Sustainable Frederick County
Fall 2019
Livable Frederick has earned the American Planning Association’s Maryland Chapter 2019 Outstanding Plan award.
Sustainability and Environment Featured in State of the County Address
The state of Frederick County is strong, vibrant and on the move, County Executive Jan Gardner said during her annual State of the County Address. She shared a video highlighting accomplishments of the past year and unveiled the Livable Frederick Implementation Program, which will guide the county’s initiatives in the coming year.

“Livable Frederick lays the foundation for our bright future so we can make life better for the people who call Frederick home,” Executive Gardner said. “We’ve embraced our rich history, invested in our people and places, and taken care of our citizens. We are leading the way with innovation and excellence. Frederick County is soaring to new heights!” The County Executive talked about how the County is setting a course for a sustainable future. She highlighted the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management’s (DUSWM) new solar photovoltaic projects that will meet the county's goal to provide 20% of general government electricity needs by generating renewable energy on County properties. These projects will provide electricity to seven county facilities, including Transit's electric bus fleet, and provide power and backup battery storage to the Ballenger-McKinney Wastewater Treatment Plant, all from the sun that falls on Frederick County every day! The County will have nine electric buses by Spring 2020. The County received a LEED Silver sustainability certification from the US Green Building Council this summer.  The Creek ReLeaf program planted 200 acres of trees this past year. A new solar co-op will help residents to save money on solar power for their homes.

For more information, please watch the State of the County address and read the rest of this newsletter!
Frederick County is a Proud Supporter of Renewable Energy
The Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management (DUSWM) is leading the way to becoming more sustainable as seen in a recent installation of a solar array by Tesla at the Reich’s Ford Road Landfi ll that was commissioned this summer. With 7,776 photovoltaic panels installed on 14 acres of the old closed landfill, this 2-megawatt AC solar array was placed in an ideal location, where most other uses are restricted. The panels are expected to produce at least 3.5 million kWh of electricity per year.  That is enough energy to power approximately 20% of the county’s need for energy!

The system will power TransIT’s electric bus charging stations in addition to county buildings such as Winchester Hall, the Frederick Senior Center, the landfill’s scale house, and three public libraries. It took about four years of planning and permitting for the array to be constructed, but the benefits of advocating for and using renewable resources will last for many years to follow throughout the 20-year purchase agreement for the electricity generated by the panels. Next month DUSWM will power up the County’s second solar array. This one is adjacent to the Ballenger-McKinney Wastewater Treatment Plant . The plant, which includes very advanced membrane treatment technology, is one of the biggest energy users in county government. This solar array's electricity will offset an amount of purchased power needed by the plant and it will also use the sun to charge backup batteries to provide a tertiary backup power supply for critical parts of the plant.

Above: Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner speaks at the ceremonial commissioning of the solar array on August 7, 2019.
Solar Co-op Returns to Frederick County
The Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) has partnered with Solar United Neighbors of Maryland to bring a solar co-op to the county. A solar co-op is an organized group of residents or small businesses that buy solar in bulk in order to reduce the overall cost of installation. Some benefits of joining a solar co-op include: monetary savings, support throughout the entire installation process, and joining a community that is all about solar energy!

Have you ever considered going solar but just did not have enough information about it? OSER and MD-Sun will be hosting an information session to answer your questions on Wednesday, November 20. 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Regional Library . Visit Solar United Neighbors of Maryland for more information and to RSVP for an information session.
Congrats Executive Gardner, Forest Champion!
County Executive Jan Gardner will be receiving the 2019 Forest Champion Award from Forests for the Bay, a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum held in Shepherdstown, WV, on November 15th. This recognition is for her effectiveness at public engagement related to forest protection.

As County Executive, Gardner heard the public outcry about forest loss and decided to act. She proposed legislative changes to the forest ordinance to preserve and restore forests during development, created the private tree planting and easement acquisition program Creek ReLeaf, and included forest protections in the Livable Frederick plan. She hinted at more protections for forests coming during her State of the County address.
OSER Updates
Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteers Megan Sinclair (left) and Tyrah Cobb-Davis.
OSER welcomes our newest Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) volunteers Megan Sinclair and Tyrah Cobb-Davis! . Megan and Tyrah will be working alongside our staff for one year, collaborating on many watershed and sustainability projects.

Megan Sinclair, recently graduated from Salisbury University with a B.A.in Environmental Studies and a minor in Earth Science. She became interested in doing environmental work her freshman year in college and had the opportunity to study abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands conducting marine research and monitoring techniques. Megan looks forward to using the knowledge she will gain working with OSER for future jobs in the environmental field.

Tyrah Cobb-Davis graduated from Randolph College in May with a B.S. in Environmental Science and minors in Engineering and Math. Tyrah became interested in restoration and conservation efforts during a research experience that studied the impacts that artificial seagrass has on the ecosystem of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Tyrah is excited for what the year has in store and is looking forward to seeing how this experience will benefit her in future endeavors.
Point of Rocks Stream Restoration Project Update
Construction of the newly replaced pedestrian bridge in Point of Rocks which was jeopardized by the stream. The bridge connects Brookshire Run to the Park amenities and commuters to the MARC Train.
The Frederick County Division of Public Works and OSER have finished the first phase of the Point of Rocks Stream Restoration Project. This phase included restoring over 2,800 linear feet of stream by increasing the stream’s ability to reconnect to its floodplain to reduce storm flows that cause stream bank erosion while also filtering nutrients and sediments. Immediately after the initial 700 linear feet of stream was restored, the field crew found a considerable amount of tadpoles in the recently created pools!

