly practices and use renewable energy. 

  • PLANT Communities Recognized - The Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee (MUCFC) is a volunteer group of citizens, professionals, and government officials united to protect and enhance Maryland’s forest ecosystems.

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Educate

  • Environmental Literacy Graduation Requirement Approved - Governor Martin O’Malley commended the Maryland State Board of Education today for approving an Environmental Literacy Graduation Requirement that provides flexibility and oversight for school systems as they develop effective environmental literacy programs.

  • WIYB - 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 Woods in Your Backyard – Neighborhood Green 2011 training program.  

  • Natural Resources Careers Conference - The Natural Resources Careers Conference is a summer educational opportunity for high school students interested in college studies or careers in forestry and natural resources. 

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Study

  • Beaver Dam Farm Prescribed Burn - Frederick County’s Watershed Management Section recently had the privilege of joining Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff and the Warner family for a prescribed burn of 26 acres of warm-season grass meadows at Beaver Dam Farm. Beaver Dam Farm is a beautiful 112- acre property that has been enhanced for wildlife.

  • Wetlands and How We Identify Them - If you ask anyone on the street, most people would be able to come up with some variation of a definition for a wetland.    They might tell you it’s an area of land where the ground is saturated with water for most of the year.  They might tell you it’s an area of land that is actually covered with water during some point in time during the year.  Or they might say it’s the area where water meets land.  They might even list areas that are commonly associated as being wetlands like swamps, marshes, bogs, or estuaries.  In a sense, they would all be correct.  Wetlands come in many different shapes and forms.

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Summer 2011

Protect

  • State Land Preservation Funds Decrease - Tulip poplars and red maples tower over the land that once belonged to Annette Cameron Blum in a rural pocket of Maryland's Northern Harford County. Clear water rushes over bedrock in the stream known as Falling Branch. In the adjacent small vernal pond, salamanders have laid their filmy green eggs. They are hatching, in time with other signs of spring.

  • Partners Focus on Little Tuscarora Creek -Trout Unlimited, in collaboration with the Potomac Conservancy and Stream-Link Education, have teamed up to encourage landowners living in the Little Tuscarora Creek watershed to conserve habitat for Eastern brook trout, Maryland’s only native trout and a stated-designated “species of greatest conservation need.” 

  • Cool website! Learn all about Gypsy Moth - Maryland is one of 20 states vulnerable to expansive defoliation of trees by the European Gypsy Moth. Some of the trees that the moth prefers include: Aspen, Birch, Cedar, Cottonwood, Fruit trees, Larch, Oak, Poplar, and Willow. Since 1970, gypsy moths have defoliated more than 75 million acres in the United States. The threat of gypsy moth damage in Frederick County proved so great in 2008 and 2009 that the Frederick County Gypsy Moth Task Force embarked on a collaborative private/public land spraying program to help protect the County's forests.

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Restore

  • Video! Frederick County needs more trees - Marylanders, it's not too late to plant a tree (just be sure to keep it watered)! Take advantage of the Marylanders Plant Trees coupon and get $25 off the purchase of a tree at participating nurseries. Print your coupon from www.trees.maryland.gov. This video was created as part of a campaign to increase forest cover in Frederick County's Linganore Creek Watershed, a drinking water supply for the City of Frederick.

  • Urban Wetlands Program Update - The Urban Wetlands Program (UWP) is a four-pronged wetland program developed in an effort to protect Frederick County’s wetlands from increased development pressure and changing Federal and State wetland regulations.  The long term goal is to establish a county-wide wetland strategy that maintains data on current wetland locations and conditions and outlines methods for constructing new wetlands that provide the same level of critical habitat for amphibians, vegetation, and avian species as well-established wetlands. 

  • Battling a tiny foe- Hemlock Wooly Adelgid - Not so very long ago, hemlocks were as thick as the maple syrup that is made each spring in Cunningham Falls State Park. Today, very few remain. The woolly adelgid, a tiny pinprick of an insect, began eating its way through the hundreds of thousands of hemlocks that once were ubiquitous in the mountainous areas of Frederick County.

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Enjoy

  • Monitoring at Monocacy National Battlefield - Nestled between the urban landscapes of Urbana and Frederick, Monocacy National Battlefield serves as a quiet haven not only for visitors, but also various wildlife species. The park’s 1,647 acre landscape includes forests, streams, agricultural fields, grasslands, ponds and springs, forest edges and riparian habitats.

  • Catoctin Trail designated a National Recreational Trail! - Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin announced on June 2nd the designation of the Catoctin Trail and 40 other trails as National Recreation Trails, adding almost 650 miles of trails to the National Trails System.

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Connect

  • Attend the PWP Information Exchange - The Potomac Watershed Partnership (PWP) is a collaborative effort among federal, state, and local partners to restore the health of the land and waters of the Potomac River Basin, thereby enhancing the quality of life and overall health of the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Learn more about the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources - Recently, the Watershed Managemnt Section (formerly housed within the Division of Public Works) combined with staff from the former Office of Sustainability to work collaboratively within the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER). OSER is housed within the County's new Community Development Division (CDD).

