events

Green Businesses connect, network, and teach at Montgomery County GreenFest!

Green Businesses connect, network, and teach at Montgomery County GreenFest!
On Saturday May 5th, 2018, Montgomery County GreenFest took place in Jesup Blair Local Park in Silver Spring. The largest GreenFest to date, it drew more than 1,000 attendees and 90 exhibitors, all of whom created an atmosphere of enthusiastic learning and fun!

GreenFest is the County’s signature environmental festival, hosted each year on the first Saturday in May. Attendance is on the rise and certified Green Businesses from across the County decided to make the most of the opportunity to connect with hundreds of residents. All Eco Center, Bethesda Green, Clean Choice Energy, EcoBeco, Neighborhood Sun, and Montgomery College Silver Spring/Takoma Park Facilities team all showed up to exhibit and promote their business to event attendees and park visitors throughout the day.

Certified Green Businesses contributed to learning opportunities at the event, too. GreenFest 2018 featured hands-on, free workshops, and Mark Mills of Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm graciously agreed to teach a “quick pickling” workshop on May 5th. Mark stated, “As a certified organic and Certified Naturally Grown vegetable farm, we work hard to bring local, organic produce that is colorful, and nutritious, to communities throughout Montgomery County. The values of GreenFest align well with what we aim to achieve with Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm: taking steps to live a greener life by focusing on real change each of us can make, in our own community. That’s why I decided to offer this workshop today!”

Click through this album to see Mark’s workshop in action, and other certified Green Businesses making the most of GreenFest.

  And save the date – GreenFest 2019 will be on Saturday May 4th, more details to come!

Lighten the Load with DEP and Safeway

Lighten the Load with DEP and Safeway
Get up to 3 LEDs and a free reusable bag at an upcoming Safeway event!

Bring in your old incandescent or CFL light bulbs and DEP will exchange them for up to 3 new and energy efficient LEDs. The ENERGY STAR®-certified LEDs we’re giving away offer a warm white light that’s equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

Not only will you save money by getting free LEDs, but also you’ll pocket money from lower electric bills. You could cut your utility bill by at least $25 per year by replacing five traditional, incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

LED prices have declined 85 percent in recent years, and bulbs can be bought for as little as $2 to $5.

   

Mondays from 4-6pm at a Safeway near you:


 

  The giveaway is a partnership between Department of Environmental Protection and Safeway. DEP Logo Square Safeway

Announcing the 2018 Energy Express schedule!

Announcing the 2018 Energy Express schedule!
Energy Express was such a success last year, that we’re returning in 2018 with a brand new program!

This year, we’ll be at 18 libraries in June and July with an educational activity focused on electricity and conserving energy. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection hosts Energy Express in partnership with Montgomery County Public Libraries.

View the Energy Express schedule here. Register for an Energy Express activity on the MCPL website.

 

Pictures from Last Year’s Energy Express

Energy Express   Kids enjoying Energy Express   Participants in Energy Express   Energy Express from 2017

Celebration Amidst the Rain: Little Falls Community rallies around a new Bioretention

Celebration Amidst the Rain: Little Falls Community rallies around a new Bioretention
It was a dark and stormy night…

Well, you know how the story goes. And recently, it seems we’ve had many stormy days and nights in Montgomery County!

According to the Washington Post, in the last 26 days, our area has received more than 10.4 inches of rain. This ranks second most on record for this time of year. We have also seen five separate storms unload at least an inch of rain.

On May 19th, we definitely felt some of that rain at the Little Falls Library but to many of us, it was a good thing – it was our chance to see a brand new bioretention in action, doing what it was made to do.

 
Bioretention Drainage

The completed bioretention treats 0.77 acres of impervious surfaces such as the library’s roof and parking lot. Nearly 700 plants were installed just days prior to the event.


  DEP, the Little Falls Library, Little Falls Watershed Alliance (LFWA) and the Friends of the Little Falls Library all worked together to host the Little Falls Watershed Celebration. While it was rough setting up for the event as the rain poured down on us, it ended up being a great time for both the planners and the community.

Mikel Moore, LFWA, led the effort and brought the groups together to host the event. Residents had the chance to learn about stormwater, the Little Falls watershed, native plants, soil, macroinvertebrate (stream bugs) and more. There were even kids crafts and a blue grass band to set the mood.

 

A long time in the making

After initial analysis, the bioretention project began in 2012 by requesting bids from engineering firms. Once one was awarded, the process of permitting, cost estimates, designs, and public meetings began. After 5 years in development, construction commenced in 2017 coinciding with the refresh of the library. The celebration event culminated the many years of planning and even featured a planting of 700 plants days before.

