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Previous Features
2012 Articles

Winter 2012

Spring 2012

Protect

  • Conservancy protects 570+ acres - In 2011, Potomac Conservancy closed five conservation easements to permanently protect more than 570 rural acres in West Virginia and Virginia. The easements protect close to 5 miles of riverside forest. The protected properties include a 260-acre tract in Hampshire County, West Virginia, known as the Shanty Farm, and Hogue Creek Farm, a 210-acre cattle farm in Frederick County, Virginia. The easements ensure that these properties will be available for wildlife habitat, forestry, and agriculture for generations to come.

  • Apply for Frederick County's Critical Farms Program - The Frederick County Agricultural Land Preservation office is currently accepting applications for the Critical Farms Program.  Applications are due by April 2, 2012. The Critical Farms Program works to supplement local land preservation efforts by providing funding to enable farmers to purchase land for farming purposes.  The land must meet certain criteria to qualify for the program.

  • Watershed Stewards in the news - Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA) stewards Gilbert and LaRue Kelbaugh were recognized by the 2010 Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Farmer of the Year Award for their extensive conservation efforts on their property. Congratulations! Read the Frederick News Post article for more details...

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Restore

  • Monocacy National Battlefield hosts volunteers for riparian buffer planting - Come and support your National Parks by volunteering your time at Monocacy National Battlefield to plant trees throughout the park.  Monocacy will be working with volunteers from early April through June this year, planting native trees and shrubs along a stream in a riparian buffer and in a wet meadow.

  • Volunteers needed for stream cleanups!- Catoctin Creek Nature Center will be participating in the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Project Clean Stream Event on Saturday April 14th. This is part of a project that includes hundreds of other sites and over 5,000 volunteers in the Chesapeake Bay area.

  • EPA & NFWF announce new grants - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced a new $4 million EPA-funded initiative providing financial and technical assistance to local governments needing to reduce water pollution to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.

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Enjoy

  • Cherry Blossom Tree Tour Celebration - On Sunday April 15th the “Cherry Blossom Tree Tour Celebration” will commemorate the Cherry Blossom Tree’s 100th Anniversary in the United States. The celebration will take place from 12noon-2pm in Baker Park at the bandshell.  The event will feature a ceremonial tree planting, ribbon cutting, and a live performance by the award-winning Yamakiya Taiko Club from Fukushima, Japan.

  • Enjoy the Nature Fest celebration @Catoctin Creek Nature Center - Nature Fest will be held at Catoctin Creek Nature Center on Saturday, April 21 from 10am to 2pm. Click here for the flyer and join us for this fun, free event!

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Connect

  • Register for Neighborhood Green 2012 - 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, you are invited to participate in the upcoming “Neighborhood Green Workshop” from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.  The workshop will be held at Linganore High School located at 12013 Old Annapolis Rd, Frederick, MD. 

  • Become a Power Saver (VIDEO)! - Tired of wasting energy and paying high energy bills? The Power Saver Challenge, the first component of Frederick County’s Green Homes Challenge, can help you make your home energy efficient. Check out this video to hear about how two households reached Power Saver Certification and cut their energy bills significantly. Watch the video!

  • Trees are Terrific...Discover the Forest! (Poster Contest) - The Maryland Forest Service, in partnership with the Maryland Forest Conservancy District Boards, is sponsoring a “Poster Contest” for 5th grade classes throughout the State of Maryland. The theme for the poster is: Trees Are Terrific….Discover the Forest!

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Educate

  • June16 Rain Garden Workshop - On June 16, Frederick County residents will have the opportunity to attend a Rain Garden Workshop that includes the hands-on experience of installing a rain garden on site. The workshop and installation will be held at Round Meadow in Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, MD from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Installation of the garden will help to filter stormwater that flows off the nearby dining hall roof, lawn, and parking lot before it enters a storm drain leading to Owens Creek, a branch of the Monocacy River. More.