  • Share your favorite tree-lined street! - In celebration of the 2011 United Nations International Year of the Forest, the Maryland Forest Service would like to honor the beautiful tree lined streets of Maryland.

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Educate

  • FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Update - Last spring (2011) FCPS Schools were very busy planning and completing Schoolyard Habitat projects to help improve water quality and educate students.

  • Water-wise Gardening Strategies - The Frederick County Office of Environmental Sustainability has continued to host the 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.  Each month features a unique and timely sustainability topic with knowledgeable and interesting guest speakers and is presented in a lively, engaging format.

  • Videos: Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Installation - Frederick County citizens can use the following instructional videos on rain garden and rain barrel installation to learn more- and possibly install your own-evironmentally-friendly methods for treating stormwater runoff.

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Study

  • A Citizen's Guide to the Bay TMDL - On Dec. 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a historic and comprehensive “pollution diet” with rigorous accountability measures to initiate sweeping actions to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers.

  • Better Roads, Cleaner Streams Data collected using "Rainmaker" methodology - The Potomac Watershed Forestry staff focuses its energies on water quality issues within the targeted improvement areas of Allegany, Washington and Frederick Counties.  It involves many facets of forestry (land management, reforestation, agriculture, invasive species, pesticides, public relations …), with the ultimate goal of improving water quality to the benefit of the Chesapeake Bay and its many resources.

  • Rosgen Tours Stream Restoration Sites - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), w/ Dave Rosgen, offers Stream Restoration classes through FWS and Wildland Hydrology at the Nation Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. These classes annually tour various Environmental Services, Inc (ESI) projects in Maryland with ESI's Doug Hutzell.

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Fall 2011

Protect

  • Forestry Workgroup visits Smith Island - A small number of forestry workgroup members (from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and New York) had the unique opportunity earlier this month to spend three days on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay to network, participate in forestry and Bay-related presentations and group discussions, and learn more about the resource that we ultimately work to protect.

  • NRDC seeks threatened status for blueback herring, alewife - River herring were so common during colonial times that wagons couldn't cross rivers during spawning runs without crushing them. Today, their numbers are so depleted that an environmental group says they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

  • Frederick County Stream Survey Report - Freshwater streams are highly valued natural ecosystems that provide clean water and support fish and other aquatic life.  Frederick County, Maryland, has initiated a stream monitoring and assessment program to collect information on the health of the County’s streams.  Findings will be used to help guide the County’s watershed management programs to better protect and restore local waters.

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Restore

  • Meet our new Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer, Nicole Robinson! - The Chesapeake Conservation Corps is a program funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust that pairs young people with environmental organizations around Maryland. Each CCC volunteer works with an organization for one year and participates in training and site visits with other volunteers.

  • Replace storm damaged trees w/ coupon - Governor Martin O ’Malley reminds Marylanders there is help available to replace trees destroyed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The State offers $25 coupons toward the purchase of a Maryland native tree through the Marylanders Plant Trees program.

  • Wetland projects at Bar-T & Golf Course - As part of the Urban Wetlands Program (UWP) pilot effort, Frederick County Watershed Management Section staff completed two wetland restoration projects during July 2011.

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Enjoy

  • OSER In the Streets! - Frederick County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental resources hosted an outreach booth at In The Street 2011 to build awareness for the Green Homes Challenge (GHC). The GHC helps Frederick County residents take action at home to save energy, adopt green lifestyle practices, and use renewable energy.

  • Westen MD Solar & Green Homes Tour - The 2nd Annual Western Maryland Tour features 24 solar and green homes from Frederick and Washington Counties and West Virginia.

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Connect

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Educate

  • Learning to Fly Fish w/ PVFF & AFA - Have you ever wanted to learn to fly fish? I have for many years, so I decided to take the Learn to Fly Fish Course co-sponsored by Potomac Valley Fly Fishers (PVFF) and the Antietam Fly Anglers (AFA) on September 10. 

  • Natural Resources Careers Course (NRCC) 2011 - The Maryland Forestry Boards (FBs), Maryland Forest Service (FS), and Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) partnership produced another successful NRCC at the Hickory Environmental Education Center in beautiful western Maryland's Garrett County.  Thirty high school students participated in the week long educational conference, absorbing an abundence of information on the many career pathways in forestry and natural resources through classroom and hands-on experiences taught by college professors and working professionals in the field.
     
  • Urbana Elementary School Bioswale - After many months of planning, design, permitting, excavation, construction, and planting, the Urbana Elementary School Bioswale was completed at the end of August 2011.

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Study

  • Catoctin Mountain Park Stream Temperature Study - Catoctin Mountain Park (CATO) staff completed a stream temperature study during the summer of 2011. The project was designed to assist managers in developing best management strategies for protecting aquatic resources such as the temperature sensitive brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)

  • Better Roads, Cleaner Streams Field Tour - Oct. 6 - The Better Roads, Cleaner Streams initiative was developed following the Pennsylvania Center for Dirt & Gravel Road’s model with a goal of improving unpaved roads for a variety of benefits to recreation, water quality, and other forest uses by quantifying the amount of sediment leaving a roadway during a ran event and implementing methods of reducing that amount of sediment. 

