Office of Sustainability and
Environmental Resources Newsletter
Spring 2018
Happy Earth Month!

County Executive Makes Earth
Month Announcements

On April 5, 2018, County Executive Jan Gardner launched the 2018 Septic Pump-Out Rebate Program to encourage property owners to have their septic systems pumped out every five years. Regular pumping of septic systems every five years maintains the effectiveness and longevity of systems and reduces nutrient pollution leaching over time.

The Septic Pump-Out Rebate Program targets all homeowners with a septic system and offers a $75.00 rebate every five years. The current average septic system pump-out is $270.00. 2018 Rebates will be available for approximately 330 homeowners who have their septic pumped between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018. To learn more about the Septic Pump-Out Rebate Program or to download an application, visit our website or contact Linda Williamson .

The County Executive also announced that the Department of Solid Waste Management has expanded availability of its curbside recycling collection to offer service to multi-family properties. More information about this new program can be found here .

Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Award and Tree Planting Event

OSER was recently awarded a $10,700 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for tree planting. This grant will be used to plant one acre of trees in the Canal Run area in Point of Rocks. This planting will increase tree canopy and has the potential to improve water and air quality, provide wildlife habitat and ecological benefits, reduce flooding and engage Frederick County citizens in stewardship and community restoration. OSER will be partnering with the nonprofit Stream-Link Education for the event, which will be held on May 5, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m . Volunteers are needed! Please contact Suzanne Cliber for more information.

Power Saver Retrofits

OSER was awarded a $350,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) 2018 Clean Energy Communities grant program. The grant will fund OSER’s sixth round of its Power Saver Retrofits program (PSR). PSR provides home energy audits and up to $10,000 in energy saving home improvements at no cost to eligible moderate- and low-income households. Approximately 50 homes will be served. To learn more and download an application, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/psr
7th Annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition Event and 2018 Sustainability Awards
Frederick County elected officials and OSER staff recognized Green Homes Challenge certified households and the 2018 Sustainability Award winners on March 29, 2018 at the Delaplaine Arts Center . Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner,  Myersville Mayor Wayne S. Creadick and City of Frederick Alderman Roger Wilson  were in attendance. To date, 2,185 households have registered with the Challenge and 750 households have met either Challenge 1: Be a Power Saver, or Challenge 2: Be a Green Leader or Challenge 3: Be a Renewable Star. Collectively, these homeowners have avoided an estimated $1,346,556 in annual utility bill expenses by taking actions through the Challenge.
   
The County Executive and Frederick County Sustainability Commission Chair Ronald Kaltenbaugh presented the 2018 Sustainability Awards to Stream-Link Education and Ronald Holter from Holterholm Farms Stream-Link Education is a non-profit  organization whose mission is to connect the community to conservation. They organize volunteer tree planting experiences to promote environmental awareness.  Ron Holter (pictured), a pioneer in the Regenerative Agriculture and Holistic Management movements, converted Holterholm Farm, his family's 6th-generation, conventional dairy farm, to an all-organic farm. These award winners were selected by the Frederick County Sustainability Commission for outstanding contributions to sustainability by individuals and organizations.

Live music for the evening was provided by the group “Aunt Melly’s”, and 21 prizes  from event sponsors were awarded to Challenge participants. Some of the prizes included an  Aeroseal Duct Sealing valued at $1,950 from Atlas Energy Solutions, a Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat Installation from Holtzople Heating and Air Conditioning and gift cards from local businesses. C ongratulations to all and a big thank you to our event sponsors! Please visit our recognition webpage for a list of sponsors and event photos. If you would like more information about the Green Homes Challenge, please contact Suzanne Cliber .

*Photo courtesy of Russell Poole
Bar-T Mountainside Receives PACE Loan
Bar-T Mountainside owner Joe Richardson has been a long-time champion for educating others about sustainability in Maryland. He had a vision to turn his campus into a smart-energy facility of the future. In 2017, he completed the construction of a state-of-the-art, high-efficiency new building on his property and turned to the Maryland Smart Energy Co-Op (MD-SECO) to continue the energy transformation campus-wide.

MD-SECO worked with Joe and his team to develop a plan to make Bar-T more sustainable. Bar-T is the first facility in Frederick County to use the County's commerical Property Assessed Clean Energy - or PACE Loan Program – which provides long-term financing for energy investments that lower energy and operating costs. The PACE loan has allowed the transformation at Bar-T to be achieved at zero up-front cost. Energy savings and incentives are greater than the PACE payments, and provide a savings from day one.
Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program

Frederick County Government is soliciting applicants for the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program to be hosted by OSER from August 2018 through August 2019. The Corps Program provides hands-on environmental, leadership, and professional training opportunities for young adults through on-the-ground work with their host sites, like OSER , managing projects and programs, attending trainings and conferences, and other opportunities like grant writing. This initiative places young adults 18-25 with nonprofit or government agencies to work fulltime in the environmental field for a one-year term of service in the Chesapeake Bay region ($18,000 annual stipend).