It was great to see so many residents come out in the rain to celebrate this wonderful community amenity and support the health of their local watershed.

For more information about the project, visit our website.

 
Residents learning how stormwater happens during the festival

Residents learning how stormwater happens during the festival

 
Frank Dawson, Watershed Restoration Division Chief, planting the final aster with an area resident.

Frank Dawson, Watershed Restoration Division Chief, planting the final aster with an area resident.

 
Everyone celebrating the "official" opening of the bioretention

Everyone celebrating the “official” opening of the bioretention

 
Sarah Morse, Little Falls Watershed Alliance Executive Director, checking out the new Bioretention sign

Sarah Morse, Little Falls Watershed Alliance Executive Director, checking out the new Bioretention sign

 
The ribbon cutting

The ribbon cutting

 
The Little Falls bioretention celebration

The Little Falls bioretention celebration

 

GreenFest Gravy: Businesses see benefits too

GreenFest Gravy: Businesses see benefits too
GreenFest is billed as a family-friendly celebration with music, exhibitors, and games focused on engaging and inspiring the public. But at an event of the size and scale of GreenFest, it is not just Montgomery County residents who benefit. Area businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations also take away new knowledge, ideas and partnerships to help them expand their messages and brands.

For Silver Spring-based company Sunlight-To-The Rescue, the chance to meet area eco-conscious families proved a great way to show the advantages of residential solar energy.

“As a small solar energy business, GreenFest gave me the opportunity to network with the Montgomery County green energy family, meet prospective customers and let the community know about our business and the benefits of going solar,” company co-founder and CEO Jean-Yves Dalle said. “We made excellent contacts and generated great leads.”

 
Sierra Club at GreenFest

Sierra Club at GreenFest

  Tiffany’s Oven, a Greenbelt caterer specializing in vegan fare appetizers, sandwiches, meals and desserts, said GreenFest was a great place to meet potential new customers and introduce them to what they do and how they do it.

“GreenFest is a wonderful outlet for a new vegan business like ours because it exposes us to those most interested in clean eating and living,“ owner Tiffany Thomas said, adding that GreenFest visitors noticed the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by doing things like cutting back on handing out business cards.

“Instead, we encourage everyone interested in contacting us at our vendor stand to take a photo of our banner. A lot of people took notice of that and really appreciated it,” said Thomas.

 

Partnerships Pluses

As no company is an island, many green businesses rely on partnerships with the communities they serve and other agencies to help reach new clients and customers.

Happy Joyous & Freewheeling is a D.C.-area nonprofit that teaches middle- and high-school students, adults and families safe bike riding and maintenance skills via community center clinics and workshops and partners with other non-profits. They get the word out about their programs mostly via employer-sponsored events and GreenFest gave them yet another avenue to connect with others.

“GreenFest gives organizations like Happy Joyous and Freewheeling a chance to improve and vitalize ways to travel and commute at the grassroots level in Montgomery County,” David Nam, the organization’s founder and Executive Director, said. “It’s a wonderful chance for HJF to serve the community and help younger cyclists.”

 
Happy Joyous and Freewheeling

Happy Joyous and Freewheeling

  For Bethesda Green, a company focused on innovation, impact, and community to accelerate the sustainable local economy, events like GreenFest help foster community connections and allow the organization to identify future interns.

“It is important for us to stay involved with the community so people know who we are and what we do,” said April Ovens, Bethesda Green office and operations coordinator. “…GreenFest connects us with local green and social impact startups [that] may have interest in our incubator or other beneficial programs…[and] it’s great to see high school students interested and engaged in green related events and projects.“

If your company is looking to connect with local residents, identify new customers or find participants for your business’ programs, pencil Saturday, May 4, 2019 into your calendars now. GreenFest is the event for you!
  By Kimberly Hodges and Felicia Hodges

GreenFest 2018 Recap: Inspiration in an urban park

GreenFest 2018 Recap: Inspiration in an urban park
Jesup Blair Local Park in the heart of Silver Spring was the place to be on May 5 for nearly 1000 festival-goers of all ages looking to enjoy eco-friendly exhibits, workshops and performances. GreenFest, the County’s premiere environmental festival, returned down County for its fourth year and focused on inspiring the public to take action for the environment through exhibitors, workshops and fun!  
DEP exhibit on reducing waste

DEP exhibit on reducing waste

Exhibitors

Visiting the many exhibits situated along the park’s winding trails, was a fun-filled way for families to get their daily steps in. Each booth offered the opportunity to learn something new – from how to grow mushrooms at home to upcoming volunteer opportunities or tips to get started with solar. Each year there is something new on “the green scene”. Some booths provided free resources to help reduce your footprint, including spinach and flower seeds, reusable groceries bags and even paintable trees. “Hey go over there, they have pizza cutters!” one pint-size pizza aficionado shouted across the busy park.  
Mark Mills quick pickling workshop

