February 2021 Newsletter
Realizing our New Vision Statement
Winter is a time of reflection for all of us, including your favorite land trust and watershed organization. While developing our 2021-2023 strategic plan, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC) staff and Board members also collaborated on a revised Vision statement that is inclusive of all people and speaks to the interconnections between our communities and the nature that surrounds us.

We look forward to connecting YOU to opportunities throughout the year to help realize our shared goal of a healthy Gunpowder Watershed.
Note: The GVC's Calendar of Events will be updated next month. Thank you for your patience as our COVID-19 committee evaluates our current policies to make sure we can safely resume our outdoor volunteer events.
Our First Rain Barrel Sale of 2021
Tired of snow? You're not alone. Here at GVC we are ready to jump start the growing season with our first rain barrel workshop of 2021. Did you know that one rain barrel can save a homeowner about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months?!

There will be two options for purchasing rain barrels on Saturday, March 20 at the Graham Equestrian Center (10301 Harford Road, Glen Arm, MD 21057)
  • Attend an outdoor workshop (12:30 - 1:30 pm)
  • Register for curbside pickup (1:30 - 2:00 pm)

Workshop is limited to 10 people. You must register in advance to reserve your rain barrel(s). Residents who live in our Clear Creeks Project area are eligible to receive a 50% discount of $35/barrel as well as installation free of labor. GVC staff will confirm if your address qualifies for the discount.
Take Action: Speak Up for Land Preservation
Your voice matters! Right now, Baltimore County residents can directly share their ideas and priorities for the 2022 Budget at upcoming Council District Town Halls. This budget determines how much funding Baltimore County will provide for Land Preservation and Program Open Space. Share your thoughts in advance by emailing townhall@baltimorecountymd.gov

The basic need for convenient, equitable access to open space has become even more important during the pandemic as we all seek safe places for outdoor recreation and fresh air. When you support land preservation you are also:

Protecting our drinking water sources – over 60% of the greater Baltimore area’s drinking water supply comes from within the Gunpowder watershed.

Supporting the local agricultural economy – Preserving farmland means preserving our safe, fresh local food resources from encroaching development. The agricultural heritage of the Gunpowder watershed includes a tourism economy, with attractions such as the Piedmont Wine Trail.

Promoting wildlife habitat – the forests, wetlands, meadows, and streams that native animals and plants call home. The Gunpowder watershed is prized by anglers for its native and increasingly rare Brook Trout, which is considered an indicator species for healthy streams.

The meetings are quickly approaching. Click this link for additional information about meeting times and access codes.

Councilman Marks (5th District): Tuesday, February 23
Councilwoman Bevins (6th District): Tuesday, March 2
Councilman Crandell (7th District): Tuesday, March 16
Councilman Kach (3rd District):Thursday, March 18
#WhyWeGVC: Baha'i Community of Baltimore County North
We invited Baha'i Community of Baltimore County North members, Harrison Akhavan (pictured above left) and Peter Gottert (pictured below), to reflect on their experience as recurring GVC volunteers. Despite all the challenges of 2020, their community volunteered at three of our fall tree planting events.

How did you first hear about GVC?

The international Baha'i Community is actively engaged in efforts to conserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. Our Cockeysville community explored potential collaboration with several organizations. We were encouraged by Peg Perry's warm, friendly response to our initial questions.

What do you enjoy the most about volunteering with GVC?

There are several aspects we enjoy about volunteering with the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy. High on the list is that it gets us all outside in diverse settings around the county.  We greatly appreciate how well organized each activity is, the emphasis on safety and the time team leaders take to educate volunteers before the work begins. We’ve learned about several practical ways to help the environment. Each educational briefing has a different emphasis and there is always new, engaging information.

Most important though, is the friendliness of the team leaders and Peg and the fact that everyone works together.  Each time we've met several new people and are happy to see so many youth participating.

Any favorite stories or memorable experiences from a GVC event?
(Peter): During two different sessions, both my son-in-law and daughter volunteered. I was so pleased to be working alongside them planting trees on beautiful fall days. My wife took care of the grandchildren who were close by. Our 5-year old granddaughter, Aubrey, had so many questions afterwards and expressed her eagerness to be old enough to help out. So that’s 3-generational win-win-win!