Tag Archive: education

Stream Critters – Yellow Lance Mussel

Introduction Can animals that look like rocks and are capable of trickery and bloodsucking have a positive effect on water quality? What if those same animals had common names like fuzzy pigtoe, purple wartyback, winged spike, fluted elephantear, rough rabbitsfoot, and orangefoot pimpleback? Could you take them seriously? It’s time to meet the stream critter

“Lighten Up” Lightbulb Exchange

Montgomery Energy Connection, a program of Montgomery County is excited to bring “Lemonade & LEDs” to your Pool. Join us on Thursday, August 26th at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center to swap out your old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. Our motto is “lemons are sour, saving money is sweet!” Come swap your bulbs

Stream Critters – Marbled Salamander

Introduction Marbled salamanders are marvelous critters. These thin-skinned, cold-blooded salamanders – and frogs and toads – survive winters without coats. That’s amazing. Salamanders can lose a leg or tail and grow back a completely new one. That’s incredible. Marbled salamanders spend most of their lives underground, each one alone, hidden away. But if you know

Stream Critters – Giant Stonefly

Introduction Picture this: an ancient adult stonefly lands on a stegosaurus. The stegosaurus doesn’t notice. The stonefly is looking for a mate, not a huge dinosaur, and it flies away. No big deal. The stegosaurus moves over to the river to get a drink. It swallows many gallons of water along with hundreds of ancient

Stream Critters – Acuminate Crayfish

Introduction “Look! Right there! Under that rock in the middle of the stream! Is that a lobster?” Nope. It’s a crayfish, the smaller freshwater cousin of the lobster. You can’t see a lobster in Maryland except in a saltwater aquarium or on a plate in a restaurant. However, if you look closely, you can find

“Lighten Up” Lightbulb Exchange

Montgomery Energy Connection, a program of Montgomery County is excited to bring “Lemonade & LEDs” to your Farmers’ Market. Join us on Sunday, August 1st at the Bethesda Central Farmers’ Market to swap out your old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. Our motto is “lemons are sour, saving money is sweet!” Come swap your

Stream Critters

Introduction Eels have mystified people from Aristotle who thought they developed from earthworms to young Sigmund Freud who couldn’t find what makes a male eel a male and who switched to something he felt more comfortable with – developing psychoanalysis.¹  Scientists have learned much more about eels in the last century. Montgomery County residents who

Extra Credit Opportunities: Learn about the climate this summer! 

While MCPS may be out for the summer, there’s no need for students to pause their climate education. Numerous organizations are offering affordable, virtual camps and workshops focused on the environment and climate change. These educational opportunities are a great way for your student to begin or continue building their knowledge of climate issues.  To all Montgomery County students, we wish you a happy summer and happy learning! 

“Lighten Up” Lightbulb Exchange

Montgomery Energy Connection, a program of Montgomery County is excited to bring “Lemonade & LEDs” to your Farmers’ Market. Join us on Sunday, May 30th at the Olney Farmers’ Market to swap out your old incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. Our motto is “lemons are sour, saving money is sweet!” Come swap your bulbs

Kemp Mill Shallow Marsh Wetland

Wetlands Provide Ecosystem Services Wetlands are often described as the “kidneys of the landscape.” They help remove pollutants from runoff and moderate the flow of water to mitigate floods and drought. Wetland vegetation provides filtering, pollutant uptake, and slows down incoming runoff, allowing sediment and associated pollutants to settle out. The vegetative cover also provides

Cicada Countdown

The Cicadas are Coming! You’ve no doubt heard by now that the periodical cicada Brood X will soon make its above-ground appearance in the local landscape. As the progeny of the last major brood emergence in 2004, this spring’s brood has spent the past 17 years underground benignly feeding on the roots of trees. Around

Booze Creek Gets a Face Lift

Nearly 1400 young trees find a new home along Booze Creek  As of April 2021, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection has completed more than three quarters of the Booze Creek stream restoration project.  Efforts are now focused on providing new homes for trees within the riparian area along the stream. The project, which

