November 2021 Newsletter
Growing Clean Water Across Our Watershed
Volunteers helped create a Bayscape garden on the shores of Middle River
With the arrival of the first frost, our 2021 conservation garden season has come to an end. It has truly been a remarkable season filled with many notable accomplishments. After a brief hiatus, GVC was thrilled to receive additional funding to install several Bayscape gardens. Bayscapes—a term coined by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay—are beautiful landscapes that protect local waterways. Bayscapes replace lawn with native plants that support wildlife, reduce landscape maintenance, and filter rain water from your yard, driveway, roof, or other hard surfaces. Special thanks to our Bayscape team (Jordan Catrombon, Erina Kironde, Nick Leslie, Kim Thomas, and Mark McDonald) for going above and beyond to ensure our sites were prepared in advance of the workshops.

GVC also expanded our partnership with Pine Ridge Golf Course (PRGC), which is managed by Baltimore Classic Five. Over the years, GVC volunteers have planted hundreds of native hardwood trees at PRGC to replace its dying white pine forest. Located on the shores of Loch Raven Reservoir, the golf course was the ideal location to implement additional Bay-Wise practices to reduce the negative impact of stormwater run-off. This year GVC installed 4 rain barrels, 2 microbioretention practices (MBRs), 2 rain gardens, and a Bayscape garden throughout the grounds. Another Bayscape garden is planned for 2022 thanks to the generosity of a PRGC member.
Last, but certainly not least, we want to celebrate the dedication of Cromwell Station HOA community members for installing 12 Rain Gardens and 4 MBRs throughout their neighborhood. We think their testimonials say it all!
"I love my new Rain Garden! My property sits slightly downhill from other homes and when it rained I had a lot of runoff from the other homes, roofs, yards and sidewalks. This caused parts of my backyard to be soggy and muddy and the excess to run into the woods and stream behind my house. I had trouble growing grass...and it took a long time for the area to dry out.

My new Rain Garden has done a great job of absorbing the runoff. The water now flows over the river rocks and settles into the plants and mulch, being absorbed and cleansed as it goes through my Rain Garden. As an added bonus, the plantings have attracted many butterflies and hummingbirds to my yard, I enjoy sitting on my patio or deck, watching all the activity.The new garden is between the rocks, and was nicely incorporated into the older, smaller garden."

Mary Pat Casella
"When we heard that the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC) was looking to install rain gardens in our neighborhood, my wife and I thought that our backyard would be a perfect spot. Drainage issues from our common area caused the rear of our property to be frequently waterlogged from spring through fall.

GVC provided excellent staff that understood what needed to be done.To have a beautiful garden that also provides an environmental solution [that helps the Gunpowder and Chesapeake Bay] is rewarding for us. The plants and shrubs are native to the area and very low maintenance, We are proud to represent the efforts of the GVC in our neighborhood while enjoying the beauty of the rain garden they designed and built for us"

Michael Goodhues
Cromwell Station HOA president
"I am so pleased with the way the [Rain Garden] turned out. It has really helped with the sogginess in my yard and attracts birds and butterflies. Everyone in GVC that I dealt with was polite, kind and accommodating."

Maggie Shulka
"I was interested in a rain garden to divert water coming along the side of my house...My house is the end of group townhouse on a hill so when it rains all the water flows to my patio. The rain garden now collects the water and directs the extra water out into the yard, if necessary. I am having a rain garden installed in another area of my yard that has drainage issues!"
Penny Haviland
Thank You for Planting the Future!
We will also be wrapping up another successful Tree Planting season this weekend. Our volunteers will have planted 757 native trees on 14 acres in October and November. Thank you to all the individuals, families, and volunteer groups who spent their weekends giving back to support healthy forests and waterways.

Special thanks to our volunteer leader Crew Chiefs (listed below) who did a marvelous job educating the volunteers on the benefits of native trees and demonstrating the appropriate way to plant trees. See you in Spring 2022!
Give the Gift of Clean Water
Give a meaningful gift this holiday season! GVC is excited to share several creative ways you can support your local land trust and watershed restoration non-profit.
Share the beauty of the Gunpowder Watershed and support local artist, Mary Magenta. Her 2022 Watershed Moments calendars and note cards are available for sale online. Mary will make a donation to GVC with each purchase.
When you make a tax-deductible donation to GVC's Friends of the Forest, you are directly supporting our work of expanding native forest and wildlife habitat within the Gunpowder Watershed.
  • $25 will nurture one tree
  • $100 will nurture a grove
  • $250 will nurture a forest

In return, we will send you a commemorative certificate to acknowledge your support. A perfect gift to celebrate people in your life who appreciate the beauty of the Gunpowder Falls and the Chesapeake Bay and/or are environmental stewards in their own community.
Keep exploring local trails in 2022 in our sustainable Explore the Gunpowder Watershed challenge t-shirts! Each shirt features recreation icons and the outline of the Gunpowder Watershed and its main rivers. The shirts are made by Recover, a sustainable apparel company, out of a 50/50 cotton poly yarn from recycled plastic bottles and upcycled cotton.

We are excited to offer our remaining 2021 Explore the Gunpowder Watershed challenge t-shirts for a $20 donation to the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy. Let others know that YOU support land preservation and clean water in Maryland. Our remaining inventory will be updated on the order form for women's (dark green, v-cut) and men's (light green) shirts.
Get Involved - Volunteer
Better Waterways begin with YOU! Each fall GVC's volunteer Stream Captains host a series of stream clean-up events to remove refuse that jeopardizes the health of our waterways and the animals that call them home. We can accomodate several more volunteers for our Saturday, November 20 clean-up at Sue Creek Park in Middle River/Essex area. The event will be from 1 - 3 pm and volunteers will meet in the parking lot of Back River Recreation Center (801 Back River Neck Road, Essex 21221).

Click here for more information and to register online. We also have several more Tree Maintenance events this month!

Sunday, Nov. 21: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Nov. 22: Tree Maintenance
Sunday, Nov. 28: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Nov. 29: Tree Maintenance

In Other News...
Additional Funding Supports Chesapeake Bay
In case you missed it, there was big news that pertains to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program will receive an additional $248 million over five years thanks to the recently passed Infrastructure Bill. Read more about the impact of this legislation.
Hiking with the President
We're thrilled to announce a new initiative from the GVC President, Cyrus Green. He wants to hear from YOU about your GVC experiences and ways to improve our growing organization. Join Cyrus for Hiking with the President on November 20 at Oregon Ridge Nature Center.

Reserve your spot today by filling out a brief Google Form. Space will be limited to allow for social distancing.
Thanks to our GVC 2021 Sponsors