Mark Mills quick pickling workshop

Workshops

If attendees wanted to take the learning beyond the exhibitors, they might have attended one of four workshops. Each workshop offered practical, hands-on skills like quickling (quick pickling), backyard beekeeping, and finding green jobs via an information and networking session. The small space workshop by Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener Magazine was standing room only, with an impressive crowd of 50 attendees! Mark Mills of Chocolate & Tomatoes Farm – an organic tomato farm and chocolate business located in Germantown and Ashton – hosted a “quickle” demonstration, showing GreenFest attendees how to instantly pickle strawberries, carrots, radishes, green onions and other fruits and vegetables. “The beauty of a quickle is you make it and you either eat it or stick in in your fridge and eat it within a week,” he said. “You really do it for flavor, not for preservation, which is a totally different process. It’ll get you to eat more of your veggies so I think that’s a good thing.”  

Fun!

This year, the addition of live performances allowed UpRooted Dance to premier their latest work, “The Legacy Project: Our Lives of Consumption.” Artistic director Keira Hart-Mendoza said the performance – from the movements to the Marie Antoinette-inspired costumes and wigs made of old newspapers, plastic bottles Tree climbing and other waste – is designed to represent the abundance of trash in our society and how it affects our oceans and the planet. As the dance crew moved around in their costumes to announce their performance, the festival goers stopped to take pictures with them. “It’s ironic that [our] food is consumed very quickly but the container that held it could be around for a very long times,” she said. “Ultimately, our dance is not going to encourage people to change, it’s the education about the message that will – so teaching kids about the three Rs is important.” A tree climbing display located in the Kids Exploration Area helped the younger set get active and learn what it’s like to be a Montgomery County arborist. With the help of experienced adults, harnesses and a pulley system, the arborists-in-training stood in line and took turns climbing large shade trees. “This is the highest I’ve climbed!” said one young attendee proudly as he finished his climb and headed off to experience something new at GreenFest.

By Kimberly Hodges and Felicia Hodges

Lieutenant Governor and Maryland Environment Secretary to present Maryland Green Registry Awards at One Montgomery Green Gala

Lieutenant Governor and Maryland Environment Secretary to present Maryland Green Registry Awards at One Montgomery Green Gala
The Maryland Green Registry will present its Leadership Awards during the One Montgomery Green annual Gala, Thursday, June 28th at the Brookside Gardens Visitors Center in Wheaton, MD. The Awards are presented to five businesses or organizations that have shown a strong commitment to sustainable practices, measurable results, and continual improvement. Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles will recognize this year’s award winners and announce the annual environmental results and cost savings of all Maryland Green Registry members. “We are delighted to be joining forces with One Montgomery Green to present the Leadership awards as part of this year’s Gala,” said Laura Armstrong, Director of the Sustainability Program at the Maryland Department of the Environment. “It is an honor to host these prestigious awards at our annual Green Gala,” said One Montgomery Green Executive Director Wendy Howard. “We are excited to help recognize the awardees and celebrate their efforts in sustainable practices. We are especially pleased to showcase Brookside Gardens, a jewel located in Wheaton Regional Park.” Tickets are available at https://omggreengala2018.eventbrite.com   One Montgomery Green   The Maryland Green Registry is a free, voluntary program created to promote and recognize sustainable practices at organizations of all types and sizes within the state. Businesses, churches, schools, government agencies and other organizations are all invited to join the program and share the steps they’ve taken to reduce their environmental footprint. Visit www.green.maryland.gov One Montgomery Green (OMG) is a nonprofit organization that fosters partnerships to support environmental sustainability and promote the development of a green economy. OMG acts as a catalyst for environmental responsibility among businesses, residents and government to improve the quality of life for all of Montgomery County. For more information, visit www.onemontgomerygreen.org

Come to a Screening of Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste

Come to a Screening of Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste
You’re invited to a screening of the documentary Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste at the Bethesda Landmark Theaters. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q & A with local food waste experts. This screening is brought to you by Montgomery County, Bethesda Green and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.  

The Details:

  Share the event flyer. 