Fern Fronds Unfurl for Spring

As spring continues its procession, native ferns awaken to the sun and warming earth by unfurling their leaves, called fronds, that emerge from the base of the plant as tightly wound fiddleheads.  Ferns come in a wide range of colors and shapes.  They are easy to grow and rarely bothered by deer. Here are examples

2020 didn’t slow down the Watershed Restoration team  

Its that time of year that our office has come to love. Time to submit our annual report to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for the County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. Yes, it’s a mouthful but its how DEP works to protect and improve our water quality. So what’s gone on this past year (July 1

Winter starts the new garden year

Gardeners know: when the days start to lengthen, it’s time to get back to the garden. One of the typical garden activities of winter is ordering seeds and plants. Another is cutting back perennials and grasses in anticipation of Spring, especially in sunny gardens.  I leave my perennials, which are predominantly native plants, standing up

Signs of Spring: Fish!

Signs of spring are beginning to appear but, what makes it springtime? Who you ask will determine the answer you receive. If they are like most of my friends, it is the weather that makes them say it is spring. However, I also know a fair amount of people that will refuse to say that

FeBREWary 2021!

Guess what’s brewing? For the entire month of FeBREWary, we will be visiting local OUTDOOR breweries to bring you socially distant ways to swap out old, inefficient bulbs. Why? Because we want you to be able to spend more money at local breweries this month and all year round and one way to do that

FeBREWary 2021!

Guess what’s brewing? For the entire month of FeBREWary, we will be visiting local OUTDOOR breweries to bring you socially distant ways to swap out old, inefficient bulbs. Why? Because we want you to be able to spend more money at local breweries this month and all year round and one way to do that

Road Salt is a Problem

Salt is useful because it is inexpensive and somewhat effective in breaking down ice and snow on our roads.  Following a storm, major roads need to be safe and passable. Salt is dangerous because: at high levels it is toxic to plant and animal life, it corrodes our roads, bridges, and pipes (like in Flint

RainScapes Rewards Program Pausing for a Few Months

We want to thank all that have expressed interest in our RainScapes Rewards program this year. We have received a record number of rebate applications, and at this time need to take a pause while we process the applications we have already received. From October 12, 2020 until February 14, 2021 we will not be

Fit Kit and LED Pop Up

“This fall, the County’s Residential Energy Program has partnered with local Senior Centers to celebrate “Active Aging Week”. This is a collaborative effort with MCDEP and the county senior centers to celebrate the change in season and reduce energy use in the home. Montgomery Energy Connection will be partnering with various senior centers to provide

Fit Kit and LED Pop Up

“This fall, the County’s Residential Energy Program has partnered with local Senior Centers to celebrate “Active Aging Week”. This is a collaborative effort with MCDEP and the county senior centers to celebrate the change in season and reduce energy use in the home. Montgomery Energy Connection will be partnering with various senior centers to provide

The Power of Scooping Poop

Have you ever heard of the Poop Fairy? No? Probably because there is no such thing. Pet owners across Montgomery County are responsible for picking up their pet’s waste when in public areas and at home. Pet waste is unpleasant to look at or step in and it does not smell good. Not only does

Becoming a Beekeeper

How did I get started? I got interested in beekeeping out of a desire to make a small benefit to our yard and neighborhood.  My wife and I have always been gardeners; growing plants for the benefit of pollinators, including honeybees, was a part of our approach.  Over the years we’ve bought honey from local

No One Wants Trashy Water: Pollution Prevention

What is the Problem?  Litter in our communities is detrimental local wildlife as it pollutes streams. Litter can be any piece of trash that is not put into the correct receptacle and is instead left in an open area. Plastic bottles, face masks and gloves, soda cans, paper, and pet waste all count as litter