  • CFA's Meeting on the Mountain to feature author Richard Louv & guests - The Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) is offering a one day conference at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD on May 4, 2012 from 8:00am until 4:30pm.  The focus of the meeting will be to raise awareness of the importance of connecting our children to nature for their health and well being as well as for the future health of the environment.

  • FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Update 2012 - Last fall (2011) FCPS Schools were very busy planning and completing Schoolyard Habitat projects to help improve water quality and educate students.

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Study

  • Unpaved Road Maintenance Training - If you maintain dirt and gravel roads, then you know the challenges:  steep terrain, poor drainage, eroding ditches, rutting road surface...   You need effective long-term solutions to costly maintenance and pollution problems that come with unpaved roads used for public access, recreation, and resource extraction. Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) training from the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State delivers solutions. 

  • Hemlock Restoration Initiative - The Hemlock Restoration Initiative, conducted by the Maryland DNR Forest Service at Cunningham Falls State Park, was designed to test if hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) infestation could be controlled in Eastern hemlock seedlings planted in a heavily infested forest using a variety of planting and treatment methods.  The hope is that this will be useful to others attempting restorative plantings in decimated hemlock stands.

  • County looking for Chesapeake Conservation Corps applicants - Frederick County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER), in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is seeking a stipend volunteer to join the Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC volunteer will spend one year working on Frederick County’s Green Homes Challenge and will also participate in other activities with the full Corps. The Green Homes Challenge helps households reduce energy use, adopt environmentally friendly practices, and use renewable energy. The CCC volunteer will focus on community education and engagement and will also have the opportunity to engage in other watershed enhancement projects.

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Summer 2012

Protect

  • Potomac Named #1 Endangered River- This year the Potomac River topped American Rivers' top 10 list of the nation's "Most Endangered" Rivers. The Full 2012 Report is available for download here: Download the Full 2012 Report (PDF).

  • Stream Pollution Documentation Project - There is a watershed-wide push to significantly curb nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay thanks to the federally mandated “pollution diet” and state and county Watershed Implementation Plans. Here in Frederick County, a new initiative developed in collaboration with Friends of Frederick County (FoFC), Chesapeake Commons and Potomac Riverkeeper aims to educate and empower citizens in helping to document and stop stream pollution at the source.  

  • Frederick County Big Tree Champions - The Big Tree Program has been in place for a number of years; and, the Frederick County Forestry Board has recently decided to act as the official measurer of candidates.  There are three National Champion Trees located in Frederick County:  the English Elm,  the Boxelder, and the Honeylocust trees.

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Restore

  • Clover Hill Stream Restoration Project - The Potomac Conservancy, in partnership with Frederick, Seibert and Associates and the Clover Hill community recently completed an 800’ stream restoration project at the Clover Hill Civic Association in Frederick, MD.  The project was initiated to address a severely eroding stream channel running the length of the Clover Hill community park.

  • The Exotic Species Epidemic - The spread of invasive species is recognized as one of the major factors contributing to ecosystem change and instability throughout the world.

  • Didymo found in Big Hunting Creek - Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) biologists confirmed the presence of didymo, an invasive algae known to anglers as rock snot or boulder boogers, in Big Hunting Creek in Frederick County.

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Enjoy

  • Frederick County Sustainability Awards - As partners of the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance know, it takes many people working together to achieve great success in restoration and conservation of our natural resources. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowlege some County partners who recently received 2012 Sustainability awards for their outstanding contributions in helping Frederick County attain its sustainability goals.

  • NRCS Farm BMP Tour - This NRCS Farm BMP Tour was a very educational experience that helped the members of the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance see how farmers throughout Frederick County are helping in the efforts to diminish pollutant and sediment loads to local waterways and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

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Connect

  • Sign up to be a Green Leader! - Do you want to conserve valuable resources and create a healthy home? The recently launched Green Leader Challenge can help make that happen in your household and community! The Challenge, which is the second component in Frederick County’s Green Homes Challenge, challenges households to reduce their environmental impacts, improve health and safety at home, and save on utilities, fuel, and goods.