Prior to the restoration project, the stream was rapidly degrading. It was unable to slow down by spreading out on its floodplain. Several large trees were severely undermined by the stream. This created a potentially unsafe situation where they could fall on pedestrians who are using the Park paths as well as neighboring private structures. The pedestrian bridge supports were being undermined by rapidly eroding stream banks. By mid-November, there will be over 3,500 new trees and shrubs planted. The designs of Phase 2 are underway and will include a public meeting where residents can learn more about the remaining portion of the project from the existing pond down to Route 28. 
Fr ederick County Earns LEED Silver Community Certification!
County Executive Gardner and City of Frederick Mayor O’Connell accept LEED for Communities and Cities certificates.
In July, Frederick County earned its LEED Silver community certification through the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED for Communities program,
one of fewer than 10 counties in the nation to earn
this designation to date. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The City of Frederick also earned its LEED for Cities certification.

“Frederick County is proud to be leading the way as a LEED Silver certified community,” County Executive Jan Gardner said. “We are reducing our energy usage with all-electric transit buses and hybrid vehicles, increasing our renewable sources with solar arrays, improving water quality through our Creek ReLeaf program, and adding bikeways and trails. Sustainability is the responsible way to ensure a bright future for our community and fits with our goals and vision for Livable Frederick .”
Congratulations Frederick County Sustainable Communities!

Congratulations to the Towns of Thurmont and Middletown and the City of Frederick on their  2019 Sustainable Maryland Re-Certification award!  The
Sustainable Maryland certification is a program for municipalities in Maryland that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.

The Towns of Thurmont and Middletown were both previously certified in 2016. The City of Frederick was certified in 2013 and again in 2016.
Frederick Indoor Sports Center Receives C-PACE Funding
The Frederick Indoor Sports Center (FISC) has been approved for over $880,000 of C-PACE financing to fully fund the installation and purchase of over 440 kW of solar production capacity in Frederick, Maryland. Frederick County Government’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Loan (C-PACE) program provides loans for businesses and nonprofits that want to invest in energy efficiency, renewables, and water conservation projects. The loans are paid back through a surcharge on the tax bill, which can provide favorable loan terms due to the strong position of a tax lien. Frederick County Government’s C-PACE program allows commercial property owners to produce a new line of capital, create loans with up to 100% financing, and achieve up to a 20-year payback that can be cash flow positive from day one. Clean energy projects add to the value of the commercial asset and can improve tenant retention.

The solar array, located on the roof of the sports center, is designed to offset the property’s electricity consumption by 100%. The Frederick Indoor Sports Center is the second largest C-PACE project in the MD-PACE program to date and the second loan in Frederick County after Bar-T Mountainside. The FISC project also involves engineering, procurement, and construction partner, Sustainable Energy Systems (SES), a renewable energy design and installation business based out of Frederick, and Dividend Finance, a partner of SES in residential and commercial solar PV projects. The County’s first C-PACE project was at the Bar-T Ranch in Urbana. Businesses with an interest in the program can call (443) 949-8505 or email info@md-pace.com .
What Is the Health of Your Watershed?
The Frederick County Stream Survey (FCSS) was recently updated to help determine the health of our streams and watersheds.Streams are chosen at random, sampled, and scored based on the amount of forest along the banks, aquatic bug populations, stream bank erosion, and levels of pollutants in the water. The stream scores within a watershed are averaged across four years to give an overall watershed health score. Each metric is explained in further detail on the back of the fact sheet.

To find out the health of your watershed, visit our Publications and Resources web page, scroll down to "Resources" and click on the "Water Quality Reports" tab and look for Watershed Fact Sheets. To find the watershed that you live in, click here to view a map of Frederick County watersheds.
Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance Quarterly Meeting
The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance held its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at Waterford Park in Frederick, MD.   Our guest speaker was Jenny Willoughby , Sustainability Manager with the City of Frederick. Jenny took us on a tour ot a 1,250-foot stream restoration that the City completed in Spring 2019 on Rock Creek just before its confluence with Carroll Creek. Despite three major storms, the banks have held!

The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA) is coordinated by the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) and is a mutual, collaborative, non-advocacy effort among individuals and organizations desiring to work together to improve the health of the Monocacy and Catoctin watersheds.  Visit our website for more information.
Fall Cleanup Tips
Autumn  is a beautiful time of year in Frederick County! It's also a good time to tackle some projects around the house that will help you to prepare for the  colder weather  to come. Here are a few things that you can do to  make sure you are ready  for the winter season:

  • Drain rain barrels and garden hoses and store away for the winter
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. 
  • Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches.
  • Change filters on HVAC equipment
  • Change batteries on safety devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Add weather stripping around doors and windows