Caring for Sligo Creek Walking Tour

County Green Streets and RainScapes Rewards projects in the Sligo Park Hills neighborhood provided inspiration to representatives of local congregations who recently attended a walking tour hosted by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in partnership with Montgomery County and the Friends of Sligo Creek. The tour is part of a Caring for Sligo Creek Sacred

Monitoring Montgomery County’s Streams

Did you know that September 18th is World Water Monitoring Day? Since 1995 Montgomery County has maintained a stream monitoring program. As a result, the program has tracked water quality and stream condition changes throughout the County. Monitoring Countywide Monitoring fulfills requirements under state and local regulations and occurs on a yearly basis.  DEP monitoring

Climate Education Resources

Incorporating climate literacy and education about climate change into schools is an important factor in making Montgomery County a more sustainable community and necessary to meet our goal of zero carbon emissions by 2035. In the days of COVID-19, in person trainings on climate change education are few and far between, but there are a

Artistic Messages of Consciousness, Community, and Clean Water

If you look closely, you will find many beautifully painted storm drains across Montgomery County with messages highlighting the importance of clean water and protecting the Chesapeake Bay. These designs were created by county residents who entered in the annual Clean Water Art Contest over the past few years. Past winners of this contest have

Stormwater Best Management Practices

August is water quality awareness month. At the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) the Watershed Restoration Division’ entire focus is water protection year-round! The Watershed Restoration Division is responsible for Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP).  What does that mean? Stormwater BMPs include physical structures, the use of plants and root systems to soak

Explore County’s water quality restoration work through interactive map and learn ways to save money!

This past June, the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) developed an interactive web map with dynamic infographics.  The interactive map displays the County’s restoration efforts that have taken place between 2010 and 2018. This includes projects such as stream restorations, improving stormwater ponds, tree plantings and installing rain gardens.   How to use the

Streams of Consciousness: Knowing Where Our Stormwater Goes

Many storm drains in Montgomery County lead straight to streams, which then feed into larger streams and rivers and eventually lead to the Chesapeake Bay. We pass these storm drains every day, but we don’t take the time to think about what substances pass through them and, ultimately, how we contribute daily to the quality

Clean Water Art Contest Winners!

Every year we host an art contest to help us with educating Montgomery County residents on the importance of protecting our communities and local waters – our rivers and streams.  The goal is to educate everyone that everything that ends on sidewalks, roads, yards, any hard surface on the ground can eventually flow to our
Lewy family at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

Volunteer Champions: The Lewy Family

    The Lewy Family was recognized as Volunteer Family of the Year during DEP’s 20th Annual Recycling Achievement Ceremony. Find out more about The Lewy Family in our series, Volunteer Champions.   Super Family, Super Volunteers   Vivian and her son, Issac, a rising high school freshman and her twin daughters Adrienna and Brienna,

Register for a spring RainScapes training course!

The RainScapes program offers low-cost trainings to residents of Montgomery County, MD who are interested in using their property to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife.  RainScapes, include rain barrels, rain gardens and conservation landscaping. These are extremely popular, so don’t miss out! Make and Take Rain Barrel Workshop Workshop Dates and Times: Thursday,

Putting the ART back in partnership

National Park Service and Montgomery County sign new 10-year agreement for shared management of Glen Echo Park. Glen Echo Park, famous for its carousel, Spanish ballroom, arts programs and Civil Rights history, will be managed cooperatively by the National Park Service (NPS) and Montgomery County for the next 10 years. This successful local-federal partnership benefits

The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program is now OPEN!

The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant program, offered by the Montgomery County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is now accepting proposals to support watershed restoration and outreach throughout Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program encourages small-scale on-the-ground restoration practices like rain gardens and permeable pavement to reduce

Montgomery County stormwater summit for homeowners

On June 6 the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of Maryland (UMD) hosted a Montgomery County Stormwater Summit for Homeowners at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. This event, part of larger project funded by a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant and the Montgomery County Water Quality Charge, was attended by more than 70 folks from

The Montgomery County green infrastructure stormwater tour was a big success!

