October 2021 Newsletter
You logged almost 2,000 miles for Clean Water!
Scenic hike along Loch Raven Reservoir (Photo by Sarah Bunk)
The second annual Explore the Gunpowder Watershed Challenge is officially in the books! Approximately 50 participants hit the trails throughout September to support GVC's land preservation and watershed restoration work. Together, they logged close to 2000 miles of activity and helped raise over $12,000! In fact, people carried the Gunpowder in their hearts near and far. We had participants log in miles while exploring several other watersheds in Colorado, Montana and Idaho!

We loved hearing your stories about your Gunpowder explorations and discoveries:
"As my husband and I were completing the challenge this year, we were struck by how much wildlife is in our area. As we were hiking along the Torrey C. Brown Trail at dusk, we even saw a barred owl. The Gunpowder Watershed is a precious natural resource that is home to so many living things, including us.

I think it is important for all of us to realize something that I often tell my students: what we do on the land affects the water. It is imperative that everyone realizes that the choices they make everyday can affect water quality for the entire community they live in, and its wild inhabitants."

Sarah Haines, GVC Secretary
Towson University
"I'm a life-long Baltimore resident and the Gunpowder watershed is home to some of my favorite places to ride...I learned about the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and its programs while connecting with environmental groups in the area. When I saw the Explore the Gunpowder Watershed challenge, I immediately knew I had to participate. It would be a great way to bring attention to GVC's work, raise awareness for the importance of the Gunpowder river, and be a motivator to find some new trails.

But 45 miles on a bike can be covered in one day, so I felt if I really wanted this to be a challenge for me I'd have to bump that number up. With a family and a full time job, finding the time to cover 200 miles in one month would be a real challenge! So with the help of my friend, Judah, and support from my wife, Avital, I started riding my gravel bike on the NCR trail whenever I could...I decided to finish the challenge on my mountain bike and explored some wonderful new-to-me trails at Gunpowder Falls State Park.

This was a very exciting challenge and I'm very grateful for all the hard work done by GVC to educate people about the stewardship of such an important natural resource."

Jaron Shaul, GVC volunteer and avid biker
Congratulations to our Explore the Gunpowder Watershed challenge raffle winners:
  • Individual - Activity Challenge: Lynda McClary
  • Individual - Fundraising Challenge: Kathleen Crostic
  • Team - Activity Challenge: The Lancaster family
  • Team - Fundraising Challenge: Nancy and the Nomads
A final thanks to our 2021 Sponsors! For over 30 years, the GVC has preserved the character, history, and environmental integrity of the Gunpowder Watershed. It is the generosity of our loyal supporters that has enabled us to remain a successful enviornmental non-profit. We are beyond grateful!
GVC Receives Small Watershed Grant
Two more years of the Clear Creeks Project! We are thrilled to announce that our National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Small Watershed Grant has been funded. This funding helps GVC provide substantial discounts on rain barrels and conservation gardens to homeowners, businesses, and organizations within targeted sub-watersheds of the Gunpowder.

Last week, NFWF announced more than $10 million in grants to protect and restore vital wildlife habitats across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. GVC's Clear Creeks Project was one of 49 funding recipients. Stay tuned for more details in early 2022 on how to get involved with the Clear Creeks Project.

In the meantime, you can listen to a recent webinar featuring one of our Clear Creeks Project success stories: Miramar Landing HOA! In September, GVC Associate Program Manager, Darcy Herman, and Miramar Landing's Purnell Glenn discussed how GVC worked with community members towards a shared vision of clean water, which included the creation of a Bay-Wise Certified park for residents. This webinar was part of Chesapeake Stormwater Network's series featuring 2021 Best Urban BMP in the Bay award winners.
Get Involved - GVC Calendar of Events
Did you know that October is Riparian Buffer Month? GVC is a proud partner of Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council's inaugural celebration to raise awareness of the value of maintaining forested habitat along our waterways. Another way to promote healthy streams is to participate in a stream clean-up (this Saturday!) or attend our October 30th Adopt-a-Stream training to learn how to organize your own clean-up events. Clean water begins with you!
Saturday, Oct. 23: Stream Clean Up
Saturday, Oct. 23: Tree Planting
Saturday, Oct. 23: Edible Bayscape workshop
Sunday, Oct. 24: Tree Maintenance
Monday, Oct. 25: Tree Maintenance
Saturday, Oct. 30: Tree Planting - FULL
Saturday, Oct. 30: Adopt a Stream training
Saturday, Nov. 6: Tree Planting - FULL
Saturday, Nov. 13: Tree Planting
Saturday, Nov. 20: Tree Planting

The GVC highly values the safety of our staff and volunteers. All participants are encouraged to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Should you feel ill, please do not attend the event and let the event leader know as soon as possible so we can recruit additional volunteers.
In Other News...
Land Preservation 101
You're invited to a free "Land Preservation 101" info session sponsored by the Baltimore County Land Trust Alliance! Learn how preserving your land helps not only to protect its natural resources but also benefits your estate planning. Experts will explain the options available and how to apply, and members of local land trusts (including GVC!) will be on hand to answer your questions. Light fare and beverage will be served. RSVP by calling (410) 337-6877.

Land Preservation 101
Thursday, October 21, 6 - 8 pm
Balt. County Center for Agriculture & Farm Park
1114 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030
Meet GVC's Intern: Erina Kironde
Join us in extending a warm welcome to the newest member of the GVC team: Erina Kironde! A recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Erina is splitting her Episcopal Service Corps Maryland service year between GVC and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. We can't wait to see how Erina's work enhances our organizations' shared efforts in engaging faith-based communities in Bay-Wise activities.

"So far, it's been a dance with GVC. While one foot is in planting trees, the other is in planting native plants and digging bioswales. I'm learning all the steps, and practicing my moves! I'm looking forward to making an impact within the Gunpowder watershed ecosystem, and feel blessed to be able to do so. Let's see where this dance takes me!"
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 October 23 or 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.