  • Wetland Habitat Assessment Report - Frederick County Watershed Management staff recently completed a four-year (2007-2010) wetland habitat assessment study in a pilot watershed, the Bennett Creek watershed. 

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Winter 2011

Protect

Coldwater Land Conservancy Fund- Trout Unlimited is pleased to announce the availability of funding for land conservation through its new Chesapeake Bay Coldwater Land Conservancy Fund.  This fund provides matching grants to land trusts and agencies to permanently protect habitat for Eastern brook trout through land and conservation easement acquisition. 

Frederick County's draft Green Infrastructure Plan (ppt presentation)- During the December 15th Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance meeting, Jessica Seipp (Frederick County OSER) and Tim Culbreth (Maryland Forest Service) presented on the development of a Green Infrastructure Plan for Frederick County, MD. This plan is intended to identify, in finer detail than the state Green Infrastructure Plan, important ecological hubs and corridors throughout the County. The GI plan will be used by Frederick County OSER to identify areas to target use of our restoration and mitigation funds.

Alert: Japanese Cedar Longhorn Beetle- Japanese Cedar Longhorned Beetle, Callidiellum rufipenne, has been found and identification confirmed in Maryland for the first time.  It was found on Cryptomeria japonica 'Yoshino' planted in the Severn area of Anne Arundel County.

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Restore

Backyard Buffers 2012- Backyard Buffers was first piloted in Frederick County and Washington County. Due to its local success, the program has since spread to Allegany, Carrol, Harford, Carroll, Garrett and Howard Counties.

Join us for a MCWA meeting in 2012! Are you involved in or interested in restoration and conservation work occuring in Frederick County, MD? If so, please join us for our Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance meetings that are held every other month (February, April, June, August, October, and December) usually from 1pm-2:30pm.

Frederick County OSER receives grant - Frederick County Office of Sustainability & Environmental Resources was recently awarded a large grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation's 2011 Stewardship Fund Grants program. This funding will be used to target efforts in the Linganore watershed, including: educational workshops, tree planting on rural residential properties, forest conservation, soil testing & nutrient management, and much more.

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Enjoy

Tree Farm Field Tour- This past weekend I ventured out to a “Tree Farm Field Day” at Claude and Pilar Eans’ 28-acre forested property in Walkersville, MD. Claude has been a Certified Tree Farmer since 1986. The Eans Tree farm consists of 5 acres of mature oak forests, 8 acres of young forest that developed naturally after livestock were removed, and a 15 acre pine plantation that was planted in the early 1970’s.

Have you noticed Nature Notes? Every Sunday, the Frederick County Forestry Board's (FCFB) Nature Notes article is published in the Frederick News Post. Nature Notes include many interesting facts about seasonal changes in our local environment- such as the types of plants and birds you might expect to see. The FCFB welcomes questions that the public might have about the outdoors, the local flora or fauna, and anything else that might be related to nature's changing seasons.

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Connect

Marsh & Rock Creek Resource Plan- Marsh and Rock creeks in Adams County Pennsylvania come together to form the Monocacy River just after entering Maryland.  Management of these creeks may have downstream impacts on water quality, quantity, and the dependent ecosystems. In January 2011, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection designated the combined Marsh and Rock watersheds as a Critical Water Planning Area under Act 220 of 2002 – one of only three designations in the Commonwealth. 

PWP Winter 2011 Information Exchange- The December 13th Potomac Watershed Partnership Information Exchange at Samuels Library in Front Royal, VA focused on making projects successful in a changing climate.  Rather than focusing on overwhelming generalizations about climate change, this exchange outlined implementable real world approaches that local entities can use throughout the watershed.

Farmers discuss effect of proposed nutrient management regulations

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Educate

Trout in the Classroom 2012 - During the 2010 - 2011 school year nine Frederick county schools participated in the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program.  Over 1000 rainbow trout fingerlings were released into county streams by TIC students.  TIC systems for two of the schools, Thurmont Middle School and Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School were funded by the Catoctin Forest alliance (CFA). 

Interested in becoming a MD Green School Leader? Interested in helping schools to become Maryland Green Schools? Consider becoming a Certified Maryland Green School Leader... 

Can the Grease! The Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management is working to get out an important message just in time for the holiday cooking season: “Do not let a sewer backup ruin your holiday by pouring fats, oils and grease down your drain.”

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Study

Conservancy gives river a failing grade- The Potomac River's split personality isn't doing its health any favors. From the increased development in exurban areas around Washington, DC, to a more intensive agriculture industry in the Shenandoah Valley, the health of the water quality is close to failing, according to the Potomac Conservancy.

Wildlife seeks safe routes under highways-

Ballast water making its way into Bay - Efforts to keep ships from importing foreign species into the Chesapeake and other East Coast ports are falling short, according to a new study by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

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