Featured Speakers:

After the screening, we are pleased to welcome these amazing speakers to talk about what individuals, businesses and the Montgomery County community can do about food waste. Maryanne Culpepper is the Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and an award-winning writer/filmmaker with extensive experience in developing, writing and producing high-profile documentaries and nonfiction series.  She is the former President of National Geographic Studios, where she oversaw development and production of 100+ hours of factual programming annually. She recently coproduced Vamizi: Cradle of Coral, a film on the coral reefs of Mozambique, now in international distribution, as well as video and editorial content for a traveling exhibition for science museums. She is an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and serves on the Advisory Council for the Cuba Environmental Film Festival and for Women in Film and Video. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and an Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Cheryl Kollin is the Program Director of Community Food Rescue, a program of Manna Food Center in Montgomery County, Maryland. Community Food Rescue, takes a systems approach to reducing wasted food and increasing good food to people experiencing hunger. Cheryl is a business consultant in local sustainable food systems. She earned her MBA in sustainable business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She’s a founding member of the Montgomery County Food Council. Dan Keiper, currently the Sodexo Dining Services Operations Manager atAsbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD., has been involved in senior dining since his entry into the work force in 1978.  Prior to his coming AMV, Daniel, who is a graduate of George Mason University, has been in management roles in senior communities around the D,.C. area such as Manor Care Arlington, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Knollwood, and the Jefferson by Sunrise. Tanya Spandhla was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Growing up, her parents instilled in her the importance of growing your own produce. It is from this upbringing that inspired her to develop a passion for farming. After exploring numerous opportunities on how she could continue gardening in the US she became a member and active participant of the Montgomery Community Gardening in Germantown, MD since 2010. In 2015, she became part of the New Farmer Pilot Project program initiated by the Montgomery County Dept. of Agriculture in conjunction with the Montgomery Countryside Alliance through the Land Link program. She is in her third year of growing a wide range of vegetables & grains catering to the ever-changing diversity and appetite of Montgomery County and beyond. She has a 3-acre leased farm, which is meaningfully & fittingly named “Passion to Seed Gardening.” Besides farming, Tanya works for an IT company in Rockville. Janet Ranganathan is the Vice President for Science and Research at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an action-oriented global research organization that works in more than 50 countries. She ensures WRI’s research is robust and its strategies evidence-based. She is a co-author of the World Resources Report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future which defines a menu of scalable solutions for how the world can adequately feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 while advancing economic development and reducing pressure on the environment.   Brought to You By: New Bethesda Green Logo Logo of the Environmental Film Festival            

Join our team! DEP is looking for two interns

Join our team! DEP is looking for two interns
DEP is looking for two interns to join our team part-time. The positions are paid. Both internships will start as soon as possible.

Pet Waste Management Program – Division of Watershed Management Operations (1 position)

One of the key responsibilities of DEP is to develop and implement public outreach and educational programs, as well as stewardship strategies to foster sustainable behavior changes to improve our water quality. DEP is seeking an intern to provide support to multiple outreach programs in stormwater management outreach.  The position resides in the Outreach Section of the Division of Watershed Management Operations.

The intern will assist with the following outreach programs.

  1. The Pet Waste Management Program – the intern will perform research and determine the number of Homeowner Associations (HOA), Condominium Associations, and Apartment buildings that currently have a pet waste management program, and will assist with data tabulation from HOAs participating in the County’s programs.
  2. GreenFest, an annual festival for the community to explore their path to a greener life – the intern will provide assistance with strategy logistics and marketing the event.
 

The successful candidate must have the ability to work in a collaborative environment within a large organization with multiple priorities, and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

This position may be required to make field visits/attend meetings or perform work at locations outside the office.  The supervisor or designee will transport the intern to the locations.  Occasional weekend and/or evening work may be required.

Poop Fairy (A dog with fairy wings)  

Emergency Management Program – Director’s Office (1 position)

A key function of any Department is to ensure preparedness for times of emergency.  DEP is responsible for performing functions and providing leadership for management and removal of debris due to weather and other emergency related events. DEP is also responsible for ensuring 6 County owned dams are managed safely and do not represent a threat to human health or safety in times of severe weather.

DEP is seeking an intern to assist with developing a resource manual for use by DEP management who would be assigned to the County’s emergency operations center, if activated during an emergency.  The resource manual would contain information regarding the key DEP personnel who provide the emergency services, other DEP personnel who have skills that may be needed in times of emergency, and contact information to ensure easy access to the key personnel during the emergency.

The successful candidate must have the ability to work in a collaborative environment within a large organization with multiple priorities, and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Additional skills include ability to organize information to allow for easy access by decision makers.  This position requires the ability to work with managers and staff and implement direction.

 

How to Apply

This recruitment will establish an eligible list to fill current and future intern vacancies in the Department of Environmental Protection. The positions are temporary, part-time and do not include benefits.

The part-time hourly pay rate is $15.21 per hour.  Employees will work 15 to 20 hours per week.

To view the complete job announcement and to apply, please visit the OHR website and click on “Apply Now” and then click on “Search Jobs.”  The vacancy number is IRC30536.