Frederick County Office of Sustainability
and Environmental Resources
|OSER Staff and members of the Frederick County Sustainability Commission
with County Executive Jan Gardner
County Executive Gardner
Re-Energizes Frederick County Sustainability Efforts
On June 29, 2017, County Executive Jan Gardner announced plans to re-energize Frederick County's sustainability efforts. The county's
Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources will return to its original mission to reduce energy costs and protect resources to preserve the quality of life for future generations. "We need to build a sustainable foundation for our region's prosperity, health and vitality to ensure the county's bright future," said Executive Gardner. "We can make Frederick County a leader to save green by going green."
Frederick County Joins STAR Communities
rederick County has joined the national network of
STAR is a nonprofit whose mission is to
evaluate, improve, and certify"
communities to "achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and
well-being for their residents."
STAR's Executive Director is Hilari Varnadore
, who previously held the position of Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources with Frederick County Government. County Executive Jan Gardner recently
sat down with Hilari
to discuss STAR and how it can help the County to measure its performance in key areas.
ilari shared STAR's
"Leading Indicators" project
, which is a set of 21 metrics for communities to measure, set goals with, and benchmark against other STAR participants. These indicators include drinking water quality, housing and transportation costs, renewable energy electricity supply, total solid waste, and high school graduation rate. The performance indicators are part of a community rating system that can lead to STAR certification.
SER launched a new Reforestation program, called the
Creek ReLeaf Program
, which is focused on planting approximately 85 acres of trees on public and private lands.
e are seeing a decline in forests within this County. The launch of this program spans over two County fiscal year cycles which allows the County to provide additional funding to provide more tree planting for the first year of this program. The program received 18 applications with a potential of
to be reforested. Staff are currently performing site visits as well as ranking the applicants based on criteria listed on the program's
Applicants will be notified on whether they have been accepted into the program by August and the trees will be scheduled to be planted in Spring 2018. For more information on the program please see the County's Spotlight video feature located
5th Round of Power Saver Retrofits Launches in July
hanks to a $750,000 grant from the
Maryland Energy Administration's Clean Energy Communities program,OSER's Power Saver Retrofits program (PSR) will be able to serve at
least 93 moderate- and low-income households with Home Performance with Energy Star audits and up to $10,000 in energy saving home improvements. Improvements such as insulation; air and duct sealing; and appliance, water heater, and heating and cooling upgrades to Energy Star models, help substantially reduce participants energy and water bills. The program has an open Waiting List, but several applicants on the Waiting List are likely to be served. Learn more or download an application
Frederick County Solar Co-op Nets 30 New Solar Households
Frederick County Solar Co-op
closed to new members on May 31 but thanks to the coordinating and implementation efforts of our office and partner,
Maryland Solar United Neighborhoods
), 169 households participated in the co-op and learned about the benefits and options for installing solar photovoltaic panels (PV). Thirty households have taken advantage of the approximately 20 percent discount available through our bulk-purchasing co-op.
Together, these households will install more than 272 KW of solar power capacity which will generate
kWh of electricity per year. That is the average annual electricity usage of 28 Maryland homes. How does this help? Each year, these solar arrays will prevent 127 tons of coal from being burned, and eliminate 239 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Now that is something to cheer about!
A Frederick County Solar Co-Op Celebration Party will be held on Tuesday, August 1st from
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for members and friends of the Co-op. Contact
or see our
section for details.
If you're interested in going solar but missed the Co-op deadline, you can compare quotes for installing solar on your home or property
from pre-screened installers using EnergySage.
Green Leader Brigade
From left: Shannon Moore, Suzanne Cliber, Linda Williamson, Joy Schaefer Daphne Matthews, Alice Nemitsas, Dylan Harbin, Bonnie Greisemer,
Desiree Mortenson, Rita Potter, Tim Goodfellow, Lia Miller
(not pictured Tiffany Herbert, Irene Nemitsas)
Earth Day Projects a Success!
n Saturday, April 22nd,
Green Leader Brigade
volunteers participated in the
Alice Ferguson Foundation's 29th
Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup
up litter along
Ballenger Creek Trail
The volunteers picked up 120 lbs. of trash and 120 lbs. of recyclables!
storm drain stenciling projec
was also completed along Kingsbrook Drive in Frederick in May. Thank
you to all of our Green Leader Brigade volunteers! If you are interested in helping out on a future project, please contact Suzanne Cliber for more information
Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance
he Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA)
quarterly meeting was held at
on May 24, 2017. The guest
Julie Devers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
who gave a presentation on efforts to assess fish passage barriers on road-stream crossings.
Julie has been leading an effort to collect information about road-stream crossings, particularly culverts. She is interested in whether culverts found at the intersection of roads and streams are blocking fish from accessing their spawning and feeding grounds. Culverts that are too small to accommodate a stream during high flows can lead to problems both for the road and for fish. For fish, undersized culverts can lead to downstream scouring which often results in an outlet drop that is insurmountable to a fish. Undersized culverts can also lead to clogging if large woody debris cannot pass through. Devers and her team are particularly interested in streams that have native brook trout in the Monocacy and Catoctin River watersheds.
You can view her presentation by visiting the
Watershed Management Updates - Capital Improvements
Capital Improvements Program is in overdrive!
