Celebrate Community Food Rescue Week!

Celebrate Community Food Rescue Week!
Join Manna Food Center’s Community Food Rescue Network for the first-ever Montgomery County Community Food Rescue Week, October 13-20. Fun and informational events throughout the week will educate the public about what we can all do to tackle food waste and hunger in the county.

There are many ways to get involved to help amplify our message and inspire more people to be part of feeding more and wasting less in Montgomery County. Here are some easy things you can do:
  1. Celebrate Community Food Rescue Week. Learn about composting, volunteer to glean apples or cook with rescued food, come to a trivia night or happy hour. Check out the full list of events at or register on Eventbrite here.
  2. Be sure to mark your calendar for October 20, when teams of professional and amateur chefs face off in the No Waste, Big Taste Cooking Competition at the FRESHFARM Downtown Silver Spring Market. Teams will create a two-course meal from mystery recovered food items, which will be judged by a panel of local celebrities and members of the Community Food Rescue network.
  3. Volunteer! We welcome your help in making this week a success. A full list of volunteer opportunities is available here. Let us know if you can help!

Donated fresh food

Spread the word!

Promote Community Food Rescue Week on social media. Follow and share our posts throughout the week on Twitter (@mocofoodrescue) and Facebook (@communityfoodrescue)

Community Food Rescue Week is an opportunity to celebrate the power of community in eliminating hunger in Montgomery County. We look forward to engaging with our community to bring an end to hunger and food waste, during this week and beyond.

Join the Community Food Rescue network! Sign up to donate food (food businesses), deliver food (volunteer food runners) or feed neighbors in need (service organizations). Join us in thanking businesses and organizations that are already part of our network!

Register for the fall rain garden + conservation landscaping class!

Register for the fall rain garden + conservation landscaping class!
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.  These are extremely popular, so don’t miss out!


Stormwater Solutions: Conservation Landscapes and Rain Gardens Workshop

Workshop Dates and Times:
How to Sign Up: Register at
Where: Brookside Gardens, Visitors Center Adult Classroom
Fee: $13 for Friends of Brookside Gardens or $15 for non-members

About this Workshop: It is possible to have a landscape that not only absorbs stormwater and uses native plants, but is also beautiful! The Department of Environmental Protection staff will show you how to evaluate your site, design and implement a conservation or rain garden landscape, and qualify to receive a RainScapes Reward rebate.

  Image of people at a RainScapes workshop Planting with friends

What is the RainScapes Program?

RainScapes is a program of Montgomery County, MD Department of Environmental Protection.

RainScapes promotes and implements projects which reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality on properties within Montgomery County, MD. The County offers technical and financial assistance (in the form of RainScapes Rewards Rebates) to encourage property owners to implement eligible RainScapes techniques on their property.

Graphic of the RainScapes Logo

What Financial Incentives are Available?

The RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program offers rebates to property owners who install RainScapes techniques, such as those taught in these classes. This program is open to properties in Montgomery County outside the municipalities of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park. The RainScapes Program is funded by the County’s Water Quality Protection Charge.

MCDOT sponsors free PARK(ing) Day celebration

MCDOT sponsors free PARK(ing) Day celebration
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is encouraging artists, planners, businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals to participate in International PARK(ing) Day on September 21 by temporarily transforming a metered parking space in Silver Spring or Bethesda into a fun, parklike spot. Participants are encouraged to creatively reimagine the urban landscape for a day. See photos online from previous years that include a park with plants, mini-golf course, campfire site and games and interactive activities for kids and adults. There is no charge to participate in the event.

“PARK(ing) Day is a way to have fun, stimulate conversations about our transportation choices and support infrastructure that is more transit-oriented, bikeable and walkable,” said MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh. “This year, MCDOT is offering PARK(ing) Day applicants the opportunity to promote their services and provide free samples or giveaways at their ‘park.’ In addition, applicants can suggest a preferred parking space location if the spot they have in mind was not identified as an option on the online map.

PARK(ing) Day spots were chosen with safety in mind, but MCDOT will evaluate other location suggestions. The use of parking spaces will be allowed from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including set up and tear down.

DEP's Parking Day Display in 2017

DEP’s Parking Day Display in 2017

  Those interested in taking part in PARK(ing) Day can get more information and apply online or by mail. Participants are required to meet certain guidelines that are spelled out in the application. Guidelines for businesses have been relaxed to allow more promotional activities.

Get inspiration and see what others have done on past PARK(ing) Days online.

Join DEP at the 2018 County Fair!