  • Forestry Board Summer Lecture Series - At the June 7th Frederick County Forestry Board lecture "Getting Involved in Natural Resources," representatives from a variety of organizations presented information to members of the public attending the series at the C. Burr Artz Library.

  • Neighborhood Green 2012 workshop - On May 12, Frederick County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) and Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA) partners hosted the Neighborhood Green workshop at Linganore High School. More than 30 landowners attended the workshop to learn more about converting their yards to more environmentally-sustainable habitats.

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Educate

  • NEW Master Naturalist Training Program - Catoctin Creek and Fountain Rock Nature Centers are offering a 12 week Maryland Master Naturalist Training Program led by naturalists and educators from around the state (sponsored by the University of MD Extension). Classes include: Ornithology, Botany, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, Freshwater ecosystems, Interpretation, and more!

  • Schoolyard Habitat Update & Article - Frederick County Public Schools' Schoolyard Habitat Teacher Specialist April Wells has dedicated a tremendous amount of time helping many schools implement schoolyard habitat projects, including but not limited to rain gardens, tree plantings, native gardens, wetlands, meadows, and creative outdoor learning centers. Her NOAA BWET grant funding ends this month, and her guidance will be greatly missed by the many teachers and partners that she's worked with over the past 6 years .

  • Rain Garden Workshop Results - The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) kicked off the new Green Leader Challenge with a Rain Garden Workshop held on Saturday, June 16 at Camp Round Meadow, Catoctin Mountain Park. Nearly 50 Frederick County community members got their hands dirty planting 175 plants in the new 320 square-foot rain garden which will reduce stormwater runoff to Owens Creek.

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Study

  • Trout in the Classroom- Year in Review - During the 2011-2012 school year 13 schools in Frederick County participated in Trout in the Classroom.   For the first time the count included three high schools; Tuscarora, Walkersville, and Middletown.  Two elementary schools, St John Regional Catholic School, and seven middle schools comprise the balance.

  • Frederick Co. Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Treatment Plan - Tom Lupp, entomologist with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), has documented treatments done by MDA to suppress the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Frederick County from 2004 to 2011. 

  • Richard Louv @ Meeting on the Mountain IV - The Catoctin Forest Alliance hosted its fourth Meeting on the Mountain this past May at Mount St. Mary's University. The focus of the meeting was to raise awareness of the importance of connecting children to nature for their health and well being as well as for the future health of the environment.

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Fall 2012

Protect

Support Flyfishing Conservation Efforts - Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for an outdoor enthusiast? Look no further! The Potomac Valley Fly Fishers (PVFF) are selling 100 limited edition prints of a rainbow trout painting donated by PVFF member Dan Neuland.

Stream Pollution Documentation Project - Here in Frederick County, a new initiative developed in collaboration with Friends of Frederick County (FoFC), Chesapeake Commons and Potomac Riverkeeper aims to educate and empower citizens in helping to document and stop stream pollution at the source.  

Frederick County Ag Land Preservation - Frederick County ranks in the top 12 counties in the nation for acres preserved, and its Agricultural Land Preservation Program plays a key role in that effort, according to Anne M. Bradley, the county's land preservation program administrator.

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Restore

Clifford Branch Dam Removal - On September 11, 2012 the Potomac Conservancy and their partners removed the Clifford Branch dam, located in the Tuscarora Creek watershed and within the Frederick Municipal Forest. The dam was built in 1872 and with its removal, fish will be able to swim freely for the first time in 140 years.

Neighborhood Green Update - Frederick County’s Neighborhood Green program has had a very successful year in 2012. Thanks to the generous efforts of many Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners, we will be assisting Frederick and Carroll County landowners to plant approximately 15 acres of trees in areas of unused turf at a greatly reduced cost to the landowner.

Linganore Watershed Easement Purchase Program Update - In June 2011 the Board of County Commissioners authorized the use of the Forest Resource Ordinance Fee-in-Lieu fund to purchase forest conservation easements along certain stream segments in the Linganore Watershed. Money collected under the fee-in-lieu 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.

