January 2020 Newsletter
Award Winning Volunteers
The new year marks a time of reflection, of setting goals to work towards in the upcoming months. We hope you're inspired by our 2019 Volunteer of the Year and Community Leaders of the Year recipients. They have all gone above and beyond to improve the Gunpowder watershed.
Mark McDonald (above) was selected as 2019 Volunteer of the Year for his 50+ hours of service to the GVC. A former teacher, Mark greatly enhanced our workshops by developing lessons on the history of the Gunpowder River and the economics of tree planting. He hosted multiple GVC workshops at St. Paul's Lutheran in Kingsville. Always willing to share his gardening knowledge, Mark helped create a Bayscape garden at Seven Oaks Elementary School. Thank you, Mark, for your invaluable contributions to our watershed!
What a team! Congratulations to our 2019 Community LEADERS of the Year , Alex Brylske (pictured on right) and Doug Demeo (pictured on left), from Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC)! Thanks to their efforts our Bay-Wise Project at OLMC was a success. Alex connected students and teachers to our environmental stewardship projects on campus. With Alex's help, we were able to host a major grant announcement at OLMC. Doug's creativity and passion for the environment made him a natural for promoting the project to OLMC's parishioners. Thank you, Alex and Doug, for inspiring others to take action for clean water! We are honored to be partners with you and the OLMC community.
GVC Receives $75,000 Award to Continue Work at Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The GVC is thrilled to announce that our work at Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) will continue into 2020 ! We recently received a $75,000 Restoration and Outreach Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to install additional stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on the OLMC campus.

As you can see, OLMC has a lot of impervious surface, which causes a large amount of stormwater runoff to flow to nearby Hopkins Creek. In previous years, the GVC has installed 2 rain gardens, a Bayscape, 10 landscape trees, 4 rain barrels, and 3 micro-bioretention practices at OLMC. This year, we will be reducing the amount of impervious surface on the OLMC campus by removing almost 500 square feet of parking lot to install 2 more micro-bioretention practices capable of treating high volumes of stormwater. We will also be working with the OLMC community to create a simple outdoor teaching area to provide additional ways for students to connect to the natural environment.
You Made our Waterways BETTER
What happens when you assign 237 GVC volunteers to clean-up streams? A ton! During our 2019 Better Waterways clean-ups across the watershed, our volunteers removed over 4.7 tons of trash (including 47 tires) from streams and adjacent areas. Special thanks to all of our volunteer Stream Captains for organizing these events to greatly improve the health of our waterways.
Upcoming Calendar of Events
You heard it here first! The GVC is offering Tree Maintenance at Loch Raven Reservoir every Saturday in January, February, and March. Removing invasive plants from young trees is such an important job that we've decided to keep working through the winter. Volunteers will be notified if an event has to be cancelled due to weather conditions.
Saturday, January 18 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, January 25 : Tree Maintenance
Tuesday, January 28: How to Recycle in Baltimore County
Saturday, February 1: Tree Maintenance
Saturday, February 8 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, February 15 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, February 22 : Tree Maintenance
Saturday, February 29 : Tree Maintenance
Meet our Education and Restoration Project Assistant
Kim recently graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Studies, with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Management. Growing up in Hereford, she enjoyed exploring the Gunpowder River from a young age. When she is not planting or maintaining trees with the GVC, Kim spends time outdoors hiking local trails with her dog and boyfriend, and tending to the plants and animals that they have on their farm. She looks forward to working with GVC, and helping to make a positive difference in our watershed.
"I started my GVC career as a GVC intern in the late Fall of 2019 and immediately felt as though I was finally doing what I had always wanted to do." ~ Kim Thomas
Meet our Watershed Restoration Interns
Adam began his undergraduate studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and recently graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in Environmental Science. He is an avid skier, and also likes to hike around Prettyboy Reservoir. He is looking forward to working with GVC to make connections and gain further experience in the environmental field.
Owen is a senior at Towson University, majoring in Environmental Studies. He enjoys learning about the environment and climate, and how human actions can impact both. He wanted to work at GVC to apply what he learned at school and gain firsthand experience with watershed management.
Make a Difference
Back by popular demand ! A FREE information session on " How to Recycle in Baltimore County" will be held at Seven Oaks Senior Center on Tuesday, January 28 at 1 pm. Come learn best practices from a Baltimore County Material Recovery Facility (MRF) speaker.