Join DEP at the 2018 County Fair!
We love the County Fair! From the animals to the rides and carnival games, it’s one of our favorite times of year. (And don’t get us started on the food.)

But the main reason the Department of Environmental Protection loves the County Fair is that it gives us the opportunity to engage and talk with thousands of County residents over the course of a single week! We get to hear from you, exchange ideas and share what programs we have available for you.


Fun at the Fair

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair offers a great opportunity to have fun and learn. This year, the Fair is August 10th-18th. Where else can you see pig races, Chainsaw Carver demonstrations, learn all about bees, buy award winning bake goods, and visit educational booths?  As a bonus you can visit us!

Image of geese dressed up at the County Fair

Even geese dress up and come out to enjoy the Agricultural Fair.


The DEP Tent

This year, DEP will have one tent with all the information about our Department under the same roof – learn about recycling, energy, your watershed, trees, and composting in one spot!

  • Pick up a compost bin
  • Ask a recycling question  (or answer one for a prize!)
  • Learn how we clean our waters with rain gardens and bioretentions
  • Spin the “green” wheel for prizes
  • Discover our RainScapes, Tree Montgomery, and energy programs
  • Learn about litter prevention
  • Pick up resources and informational tools
Image of kids participating in the DEP trivia game.

Test your knowledge by participating in our fun trivia game.

  The DEP booth is located next to the Chilly Mall and the 4-H Building.

Overall, we are very excited to be gearing up to participate and look forward to seeing you there!

Visit for the latest schedule, maps and all the details of Fair activities.  

One Montgomery Green announces first Annual Marian Fryer Communitarian Award at the Green Gala on June 28th

One Montgomery Green announces first Annual Marian Fryer Communitarian Award at the Green Gala on June 28th
One Montgomery Green (OMG) announces the creation of the first annual Marian Fryer Communitarian Award at its annual Green Gala at Brookside Gardens Visitors Center in Wheaton, Maryland, on June 28th. The award recognizes an individual or business contribution to the community and to environmental health. This first awardee is Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett in honor of his commitment to improve the health and welfare of Montgomery County residents.

The Communitarian Award is named in honor of Marian Fryer, a 45-year resident of Wheaton, who was a tireless advocate for numerous community organizations and initiatives, including the WheatonKensington Chamber of Commerce and the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee, which she served on from 1999-2014. Marian also served on the Montgomery County Housing Advisory Committee, the Montgomery County Commission for Women, and the Leadership Montgomery Board of Directors. She was an inductee into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame for Community Service and was recognized for numerous community contributions.

In her own words, Marian said, “As a citizen of Montgomery County, I believe my role is to serve my community and advocate for and support the maintenance of programs and activities that help to keep it healthy, viable and stable.”

Marian Fryer passed away September 9, 2017, and she is keenly missed, but her legacy of community service lives on.

“Marian Fryer was an inspiration to many people in Montgomery County, including me,” said One Montgomery Green Executive Director Wendy Howard. “She exemplified the spirit of public service and generously gave her time and talent to so many people. We hope that offering the Communitarian Award annually is one way we can keep Marian’s spirit alive and help to secure and strengthen the quality of life we all want to see in Montgomery County through encouraging sustainable programs and greener living.”

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   One Montgomery Green

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 spring. Attendance is on the rise and eight Certified Green Businesses across the County decided to use the opportunity to connect with hundreds of residents. Washington Gardener Magazine, All Eco Center, Bethesda Green, Clean Choice Energy, EcoBeco, Neighborhood Sun, Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm, and the Montgomery College Silver Spring/Takoma Park Facilities Team all showed up to exhibit and promote their businesses to event attendees throughout the day.

“The values of GreenFest and the festival goers align well with Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm,” said its Founder, Mark Mills. As the name of his farm suggests, Mark is also a chef and chocolatier and graciously agreed to teach a “quick pickling” workshop where festival goers enjoyed the opportunity to taste the pickles.

“As a certified USDA Organic farm, we are very conscious of the environmental impacts of farming and work intentionally to incorporate sustainable practices in everything we do. There is a lot of love and attention in our produce and it’s important for us to connect directly with consumers who appreciate and understand that effort.”

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

All Eco Center decided to booth at GreenFest for similar reasons. “Taking steps to live a greener life by focusing on real change each of us can make when renovating a kitchen or bathroom is what we’re all about,” said its Owner, Dave Taghipour. “That’s why I decided to set up a booth as it allows me to establish a relationship with customers and create resonance. It’s definitely worth my while and we plan to back next year.” Click through this album to see all the certified Green Businesses making the most of GreenFest.

