#MontgomeryPlogs – Join the Challenge

January 20, 2021

What the PLOG is Plogging? 

In celebration of Energy Action Month which takes place annually in October and Storm Water Awareness Week, October 18-24, 2020, Montgomery Energy Connection launched the #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge in partnership with the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration, a program of Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

Plogging is a wacky way of saying “pick up litter while you jog or walk”. Plogging was invented by Swedish outdoorsman and environmentalist Erik Ahlström. The phrase plogging comes from plocka, the Swedish word for pick up. Plogging is an eco-friendly exercise that involves picking up trash while jogging or walking as a way to clean up litter while also taking care of your health.

The Plogging Challenge is a fun engaging way to raise awareness about stormwater pollution while providing Montgomery County residents the opportunity to take action and help with stormwater pollution prevention by cleaning up litter from streams, stormwater ponds, etc.

The #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge encourages people to make picking up litter a habit to prevent stormwater pollution and while you are outside, you are using less energy in your homes!


Are you up to the #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge?

Our social media campaign, #MontgomeryPlogs will be featured on the Montgomery Energy Connection Instagram(@mcenergyconnection) account and MCDEP accounts. Simply share a photo of you plogging in Montgomery County to be entered in a drawing to receive a Plog-Along Pack!

Drawings will be held monthly through the end of June 2021.

To be eligible, you must either tag our account (@mcenergyconnection) or use our hashtag #MontgomeryPlogs when you share your photos on Instagram. You can also submit your photos to energy@montgomerycountymd.gov (or click the ‘Email’ button in our profile).

Montgomery Parks also presents Virtual Winter Bingo and guess what is on the board?! PLOGGING!!! Help keep the parks clean by plogging and Get BINGO by completing activities on five squares in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row. Be sure to take pictures of you or your family doing the activities as you collect BINGO, then enter our drawing for an exciting prize! Three winners will each receive a $50 credit on your Active Montgomery account that can be used for Montgomery Parks’ rentals or programs! To enter the drawing, follow the rules below and submit the entry form on this page.

Use the hashtag #MoCoWinterBingo to show off your Bingo skills online. Check out the list of January activities by downloading the January Bingo Card here.  

Thank you for Plogging with us! 

During Stormwater Awareness Week, we had lots of people who emailed their plogging pictures or posted using the #MontogmeryPlogs Challenge and won Plog Along packs – CONGRATULATIONS to the winners, here is what they received: a Plog Along Pack with a plogging bag, trash picker upper, hand sanitizer, gloves, Montgomery Together face mask, and an LED flashlight.



This webpage describes the official rules (“Official Rules”) of the Plogging Challenge organized by the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) and Montgomery Energy Connection (“MEC”), (the “Challenge”).

The objective of this Challenge is to provide Montgomery County residents a fun engaging way to raise awareness about stormwater pollution while providing the opportunity to take action and help with stormwater pollution prevention by cleaning up litter from streams, stormwater ponds, etc. The Plogging Challenge is a campaign meant to continue after the kick-off week in which it is promoted, the idea is to incentivize people to make picking up litter a habit to prevent stormwater pollution.


  • “Plogging” means to pick up trash while jogging or walking.
  • “Plog-Along Pack” means a water-proof trash receptacle bag, working gloves, sanitizer, trash picker-upper tool, and face mask, while supplies last.
  • “Participant” means the individual who participates in the Plogging Challenge under the terms of this Challenge.


  • The Challenge is open to Montgomery County residents only. The Challenge is not open to companies, educational institutions, organizations, etc. or to groups associated with such institutions.
  • Participants must be of sufficient legal age and standing to enter into a contract with DEP and MEC as required below.

How to PLAY

  • To be eligible, Participants must take a picture of them Plogging in Montgomery County and either tag our Instagram account @mcenergyconnection or use our hashtag #MontgomeryPlogs on Instagram.
  • Participants can alternately can submit photos via email to energy@montgomerycountymd.gov.
  • All entries must be received or posted with the hashtag by midnight for the daily drawings and by midnight on the last day of each month for the monthly drawings.
  • All submissions will be entered into a drawing to select one daily winner from October 18-24, 2020 and monthly through January 31, 2021 of a Plog-Along Pack.
  • Each participant and/or household can only win once per month.
  • The Plogging Challenge launched on October 18, 2020 and had daily drawings for Plog-Along Pack winners through October 24, 2020.
  • The Plogging Challenge will continue through June 30, 2021, and continue to have monthly drawings for Plog-Along Pack winners.
  • Eligibility and Play rules still apply for monthly drawing winners.
  • All Plog-Along Packs will be mailed to drawing winners.
  • The drawing winners will be congratulated and announced on MEC’s Instagram account upon approval from each drawing winner.
  • There is no fee to play the Challenge.


