Help improve the quality of life in your neighborhood by signing up to be a volunteer at your local community green.
Montgomery County’s neighborhoods each have their own personality and history. Similarly, each community has to deal with unique environmental challenges, ranging from watershed pollution to increased development. The problems are different and so are the solutions.
Groups of county residents are leading the charge to face these challenges. They have formed “community greens”– small nonprofits or volunteer groups focused on developing projects that promote sustainable living, green businesses and the health of people and the environment.
Started five years ago, Bethesda Green was the first Montgomery County community green program. They’ve grown dramatically since their creation and are now one of the premier environmental nonprofits in the county (and state) with innovative programs such as the Green Business Incubator, the Solar & Green Home Expo and Bethesda recycling bin pilot project. Their mission is to promote a healthy economy and sustainable business practices.
The Green Gaithersburg website is packed with information on sustainability, food and health, alternative energy and general environmental topics. Founded by a journalist, Green Gaithersburg is dedicated to connecting Gaithersburg area residents to the information they need including events and a green business directory. Do you think you know someone who has gone above and beyond for the environment? Suggest that they be nominated for the Environmentalist of the Month series.
The first step towards creating a more sustainable community is sharing ideas with a neighbor or local business. And what better way than with a drink in hand! GreenWheaton hosts the area chapter of the Green Drinks, a regular happy hour focused on environmental issues. Anyone can attend and offer suggestions on conversation topics. GreenWheaton has also installed a conservation garden downtown, led a community service week and provided educational resources to the diverse citizens of Wheaton.
The Poolesville Green mission statement states it best: “Poolesville Green promotes the appreciation, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, chiefly energy and water, in and around the town of Poolesville, Maryland, including Dickerson, Barnesville, Boyds and Darnestown. Through our work, we hope to build on what is best about our small town communities.” One of the tools Poolesville Green uses to promote sustainability is The What’s It All About education series, which breakdowns the important environmental topics of the day, such as electric cars, into fun and interactive events.
The newest community green, Silver Spring Green plans to bring together citizens, businesses, nonprofits and the government to implement environmental projects and educate the citizens of Silver Spring on their role in improving the health of the neighborhood. In 2013, Silver Spring Green will host the second annual Green Living Showcase, connect faith-based communities with the RainScapes program and install the first phase of recycling bins in downtown Silver Spring.