Chesapeake Awareness Week was the first week in June and the celebration kicked off with a Stormwater Tour! On May 31st, two busloads of landscape architects, designers, engineers, and environmental professionals took a three hour tour of green infrastructure sites, soils, and plants. The sites are managed by Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP),

Blue Spotlight On: The Anacostia Watershed

This is the first in an upcoming series where we put the “Blue Spotlight” on a local watershed. You’ll get a quick look at this watershed and some of the challenges and opportunities to keep it healthy. About the Anacostia Watershed The 176 square mile Anacostia watershed spans Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the
Image of workshop attendees assembling a rain barrel.

Register for a spring RainScapes training course!

The RainScapes program offers low-cost trainings to residents of Montgomery County, MD who are interested in using their property to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife.  RainScapes, include rain barrels, rain gardens and conservation landscaping. These are extremely popular, so don’t miss out! Make and Take Rain Barrel Workshop Workshop Dates and Times: Wednesday,
MCPS Bioretention Garden with students

MCPS students learn about bioretention gardens

Doug Marshall, a Watershed Planner with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, recently met with the members of the Green Team Club of Newport Mill Middle School to talk about their local waters and pollution.    Cynthia Nystrom, a teacher at Newport Mill, reached out to DEP and asked if a staff member could
Image of a family volunteering together.

Make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a day ON, not a day off!

MLK Day is a federal and school holiday, but more importantly, it has become an annual Day of Service celebrated across the country. Honor the memory and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by volunteering to improve our community! On January 15, 2018, volunteer at a Day of Service event near you. Not sure where to

Saving dollars and watts: Highlights from Energy Action Month

One month ago, Montgomery County Council proclaimed October “Energy Action Month” in Montgomery County, as part of the national effort to raise awareness about energy. Here at the Department of Environmental Protection, we celebrated all month long by hosting events and workshops to teach residents all about energy: how we use it, why energy efficiency

An avenue of discovery with SEEC and the Silver Spring Timebank

Have you heard of SEEC? — Their name is an acronym that sums up their mission: Seeking Equality, Empowerment, and Community for People with Developmental Disabilities. This summer, Brandon Davis, Phillip Chen, and Freddie Fantleroy, people SEEC serves, earned hours through the Silver Spring Timebank by helping Tina Slater, a Timebank member, finish a home project in

DEP and MCPS team up to protect our waterways

On October 17th, fifth grade students from Strathmore Elementary School cut the ribbon to mark the officially completion of four Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) rain gardens. County Executive Isiah Leggett, MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith, DEP Director Lisa Feldt, Strathmore Elementary School Principal Tivinia G. Nelson and Principal Intern Carrie Zimmerman joined the
First night of the Green Infrastructure Training Program

Montgomery County hosts workforce development training for the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, WorkSource Montgomery and Montgomery College have partnered to sponsor a free training series to prepare workers in the growing green infrastructure industry. The 40-hour course, which filled quickly, began Monday and runs for three weeks. The training covers topics needed to prepare for the nationally accredited green infrastructure

The 7th annual H2O Summit is Saturday

You’re invited to the H2O Summit this Saturday in Rockville! This free event is focused on connecting residents, nonprofit organizations and government agencies together to share ideas and programs focused on improving our local waterways. H2O Summit Details Saturday, September 16 from 9:30am to 3pm Free and open to all! The Rockville Senior Center is located
Image of two volunteers carrying bags of trash during the White Oak Earth Day Cleanup

Nominate to the Community Leader + Stream Volunteer Awards

Montgomery County takes pride in the selfless residents, businesses, civil servants, and students who donate thousands of hours to numerous community service opportunities. Our residents make up a vast community of dedicated volunteers who make a true difference in the livability of Montgomery County. The Community Leader/Stream Volunteer award highlights an individual who is committed