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Enjoy

Give the Gift of Trees! - Maryland Department of Natural Resources' TREE-Mendous Maryland program offers an option to have native trees planted in Honor or Memory of family and friends, to celebrate Holidays, birthdays, and to observe other special occasions. The Gift of Trees is actually three gifts - one to someone you care for, one to future generations, and one to the environment.

Apply for a Community PLANT Award! - People Loving And Nurturing Trees (PLANT) is a statewide award program to recognize communities for their tree planting and tree care efforts. Communities range from schools, homeowner organizations and parks to metropolitan areas, cities and towns.

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Connect.

"The Monocacy Starts Here" Contest- Name that Stream! - Frederick and Carroll County residents, civic organizations, schools, educational groups and property owners are urged to join a stream naming contest to have their suggestions officially designated by the United States Geological Survey for all maps and records at local, state and national levels.

•Receive $1K+ in energy efficiency retrofits - If you have been putting off making home energy improvements due to cost, now is the time to get those projects done and start saving on your energy bills! Through a new Frederick County program called Power Saver Retrofits, you could receive $1,600 worth of energy efficiency retrofits performed by a professional contractor for a cost share of just $400.

Thank You MCWA Fair Volunteers - The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance was well-represented at the Great Frederick Fair 2012! Many thanks to our volunteers from the Frederick County Forestry Board, Catoctin Mountain Park, Catoctin Forest Alliance, Friends of Rural Roads, Maryland Fisheries Service, Maryland Forest Service, Potomac Valley Fly Fishers, and the Office of Sustainability & Environmental Resources for the hours donated at the MCWA booth in the City Streets, County Roads building during fair week.

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Educate

FCPS Fall Tree Planting Projects - Two-hundred and fifty students from Tuscarora High School planted 75 native trees and shrubs in their stormwater management facility on October 24 with Potomac Conservancy and Frederick County staff members Aimee Weldon and Heather Montgomery.

Urbana High Bioretention "Makeover" - To further enhance the Urbana High Bioretention Project and improve performance of the bioretention areas, the County completed modifications to the project during Summer 2012.  The enhancements included re-planting the areas with low maintenance plant species and modifying the drainage for the three parking lot bioretention areas.

Video: Rain Gardens & Stewardship - Check out the latest video from the Chesapeake Bay Program featuring the READY program (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) in Howard County, Md. and its efforts to help control stormwater runoff, while providing summer jobs for young adults.

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Study

•Catoctin Creek Stream Survey - Catoctin Creek Nature Center organized a benthic macroinvertebrate survey on Saturday, October 20. The volunteers consisted of a fairly large group of parents and children, scouts, Potomac Valley Fly Fisher members, teachers, and staff from Catoctin Creek Nature Center.

How well does a bioswale weather a storm? - As Frederick County's Community Restoration Coordinator, my responsibilities include implementing stormwater management projects that filter and slow stormwater run-off flowing to our local waterways. One of my projects, Urbana Elementary School's Bioswale, has now been through two hurricanes, a "derecho", and a number of intense heavy rain events since it's installation in August 2011. After our most recent hurricane, "Superstorm Sandy," I was curious to see how the bioswale was holding up. Was it actually performing the job it was supposed to?

Video: Sustainable Agriculture - Steve Droter, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Multimedia Specialist, visited Brubaker Farms in Lancaster County, PA to learn about sustainable agriculture, manure to power, and other innovative conservation practices.

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Winter 2012

Protect

  • Protecting your home from wildfire (Part I) - Wildfires in Maryland rarely burn in the tree canopy, but rather, burn the dead leaves, debris, and smaller plants along the ground.  While these fires are not as impressive as what we see in the news, they can be just as dangerous.

  • VIDEO: Brook Trout Conservation - Brook trout play a critical role in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, but without cool, clean water, the fish cannot survive. Working in headwater states, Chesapeake Bay Program partners are promoting land conservation as a way to clean up local waterways and conserve the iconic species.

