Tag Archive: environment

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

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

“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

Join in the Celebration – Únete a la Celebración

Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week!   We like to believe that every day should include awareness on how we affect our communities, rivers, stream and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.  However, we realize there are many issues competing for your attention. To help bring the issues to the forefront of everyone’s busy lives, the first full week of

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

Virtual – History Happy Hour: How Trees Can Save the Earth

Trees may hold the key to the future of life on Earth. Trees for the Future teaches farmers to use sustainable techniques to improve their land and their livelihoods. Just as Sandy Springers from 100 years ago led the way in new agricultural practices, this Silver Spring-based international organization has facilitated the planting of more

Black to the Future: Radically Imagining Liberatory Futures

Black to the Future: Radically Imagining Liberatory Futures Register here.(link is external) There is no such thing as a sustainable, environmental future without thriving Black communities. This discussion will center and radically imagine an environmental future–places where Black people can thrive! We have to imagine what that looks like and co-create it. We will hear

Food for the Soul: Nourishing our Minds and Bodies

Food for the Soul: Nourishing our Minds and Bodies Register here.(link is external) Food is central to our holistic well-being. Including more plant-based options into your diet is made easier when you have a guide! This cooking demo will feature vegetarian/vegan chef, Asya Harrison (@veggies4asya) for a tasty and easy to make plant based meal.

We Are All Environmentalists: Exploring Different Shades of Green

We Are All Environmentalists: Exploring Different Shades of Green Register here.(link is external) Environmentalism is a legacy rooted in the global Black community, who have fostered positive change and advocated for healthy inclusive futures. This discussion brings together a community of dynamic environmentalists, ranging from scholars to community organizers, to culminate and celebrate that the

Black Planet: Black Environmental Legacies, Present & Futures

Black Planet: Black Environmental Legacies, Present & Futures Register here. This discussion will bring together a community of scholars-activists from academia and non-profit organizations for a rich dialogue on the legacy of Black environmental leadership, scholarship and activism. Black people around the world have founded, shaped and driven environmental movements, and this conversation honors those


Website: #BlackinEnvironment Week(link is external) Join Black in Environment for a fantastic lineup of events and speakers from April 19–23rd, and be sure to follow @BlackinEnviron on Instagram(link is external) and Twitter(link is external) for daily stories and chats.

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

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

How to Safely Apply Salt in the Winter

We are all familiar with the crunch of salt underfoot after a snowstorm in Montgomery County. But where does this salt go after the snow and ice has melted? What are the environmental, health, and economic consequences of excessive salt usage in the Winter? What is the problem? Salt left sitting on roads and sidewalks

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

Reducing Stormwater Runoff and the Use of Deicing Chemicals

Pervious Pavement: What is it?  Pervious pavement is a system for reducing stormwater runoff, ensuring less pollutants enter our waterways, as well as reducing the use of deicing chemicals during winter storm events.  These practices provide a strong, solid surface that can be installed on driveways, walkways, and patios. Three of the most widely used

ONE MONTGOMERY GREEN, INC (OMG) Virtual Holiday Party 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual holiday party will take place virtually on December 16, 2020 at 6:00 PM. Adriana Hochberg, Climate Change Coordinator and Assistant Administrative Office in the Office of County Executive will present the draft Montgomery County Climate Action Plan. For the past few years, OMG has joined in support

15 in Fifteen Energy and Lawns Trivia Game

In celebration of Energy Awareness Month, October 2020, Montgomery Energy Connection will be hosting several 15 in Fifteen Trivia Games in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. What is 15 in Fifteen Trivia? It is fifteen questions in 15 minutes (about energy/other topics) in a fun, fast paced trivia game to get

15 in Fifteen Energy and Trees Trivia Game

In celebration of Energy Awareness Month, October 2020, Montgomery Energy Connection will be hosting several 15 in Fifteen Trivia Games in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. What is 15 in Fifteen Trivia? It is fifteen questions in 15 minutes (about energy/other topics) in a fun, fast paced trivia game to get

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

Steps to a deeper shade of green

Several years ago, one of my friends told me I was the “greenest person she knew!” Although surprised, my “normal” is apparently not the norm. I am constantly trying to harness the greenest of measures for mutual benefit! When I reflect on how I got to this point, it has been a gradual process but

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

Maintenance and Inspection of Stormwater Best Management Practices

Did you know there are more than 17,000 Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Montgomery County? These stormwater BMPs protect rivers, streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay! Stormwater BMPs are designed to help reduce water pollution and protect stream habitat. How do they function? Stormwater BMPs reduce or eliminate pollution that washes off surrounding lands

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

Plan Now for Garden Success

With the holidays behind and the slower pace of winter taken hold, this is a great time to reflect on your garden goals for the coming year, including plans for new landscaping. Knowing what you want to accomplish now will save time and help better position your project ahead of the spring rush. So, time

Watershed Restoration Division – 2019 Highlights!

The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water and land in a sustainable way while fostering smart growth, a thriving economy and healthy communities. The Watershed Restoration Division is dedicated to improving stream health and water

#GiftGreener: Gift RainScapes

It’s that gifting time of year!  Wonder what to get for your loved ones? Does anyone on your gift list enjoy gardening? Lucky for you, Montgomery County has the RainScapes program to help reduce stormwater runoff and make your garden more green! The RainScapes program offers technical and financial assistance to encourage property owners to

What flows down the street, goes to the creek!

…And we have proof! Bill Wydro, a board members of the Regency Estates Citizens Association conducts periodic litter patrols of his neighborhood. One area routinely checked is Snakeden Creek, next to the entrance of the Regency Estates community swimming pool. There are 2 approximately 7’ diameter culverts that go under Gainsbourgh Road and open into

Working together to protect our streams

In 2009, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) embarked on a multifaceted effort to reverse decades of neglect and improve water quality and habitat conditions in a small tributary to Sligo Creek called the Breewood tributary. Breewood Watershed Located east of Wheaton at the intersection of University Boulevard and Arcola Avenue, the Breewood watershed

Serving the community on the annual MLK Day of Service

In 1983, the third Monday in January became a federal holiday to commemorate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Eleven years later, the day was designated a National Day of Service as a way to honor Dr. King’s legacy, by helping create solutions to social problems and strengthen communities. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,
Film screening at GreenFest

Attend the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital!

The DC region will host the 25th annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (EFF) from March 14th-26th.  The festival is a showcase of environmental documentaries, shorts and movies from around the world.  Many of the screenings feature panel discussions or talks by those behind the camera. In Montgomery County, there will be screenings the AFI Silver
Icicles on a tree branch

Become more environmentally friendly this holiday season!

If you asked me what my priorities are for this holiday season, chances are high that my answer would include being productive, staying healthy, and enjoying time with my family and friends. If I’m being completely honest with myself, my answer would not include becoming more environmentally friendly. Until I began researching blog ideas that were relevant

Thanks for making the Montgomery County GreenFest a success!

This year’s Montgomery County GreenFest was held last Saturday, April 30th, and we couldn’t have asked for a better event! The festival was held in beautiful Takoma Park, with activities stretching throughout the Takoma Park Community Center and outside along Maple Avenue. The weather held out despite a week-long stretch of rain, and the sun