We have two stream
restoration projects and over 20 stormwater pond upgrades (retrofits) in design. Efforts are being conducted on the County's
Maryland Extension Services
building to capture the uncontrolled runoff through smaller scale stormwater bioretention practices. In addition, we have performed two more watershed assessments within the County on the Upper and Lower Monocacy River Watershed to assist in identifying potential opportunities to improve water quality
within those areas.
he County will also be assessing the remaining three watersheds which include
Double Pipe Creek, Catoctin Creek, and Potomac River Direct
tributaries within the next year. Projects in design now will be going into construction in 2018. Lastly, the County is inspecting and will be maintaining projects such as Englandtowne Stream restoration and Stormwater pond Retrofit project.
||Ron Kaltenbaugh, Sustainability Commission Chair, presents at the EEP Workshop
Sustainability Commission Updates
n May the Sustainability Commission partnered with
to host an
Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) Workshop
County municipalities, their Green Team members, and others learned how they can access and leverage larger competitively bid regional, state, or federal contracts for EPP products with desirable environmental specifications and prices that can save money for our local governments. Executive Gardner charged the Commission to move forward, with help from County procurement and sustainability staff, to develop recommendations for a County policy and implementation plan for an EPP program.
he Commission is excited to have new talent on the team. Commission members recently appointed by the County Executive and approved by the County Council include
- Jane Dennison, with expertise in international environmental agreements; air, soil, and water testing, and regulations and business practices,
- John Ferri, with expertise in sustainable buildings and energy efficiency,
- Ron Hardman, with expertise in environmental chemistry; toxicology and human health; air and water quality; green buildings; and energy and the environment, and
- Kathy Kinsey, our new vice-chair, with expertise in air quality, electric vehicles, and solid waste management.
Congratulations Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Grant Winners!
were recently awarded funding through the
Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund
Funded by gasoline and rental car tax revenue, the Trust Fund is used to supply financial support for the most efficient projects to reduce water pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay. On June 8, 2017, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources assisted by Governor Larry Hogan announced the awarding of $21.54 million for projects ranging from practices like stream restorations, stormwater management, tree planting projects and agricultural practices. To date, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has granted and completed 13 million dollars' worth of restoration projects, with an additional 680 thousand dollars' worth of projects in process.
OSER Staff Updates
e bid a fond farewell to
who heads to the University of Maryland as the Manager for the
Research Facilities Management Office in the College of Agriculture
and Natural Resources.
She will be in charge of building facilities for off-site research farms and education centers, as well as on-campus buildings. Darlene managed the Capital Improvement Program for the Office. Congrats Darlene on this big step! You are very missed.
Chesapeake Conservation Corps
who accepted a position with the
Harford County Health Department.
As part of her time with OSER, Bonnie job shadowed Frederick County health inspectors. CCC is a one year program of the Chesapeake Bay Trust that helps young people to apprentice in green careers.
Best of luck Bonnie! We're proud of you!
for his promotion to
Project Manager IV.
Before coming to Frederick County in January, Don worked over sixteen years with Montgomery County Government in its stormwater program. We're lucky to have his experience benefiting the management of the Capital program!
joins us as our new
Project Manager III
in OSER's capital program. He is a Towson University Master's trained hydrogeologist who comes to us from the consulting firm AECOM. We look forward to using his expertise on stream restoration projects, stormwater pond retrofits, and more!
he Office also welcomes
who comes to us with a Bachelor's in Biology from the University of Kansas. He is a six month, full time intern. He'll be working on a number of exciting projects from Electric Vehicle charging policies to reforestation inspections. Welcome Basit!
Emmitsburg Wins Leadership Award
ongratulations to Emmitsburg for winning the
Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award!
The award was given in June by Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment. These awards are granted to organizations with the following success factors: "an organization-wide commitment to environmental performance, a green team that meets on a regular basis, annual environmental goals and measurement of results."
Emmitsburg has made outstanding commitments to sustainability that it has backed up with success after success. "Save money and don't waste," says Mayor Don Briggs,
We're making additions at the wastewater treatment plant to save water, and the solar powered algae control at Rainbow Lake saves money on electricity and from the reduced application of chemicals." Rainbow Lake is the town's drinking water supply.
Under the leadership of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners, a $19 Million solar facility was constructed that provides energy for community's wastewater treatment plant and town offices. Emmitsburg's government has reduced its electricity consumption by over 15% by doing smart projects like LED lighting upgrades. The town has also upgraded its downtown by adding sidewalks for safety and better walkability.
"Everything we're doing is because of our wonderful, dedicated staff," said Mayor Briggs. Emmitsburg is truly leading by example!
Frederick County Solar Co-op Celebration
Tuesday, August 1st
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
8602 Gambrill Park Road
Frederick, MD 21702
Open to Co-op friends and members only; click here for directions and to RSVP
Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance Meeting
August 9, 2017 - 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Thurmont Regional Library Community Room
OSER will be hosting the "Maryland Department of the Environment Stormwater Workshop"
August 10, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
30 North Market Street (lower level)
Frederick, MD 21701
Open to Municipal Governments Only
Frederick County Sustainability Commission Meeting
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
3rd Floor Meeting Room
Winchester Hall, Frederick, MD
Guest Speaker - Hilari Varnadore, Executive Director, STAR Communities