Subject to the legal requirements outlined above, daily and monthly drawing winners will receive via mail:

  1. Plog-Along Pack, while supplies last
  2. A congratulations announcement on the MEC Instagram account


Participation constitutes the Participant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. By participating in the Game, the Participant is representing and warranting that he/she/they has read and understood, and agrees to be bound by, these rules. By submitting your photo via email, you agree to receive emails, promotions, and general messages from Montgomery Energy Connection. Including the guides and rules referred to herein, these Official Rules constitute the entire agreement between the Participant, DEP and MEC in relation to the Challenge. They govern the Participant’s participation and supersede any prior or other agreements between the Participant, DEP and MEC and relating to the Challenge. By sending us your photos and videos, you are agreeing to our standard Terms of Service and the additional terms set forth below:

Additional Terms of Use for Photo and Video Submissions 

By submitting your photo(s) or video, you agree that such photo(s) and/or videos and the accompanying information will become the property of montgomeryenergyconnection.org and you grant montgomeryenergyconnection.org, the Montgomery Energy Connection and their affiliates permission to publicly display, copy, reproduce and use the photographs and video in any form or media, whether now known or hereafter devised, for any and all editorial and related promotional purposes without making payment or other remuneration to you or any third party. You represent and warrant that (i) the photo and/or video is your original work, or is properly licensed by you, and does not violate the copyright or any other personal or property right of any third party, and (ii) you have obtained any and all releases and permissions necessary for us to publicly display, copy, reproduce and use the photo and/or video as described above. Your submission also allows montgomeryenergyconnection.org to edit, crop or otherwise alter any submission as it chooses. Monthly winners will be announced the second Monday of each month on Instagram and in the monthly newsletter.

20 comments on "#MontgomeryPlogs – Join the Challenge"

  1. Joel Teitelbaum says:

    I pick up litter in Park (Lyttonsville/Rosemary Hills Local Park) near my home every time I walk through it – approximately 5x per week. But, it is disheartening to observe many Park users negligently dropping waste litter including food containers and bottles along Park Trails, next to Park Benches, and on Park playing fields they use frequently or occasionally – despite Large lidded Waste containers situated clearly along Parks Trails and adjacent to playing fields in many Parks. Litter is often dropped on or along sidewalks and streets in neighborhoods and at edges of County Recreation Centers and free parking lots. I am constantly surprised and chagrined at how casual people are about littering, including dropping used/dirty Corona Virus masks on the paved Trails. Park signage does virtually nothing to deter such careless Littering. I feel a coordinated Parks Department and County (Transportation, Recreation Departments/DEP/MCPS) anti-Littering/education campaign is essential with timely inspections/ assessment of Fines/banned use of Parks playing fields on individuals and Sport Team groupings caught littering.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Joel, thank you for this suggestion – it is something that we are definitely working on – please continue doing the amazing work of helping to keep our parks clean.

    2. Nina says:

      Thank you for all that garbage picking. I do the same while my son goes kayaking. I completely agree that we need fines and enforcement of litter laws along with a campaign. When I pick up litter along Beach drive, people often thank me. Just don’t understand why people feel it is ok to just throw their waste wherever they happen to be. At least there are garbage cans around. In some of the parks in DC along the river there is no trash pickup. People often put dog waste in plastic bags and leave them ,which seems worse than just leaving the poo.

      1. Larissa Johnson says:

        Nina, We also get frustrated with trash on the ground! Thank you for helping out with picking up what you can! We are working on more efforts to educate people about how important it is to put trash in it’s place. Fines may be a great tool, but unfortunately it is a hard act to catch people doing and there are very important issues the Police department deals with each day, so they do not always have the capacity to enforce the litter laws. We do our best to enforce on illegal dumping and providing enough trash receptacles for people to do the right thing.

    3. Marian Westley says:

      Good morning Joel. I also plog regularly at Lyttonsville/Rosemary Hills Local Park. I recently met Larissa and she has my permission to share my email address with you if you would like to coordinate with me.

