April 2022 Newsletter
Join Us to Discuss Climate Change & The Gunpowder
We are excited to announce that Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC) is facilitating an important conversation about the future of clean water in the Gunpowder Watershed. On June 15th, the Gunpowder Watershed Forum will bring together organizations that are working for clean water in the Gunpowder watershed as well as those who want to get involved with this effort.

The Gunpowder Watershed Forum is FREE and includes dinner (vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore options)! Make sure to RSVP to hold a spot because the event will be capped at 75 participants.
Our keynote speaker is Jenn Aiosa, Baltimore County's Chief Sustainability Officer. She will discuss climate change and clean water in the Gunpowder watershed.

Additional Forum topics will include:
  • Updates on current progress and projects
  • Priorities going forward
  • The intersections of clean water and climate change
  • Small Watershed Actions Plans (SWAPs) - ideas for revision
  • Expanding our outcomes for clean water through collaboration
  • Exploring how we can better engage private landowners

Attendees are invited to share about their work for clean water in the Gunpowder and their ideas for priorities going forward. Opportunities for participation include:

  • Lightning round updates (available for 6-7 organizations - must register by May 1st to be considered)
  • Working session on SWAP revisions with Baltimore County EPS
  • Working session in small groups on topics to be selected by participants
Special thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for their financial support of the Gunpowder Watershed Forum. We are also grateful to our steering committee members for their guidance.
Promote Clear Creeks with Rain Barrels & Native Plants
Confession.The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy's Clear Creeks Project actually likes April Showers AND May Flowers! In fact, we have upcoming workshops in honor of each of them. We are offering two rain barrel workshops in June. It's not too early to reserve your spot!

Saturday, June 4 (10 am - 12 pm)

Saturday, June 25 (10 am - 12 pm)

Anyone is welcome to attend our workshops for FREE to learn more about the benefits of rain barrels and how to properly maintain them. If you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel (or two), you'll just need to provide the number and color of rain barrels you'd like, as well as your mailing address when you register. This allows our staff to determine whether you are eligible for our Clear Creeks Project 50% discount, which is based on your property's location within the Gunpowder Watershed.

Conservation Garden workshop opportunities are starting to pop up in our calendar of events! Please keep an eye on our online calendar of events as we anticipate adding many more in the upcoming days. We'd love for several more people to join us at our May 7th Bayscape Workshop in Cockeysville. This is a great opportunity to learn about the value of native plants, how they benefit native pollinators AND promote a clean Chesapeake Bay. You'll even get a chance to plant a couple native flowers yourself (no green thumb required!)
Our Garden Team is Growing
We are thrilled to introduce E. Victoria, the newest member of our Clear Creeks Project garden team. E. is a graduate student in Landscape Architecture at Morgan State University. With a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communication and a minor in Philosophy, E. uses their inner vision and voice to communicate the importance of bringing people and nature closer together. As an ecologically sensitive designer and builder, their aim is to create landscapes that remind us (and the birds, bees, and butterflies) of Nature's allure with texture, color, and smells. E. has experience working in many different aspects of the landscape industry, from the plants and people at the nursery to complete project installation and management, both community and private. Their future focus is finding ways to utilize nature as therapy, as the mission has become to heal both the land and the man simultaneously.

E. is currently learning about our Clear Creeks Project conservation gardens from Jack Leonard, Darcy Herman, and Patty Ceglia. They will be supporting the design and implementation of our stormwater best management practices (BMPs) this year. We can't wait to see how they apply their impressive skills with GVC's upcoming garden projects!
#WhyWeGVC Partner: BGE
In honor of Earth Month, we brought back our #WhyWeGVC campaign on social media to highlight our amazing partners. We could NOT achieve our environmental stewardship goals without their support. BGE has awarded several grants to GVC through the years, as well as connected several volunteer teams to our work. We are especially fortunate to have the talents of Luke Hancock, BGE Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, as a Board Member.

Last week, BGE volunteers planted 100 native trees along Dulaney Valley Branch, which feeds into Loch Raven Reservoir. Trees were provided by the Arbor Day Foundation. The event also supports their Path to Clean initiative to cut operational emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero operations-driven emissions by 2050. You can find more details about this commitment at www.bge.com/pathtoclean.

Stay tuned for our Spring 2022 Tree Planting wrap-up in future issues of our e-news as well as additional #WhyWeGVC stories on Facebook and Instagram.
In Other News...
April is Native Plant Month
What started out as a grassroots effort in Ohio has grown into beautiful movement. April 2022 is the second National Native Plant Month thanks to the hard work of Ohio Native Plant Month organizers, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

It's not too late to celebrate. Here are some great native plant resources for the Chesapeake Bay watershed:

Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center: A searchable database

Chesapeake Natives (Upper Marlboro, MD -- emphasis on local ecotype)

Herring Run Nursery (Baltimore, MD)

Direct Native Plants (Middle River, MD -- online sales only)

Kollar Nursery (Pylesville, MD)
Free and Friendly Forest Meetups
Chances are if you're reading this, you've experienced the healing power of forests. We're thrilled to share this opportunity for slow-paced walks at Cromwell Valley Park on Tuesday mornings. Limited space - advance sign up online here.

The last scheduled walk is this Tuesday, May 3rd. Contact Mary Wontrop at 410-887-7985 or mwontrop@baltimorecountymd.gov for more details.

A partnership with Baltimore County Department of Aging's Age and Dementia Friendly Initiatives, Towson University and Baltimore County Recreation and Parks.

Thanks to our Sponsors