And save the date – GreenFest 2019 will be on Sunday, April 28th at Brookside Gardens. More details to come!

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

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), Montgomery Parks, MCPS and private communities. Together, these groups have been working to deliver the highest quality, and most innovative, green infrastructure practices in the region.

Working with members of Maryland and Potomac American Society of Landscape Architects, the tour focused on five sites which represent a range of project scales and soil and plant treatments. The tour highlighted the many ways that green infrastructure improves water quality, one beautiful garden at a time, as part of the bigger effort to protect the Bay.

Roadside bioretention

Planting design changes create a stronger streetscape effect and will ensure that the rain gardens look good in all seasons, will need less maintenance and will still function for Stormwater water quality improvements as designed.


Stop 1: Breewood Neighborhood

DEP is retrofitting and repairing a small subwatershed using multiple green infrastructure practices, such as rain gardens, bioretentions, and stream restoration.  The projects are combined with biological and water quantity monitoring, both before and after construction.

The group learned about the challenges that informed planting design changes after installation, including retrofitting plantings to create an improved streetscape, curb step outs and a groundcover layer to reduce weeds.

The County water monitoring station

The County water monitoring station is between the homes and roads and the treatment facility of the bioretention and the restored stream. A second station is below the stream restoration to measure the impact of all of the retrofits.

Roadside Bioretention talks

Planners Doug Marshall, Pam Rowe, Donna Evans and landscape architect Carla Ellern explained the details of the approach to various aspects of the project from planning through the current maintenance practice.


Stop 2: Lanark Way

At Lanark Way, DEP Planners Darian Copiz and Ryan Zerbe described how a partnership between DOT and DEP transformed both a neighborhood cut-through and the streetscape into a place the community truly gathers around. The watershed outreach sign regarding pet waste was really appreciated.

There was a lively discussion regarding plant selection – what was working, what might be done differently, how the sweeps of plants created patterns, and the challenges of differing light levels for plant selection and strong curb appeal. Additional questions about frequency of maintenance, choice of materials for check dams, and overall plant management were of great interest to the group.

Little Free Library

“Read and Absorb” Little Free Library spontaneously appeared after the project was installed.


Stormwater management facility

lanner Ryan Zerbe explains the watershed goals for this project and check dam material was discussed.

Iris versicolor blooming in bioretention

Landscape architect Darian Copiz explains – Now it’s Iris versicolor blooming; later it will be a sweep of aromatic asters


Stop 3: Glenwaye Gardens

At Glenwaye Gardens, a multi-family community, the group heard from Property Manager Vicki Verganni, DEP Planner Dan Somers, and Designer Toni Bailey about the range of projects that the affordable housing community is implementing to solve their site erosion and water runoff issues which were negatively impacting their property.

A comprehensive conservation landscape approach, per the design guidance from the RainScapes program, included compost amended soils and “boomerang terrace berms” to slow down water from the large roof. The 4400 SF project is planted with a 100% native plants. The slope contouring slows the flow as it moves down the hill through a planted series of terraces.

baptisia and river oats

Drifts of baptisia and river oats stabilize the slopes

Berms and boulders

The berms and boulders re-enforce the slope and provide temporary ponding along the flow path.

Glen Waye Gardens

Vicky explains how this project is helping the community and Designer Toni Bailey described the design process used by Darlene Robbins and herself to get the project done to meet the grant deadlines.


Stop 4: Glenallan Elementary School

The next stop was to an MCPS site: Glenallan Elementary School. Everyone learned about the design and the maintenance challenges on the redeveloped site. The school is successfully integrating all of their green infrastructure into their STEM program.

DEP engineer Phil Jones explains green infrastructure

After Engineer Phil Jones explained the engineering design, Patrick Moran, GES Principal explained how the school uses the stormwater facilities as an educational resource.

Stormwater management at an MCPS school

Stop 5: Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is a showcase of green infrastructure projects from top to bottom.

At the lower part of Brookside, DEP RainScapes Program Manager Ann English explained how the original rain garden/ microbioretention at Brookside solved a 20 year drainage problem. She also talked about some of the unique challenges to creating a rain garden/ permeable paver retrofit complex that was nested in a display bed that was being changed seasonally.

Rain garden

At the top of Brookside, Landscape Architect Steve Torgerson explains how the bioswale works and how the planting on top links the two sides of the bridge even though the soil areas are very different at the top of the Brookside Parking Garden.


PaveDrain infiltration system

The day wrapped up with a PaveDrain infiltration demonstration which revealed the impressive amount of water can be infiltrated into the pavement before being further used by the adjacent planting beds.