      1. Joel Teitelbaum says:

        To: Marian Westley,

        My E-mail address is joelanthro@yahoo.com

        Let’s talk. Joel Teitelbaum

  2. Nichelle Isaac says:

    What a fun idea! Thanks for getting the community involved in taking care of the environment. I wanted to ask whether you could provide some tips on how to do this safely, considering the pandemic where contact with other people’s things is a risky behavior. Thanks!

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      Nichelle, thank you for your comment. Please follow social distancing guidelines provided at: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/
      1. Wear a mask
      2. Stay at least 6ft away from people not in your household
      3. Use gloves and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
      4. Please make sure to dispose of disposable masks and gloves appropriately
      5. Finally, thank you for helping keep Montgomery County’s rivers and streams clean!

  3. I’ve been picking up other people’s trash where ever I go for many years. I do it for my kids future. I have a suggestion: When they mow the grass at Candy Cane Park and other parks they run over what ever plastic bottles and aluminum cans, etc. people have left behind. When I go to pick it up I have to pick up a hundred pieces instead of one. Can you put a trash “rake” or “vacuum” on the front to gather that stuff up first so it doesn’t get shredded? I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      David, thank you for letting us know about this issue, we have spoken with Montgomery Parks Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) and the best thing for you to do is to fill out this form: https://www.montgomeryparks.org/services/report-a-problem/

      Thank you again for sending us this message.

  4. DAVID HERSHEY says:

    I walk along Watts Branch Park in Rockville/Potomac and pick up trash. It is sad to see all the trash in the creek and on the ground. The worst is plastic foam and plastic. I always pick up glass or metal that can hurt someone or wildlife. What i pick up I put in my own trash can, minus the cleanable balls of all types, which I give to neighborhood kids.

    1. Larissa Johnson says:


      Thank you for helping to pick up trash in Montgomery County! We hope all of our combined efforts to reduce litter will result in less trash ending up in our environment. We appreciate it!

  5. Susan Pourian says:

    Are you promoting Montgomery County Plogging year-round? If so, is there information we can share with our neighborhood? I only find info on the October highlight. I think it’s a great concept to promote year-round. Thanks for the programs and all you can do to help build the awareness of stormwater issues, and the problems of litter/plastic waste being carried to our waterways.
    As everyone else who has made comments, we are amazed at how much litter comes about. Through the wintertime, with most leaves off the trees, I have noticed green pet waste bags that have been thrown into wooded areas; this is very disheartening. A big problem area is along Tuckerman Lane, near/east of the Grosvenor Metro: there are a couple dozen tossed pet waste bags scattered amongst the bramble on the other side of the fence in that area.
    We organize community Litter Walks/Plogs in and around our neighborhood a couple times a month but that area is too tricky for us to get into.
    I also want to say I have noticed an increase in caring citizenry with many more people “plogging” on their own or in small groups – every little bit helps!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Susan – we are promoting Plogging for the rest of the year. One thing I would encourage is putting up some pet waste signs along trail. I will be emailing you with the details!

      Thank you for all you do!

  6. Rachel Machhi says:

    My kids want to do a trash pickup for SSL hours, but it’s limited to parks in Rockville. If anyone has any suggestions for some Rockville parks that “need attention” I’d be happy to set them in that direction.

  7. ASP says:

    Please let me know asap if you’re able to update your Winter Bingo card to a Spring Bingo Card so we may use this as a middle school activity. If you are not set-up to do so, perhaps you could just update the images (?) and we’ll create our own version. We would like to help support both Moco and the area and stream near their school which is also seeking volunteers, but could weave in some of your program, as well. Thx!

    1. Larissa Johnson says:

      Thank you for contacting us – Montgomery Parks is not planning to update their BINGO board but they are working with Montgomery Greenfest and have created new opportunities: https://montgomerycountygreenfest.org/family-fun/ – hope you are able to participate in one of those 🙂

  8. Yen Hoang says:

    Hello! Are plogging kits still being given out? Just learned about this but am seeing that all the distribution dates are past. With all the COVID masks that we’re seeing, our volunteers desperately need the right tools. Thanks.

  9. Lynn Kerr says:

    Hi, could someone contact me about registration please? I’ve registered both my kids (middle schoolers looking for SSL) with my one email address and the way Litterati is set up I need to change one to a new email address – thanks!

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