November 2020 Newsletter
We EXCEEDED our Goal for Clean Water!
Birds of the Gunpowder watershed (from upper left to right): Great Blue Heron, Winter Wren, White throated sparrow, Palm warbler, Bald eagle, Caspian terns, Lesser yellowlegs, Magnolia warbler. Photo Credits: Gregg Petersen.
Our first annual Explore the Gunpowder Watershed Challenge was a success. Thanks to your generous donations we exceeded our goal and raised more than $10,500 for our land preservation and watershed restoration work! It is our pleasure to share with you the winners of our three raffles:

  • Social Media Challenge: Bill Curtis
  • Get Active! Challenge (Walk at least 45 miles): Moriah Dove
  • Crowdfunding Challenge: "Pentz-ive Hiking"

We were also humbled to hear your stories about how the Challenge connected you to the Gunpowder. Gregg Petersen, a Howard County resident, spent his October visiting Loch Raven Reservoir, Oregon Ridge Park, Cromwell Valley Park, and Gunpowder Falls State Park.
"It was a pleasure to discover so many diverse and interesting places to visit...there were always some great natural discoveries to be made." Gregg Petersen
Thanks to the following businesses for donating raffle items to engage our #GVCExplore participants: Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union, Gertrude's, McFaul's Ironhorse Tavern, and Prigel Family Creamery.

Special thanks to our 2020 GVC Event Sponsors for their generous support of our mission to educate and mobilize people and resources and restore the lands and waterways of the Gunpowder watershed.
One of a Kind Tree Planting Season
When Covid-19 delayed the beginning of our 2020 Tree Planting season, GVC's staff and volunteer leaders stepped up and dug in their shovels. Again and again and again! We hosted 9 tree planting events this fall--most years we only host 4 events in October and November--that increased our annual total reforestation to 826 native trees across 5.5 acres.

This amazing feat was thanks to the perseverance of GVC Education and Restoration Program Director Peg Perry (pictured above.) Peg worked with GVC Board Member Don Callihan to ensure that GVC had a solid Covid-19 protocol so that staff and volunteers could safely achieve our environmental stewardship goals.

Our hard work has already borne fruit in the form of new partnerships. In our first year working with Friends of Jerusalem Mill, we planted over 200 trees and aim to plant an additional 600 trees over the next 2 years at this historical section of Gunpowder Falls State Park in Kingsville.

Thanks to all our tree planting volunteers for their courage, spirit of volunteerism, and their care for our environment. Special thanks to our new Reforestation Assistant, Kim Thomas, who did an outstanding job leading volunteers with deep commitment and enthusiasm during Covid-19! Finally, we are grateful for the assistance of the following volunteer groups and our devoted team of volunteer leader Crew Chiefs.
Clean Water from a Parking Lot?
That time we removed four parking spaces to improve water quality to Hopkins Creek and the Chesapeake Bay! In 2020, GVC installed two microbioretention practices in Our Lady of Mount Carmel's (OLMC) parking lot to filter 17,000 sq. feet of stormwater runoff. This is just one of many Bay-Wise actions the Essex, MD based parish has taken in partnership with the GVC. Click here to learn more.

Special thanks to Eli Golding, a recent graduate of the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, for his creative vision and talents. His video both simplifies a complicated project as well as conveys beautiful testimonials from our OLMC partners. And thanks to Darcy Herman, GVC Associate Program Manager, for her invaluable help overseeing all aspects of the video's production.

The parking lot renovation was funded by a Restoration and Outreach Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
Upcoming Calendar of Events
Get outdoors and do something good in the community safely! Make sure to sign up and reserve your spot for one of our environmental stewardship events. We are limiting the number of volunteers at each event in accordance with our COVID-19 guidelines. Volunteers must wear face masks, maintain social distancing, and provide their own water bottle.

Here are our upcoming volunteer events that still have openings:

Saturday, Nov. 28: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Nov. 30: Tree Maintenance
Saturday, Dec. 5: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Dec. 7: Tree Maintenance
Saturday, Dec. 12: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Dec. 14: Tree Maintenance

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy dedicates our 2020 native tree and shrub plantings to the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic: the men and women of our region who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve and protect us, heal our families, produce our food, and teach our children. We honor their contributions to the well-being of the Gunpowder Watershed.