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Restore

  • Clifford Branch Dam Removal - On September 11, 2012 the Potomac Conservancy and their partners removed the Clifford Branch dam, located in the Tuscarora Creek watershed and within the Frederick Municipal Forest.

  • Neighborhood Green Update - Frederick County’s Neighborhood Green program has had a very successful year in 2012. Thanks to the generous efforts of many Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance partners, we will be assisting Frederick and Carroll County landowners to plant approximately 15 acres of trees in areas of unused turf at a greatly reduced cost to the landowner.

  • Grant Funding for Forest Buffers Available - We are losing forestland at a rapid rate in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Fortunately there is grant funding currently available to private landowners, local government, and non-profits to plant trees, particularly along streams and rivers that rely on forests to maintain clean water and suitable habitat for sensitive fish species like trout.

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Enjoy

  • Give the Gift of Trees! - With the holidays coming up, you may be interested in this unique gift idea... Maryland Department of Natural Resources' TREE-Mendous Maryland program offers an option to have native trees planted in Honor or Memory of family and friends, to celebrate Holidays, birthdays, and to observe other special occasions.

  • Deadline Extended to Jan. 15 - Apply for a Community PLANT Award! - People Loving And Nurturing Trees (PLANT) is a statewide award program to recognize communities for their tree planting and tree care efforts. Communities range from schools, homeowner organizations and parks to metropolitan areas, cities and towns.

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Connect

  • Potomac Conservancy's State of the Nation's River Report - Potomac Conservancy released its sixth annual State of the Nation’s River report, outlining the consequences of four main pollutants of the Potomac River. Last year, the Conservancy scored the river's health at a barely passing “D” grade, a downgrade from the group’s previous D+.

  • Frederick County's Landserver Tool - LandServer is a tool that produces parcel-specific natural resource asset reports by analyzing a robust database of Maryland’s geographic, ecological, physical, and other data sets. Farmers, woodland owners, and their conservation partners can use this web-based tool to generate a quick and easy natural resource assessment of their property, an evaluation of their opportunities to receive payments for implementing conservation actions, and information on how to get started.

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Educate

  • FCPS Fall Tree Planting Projects - Two-hundred and fifty students from Tuscarora High School planted 75 native trees and shrubs in their stormwater management facility on October 24 with Potomac Conservancy and Frederick County staff members Aimee Weldon and Heather Montgomery.

  • Urbana High Bioretention "Makeover" - To further enhance the Urbana High Bioretention Project and improve performance of the bioretention areas, the County completed modifications to the project during Summer 2012.  The enhancements included re-planting the areas with low maintenance plant species and modifying the drainage for the three parking lot bioretention areas.

  • Video: Low Impact Development Installation & Maintenance - The Chesapeake Stormwater Network is pleased to announce the release of the third video in our three part instructional video series on Low Impact Development construction, installation and maintenance.

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Study

  • Catoctin Creek Stream Survey - Catoctin Creek Nature Center organized a benthic macroinvertebrate survey on Saturday, October 20. The volunteers consisted of a fairly large group of parents and children, scouts, Potomac Valley Fly Fisher members, teachers, and staff from Catoctin Creek Nature Center.

  • How well does a bioswale weather a storm? - As Frederick County's Community Restoration Coordinator, my responsibilities include implementing stormwater management projects that filter and slow stormwater run-off flowing to our local waterways. One of my projects, Urbana Elementary School's Bioswale, has now been through two hurricanes, a "derecho", and a number of intense heavy rain events since it's installation in August 2011. After our most recent hurricane, "Superstorm Sandy," I was curious to see how the bioswale was holding up. Was it actually performing the job it was supposed to?

  • Thousand Cankers Disease - Thousand Cankers Disease is a recently-discovered disease complex, affecting most walnut species, including our native Black Walnut (Juglans nigra).  The disease is caused by the Geosmithia morbida fungus, which is transported by the Walnut Twig Beetle. 

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