Applications must be submitted through the Trust’s online system by April 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm . To find the application or view a list of potential Host Organizations go to https://cbtrust.org/prospective/ . For any questions about becoming a volunteer or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Senior Program Officer Tara Drennan , tdrennan@cbtrust.org or 410-974-2941, ext. 102
Frederick County Sustainability Commission Seeks Members

The Frederick County Sustainabillity Commission is seeking individuals who have a professional affiliation with, or expertise in, one or more of the following areas: agriculture/food security, sustainable land use and transportation, open space and land preservation, green building practices, air quality/climate, water quality, recycling/waste reduction, environmental justice, education, small and/or local business, green jobs/workforce training, human/environmental health, energy, community, grass-roots environmental efforts, and finance and governance.  

Individuals are required to submit a letter of interest that includes the name of the board/commission of interest and current contact information, e.g., home, work, and cell telephone numbers, home mailing address, and e-mail address. Send the documentation to Joyce M. Grossnickle, Office of the County Executive, 12 East Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701 (301-600-1102) or e-mail to fcgboards@FrederickCountyMD.gov . The deadline to apply is 4:00 p.m.on Friday, May 4, 2018. For more information about the Sustainability Commission click here.
OSER Updates

Hello and Goodbye

OSER would like to welcome our new intern Callie Fishburn . Callie is a senior at Hood College and is studying Environmental Science & Policy. She will be with us until June, at which time she heads to Canada for her graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Callie is organizing a Sustainability "Lunch and Learn Series" and is helping with the stormwater program.

We also bid a fond farewell to our intern Basit Bangash . Basit was offered and accepted the position of Market Activation and Policy Associate with Greenworks Lending in Bethesda, MD. We want to wish Basit the best of luck in his new position!
SustainableFrederickCounty.org – What’s New?

Sustainable Frederick County has launched its new website ! With the new design and layout, we hope residents can now find and access information for our office and programs much more easily and efficiently. Residents can discover all of our big program news and announcements on the home page under Spotlights , and News & Announcements and access our most popular programs like Power Saver Retrofits, the Green Homes Challenge , and Creek ReLeaf from the main slideshow.

Looking for a volunteer opportunity? Visit our Register page to sign-up, apply or subscribe to any of our initiatives. You can also connect with us through our Newsletter or Social Media or instantly report a spill using our graphic links .
Municipal Update - The Town of New Market

The town of New Market is in the process of improving its commitment to sustainability by adding several new environmental programs to its already impressive array. The town is currently working towards a Sustainable Maryland Certification , which it hopes to earn by the end of this year. Sustainable Maryland is a certification program offered by the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center and the Maryland Municipal League for municipalities that want to improve their sustainability and save money.

Last year, the New Market Green Team partnered with BackyardComposting.org to launch a Residential Composting Program, and started a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program with a local farm. Previously, the CSA worked with Sycamore Spring Farm which provided fresh produce, eggs, and pasture beef to families. The program will continue this year, with the addition of an artisanal bread option baked by local business owner, Dan Ojeda of the Village Potter.

The town also has several new projects in development. The Green Team is currently working to mark walkable trails in town, install pet waste stations within the borders of the historic district, and survey New Market residents about stormwater management improvements. The Mayor and Town Council are also planning to adopt a Green Purchasing Policy which will include a statement of the town’s commitment to purchase environmentally-friendly goods and services whenever possible.
Green Business - Doody Calls
The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources recently met with Doody Calls to discuss pet waste management. Founded in 2000, this pet waste removal company has forty-three locations in twenty-three states and serves approximately 400 communities in the DC Metro area alone! Belonging to several stewardship groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Clean Water Partners, Doody Calls promotes and educates communities and residents on pet waste best management practices, and sells pet waste stations, installations and waste disposal services to communities. Additionally, in 2014, they launched their Doody-Free Water Project aimed at increasing awareness about the environmental impacts associated with pet waste. Did you know that dog waste makes up 24 percent of the harmful bacteria found in Maryland’s waterways?

To find out more about why it's important to scoop the poop, please visit OSER's Pet Waste website . Be sure to take our Pet Waste Survey too!
Upcoming Events
Spring weekends are for getting out and enjoying the weather! The Office of Sustainabilty and Environmental Resources would like to invite you to attend any or all of the upcoming Spring events listed below where you will learn about sustainable living practices, environmentally friendly activities, and local green businesses in Frederick County. See you there!

Saturday, April 14th - Middletown Green Expo, Memorial Park, Rte. 17 (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, April 21st - Thurmont Green Fest, Thurmont Library
(10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, April 21st - Catoctin Nature Fest, Catoctin Park & Nature Center (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Saturday, May 5th - Tree Planting Event, Point of Rocks, MD (9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.)

Saturday, May 12th - Green Neighbor Festival, Culler Lake Park (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

Saturday, June 2nd - Mother Earth News Fair, Frederick Fairgrounds (9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Sunday, June 3rd - Mother Earth News Fair, Frederick Fairgrounds (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Contact Sustainability@FrederickCountyMD,gov for more information.