Sustainable Frederick County
Quarterly Newsletter

October 2021
Sustainability Award Winners Announced

On October 14. 2021, winners of the 2020 and 2021 Frederick County Sustainability Awards were recognized during a virtual ceremony. Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner was joined by County and City elected officials, the Frederick County Sustainability Commission and Shannon Moore, Director of Sustainability and Evironmental Resources, to congratulate the winners and nominees.

The Frederick County Sustainability Awards recognize individuals and organizations in Frederick County that have made an outstanding contribution in helping the county advance sustainability efforts. Awards are based on demonstrated leadership, innovation and success in sustainability. Awards were presented in the following categories: 

2020 Awards
  • Commercial—Key City Compost for leading environmentally progressive waste management efforts and founding Frederick County’s first commercial composting business.
  • Individual—Joyce Tuten for being a passionate climate change educator and advocate and enthusiastic member of the Middletown Sustainability Committee.
  • Nonprofit—ReStore of Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County for offering a place to donate and resell quality furnishings to keep them out of landfills and using proceeds to provide homes for low-income families.
  • Student –Ember Carrera for being a waste diversion advocate and pioneering a waste management initiative with students at Urbana High School to divert compost, liquids, and recycling from the landfill.
2021 Awards
  • Commercial—District Farms for using a breakthrough, computer-controlled hydroponic growing system for leafy greens that leads to reduced CO2 emissions, 95% less water use than conventionally-grown leafy greens, and zero use of pesticides and herbicides.
  • Individual—Jake Romanell for leading numerous New Market green efforts as a resident and Town Council member and fostering community engagement. Results of his efforts include an electric vehicle charging station at Town Hall, a pond conversion project that purifies stormwater runoff and increases tree cover, safe walking trails, a New Market Girl Scout compost bin project, and rain barrel and composting workshops.
  • Nonprofit—Frederick Arts Council’s Sky Stage for transforming a boarded pre-Revolutionary War building in downtown historic Frederick into building-scale public art and a center for arts and culture.
  • Student – Jordan Heyrend for creating and leading a project to collect old coats and jackets and distribute them to those in need in Frederick County.

The recorded event is available to watch on FCG-TV. For more information, please contact Sustainability Program Manager Dawn Ashbacher at 301-600-6864 or via e-mail at
Creek Releaf Application Period Now Open
Do you have areas on your property that are two acres or greater that you don’t know what to do with? Are you tired of mowing it, or is it full of weeds? Would you like to get paid to have the land reforested with trees?
Frederick County's Creek ReLeaf Program is a reforestation program designed to increase forest acres in Frederick County and to meet goals for clean streams. The program is a part of County Executive Jan H. Gardner’s efforts to reverse the trend of tree loss in Frederick County. Trees are planted on both private and public land. The Creek ReLeaf Program plants eligible areas with native trees/shrubs and provides the first 5 years of maintenance to ensure successful planting efforts, at no cost to the landowner. 
The Creek ReLeaf program may be able to help you:
·        Have the land cleared of invasive weeds
·        Get trees planted on your property
·        Have the trees maintained for five years
·        Receive a payment in exchange for keeping the land in trees
·        Continue to own the land
The area that is planted will have lasting protection by a permanent conservation easement, which will continue even if you sell your property. If accepted into the program you will receive payment for the permanent conservation easement, which will be based on 75% of fair market value of the land to be planted, up to $9,000 per acre.
Applications are now being accepted until December 1, 2021. To learn more and apply for the program visit our website. For questions, contact Linda Williamson, project manager at Phone: 301-600-1741 or 240-608-7426 or by email.
OSER Project Updates
Beaver Dam Stream floodplain bench and root wads
Beaver Dam Stream riflle
Beaver Dam Stream rootwads and riffles
Beaver Dam Stream Restoration Project Is Underway
Frederick County entered into a cost sharing agreement to provide support funds to the nonprofit Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (WM RC&D) for design efforts with Frederick Seibert and Associates (FSA) for the Beaver Dam Road Stream Restoration Project.

This project’s construction was funded through Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (MD DNR) the Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund to restore 1,250 linear feet of a degraded stream channel within the Beaver Dam Creek located in Union Bridge, in northeastern Frederick County. In addition, the project will restore 1.25 acres of an adjacent wetland, plant 2.71 acres of riparian buffer, and reforest 3.54 acres in an unused agricultural field around the wetland.

Construction is underway and the project is approximately 75% complete with many instream fish and aquatic insect habitat structures installed. Typical stream restoration structures and practices include: 1) enhanced riffles to provide oxygenation to the water column; 2) root wads for fish to swim under and use as shelter from predators; 3) re-grading vertical stream banks to allow a stable slope for vegetation to grow; 4) floodplain benches to allow the stream access to its floodplain which is crucial in reducing erosive stream flows, sediment deposition in the floodplain to allow vegetation to provide nutrient uptake; 5) reforestation and riparian buffer seed mix will be installed to provide an enhanced native riparian and upland buffer for stream restoration success. It is anticipated the project will be fully restored by the end of spring 2022.
Stormwater Pond (BMP#38 ) in Adamstown
Jefferson-Copperfield Stormwater Pond (BMP #54)

Adamstown Stormwater Pond Retrofit Recently Completed
The County recently retrofitted Stormwater Pond - BMP #38 in Adamstown utilizing both a sand filter and submerged gravel wetland treatment types to remove pollutants from the runoff before it continues its flow to the river. The submerged gravel wetland stores water below ground to grow the plants which remove excess nutrients and pollutants. The sand filter media removes these as the water infiltrates through it. 

Stormwater Pond BMP #54 in the Jefferson-Copperfield community is also being retrofitted by the County to bring it up to current stormwater standards.

The HOA owner of the pond requested a surface sand filter be constructed to replace the previous wet pond. This design, along with the trees selected for planting along the facility, blend the area with the adjacent community park.
Go Green and Save Green with the "Power Saver" Challenge
Taking proactive action to make your home more energy efficient is a great way to lower your utility bills, and it also helps our nation by reducing the amount of energy that needs to be produced. This can lead to fewer fossil fuel power plants, cleaner air, and lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

The Green Homes Challenge "Power Saver Challenge" is a fun and easy way to learn about all of the ways you can take action to make your home more energy efficient! Get started today by visiting!
Visit our Facebook page for more Energy Tips!
OSER Receives Grant Award for Creek ReLeaf Program
In July, 2021, the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources was awarded $832,000 in funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund Grant. The grant will help to fund Creek ReLeaf Reforestation Program planting projects

The Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund (Trust Fund) allows Maryland to accelerate Bay restoration by focusing limited financial resources on the most efficient, cost-effective non-point source pollution control projects. 

To learn more about the Creek ReLeaf Program, visit our website.
New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to Myersville
Congratulations to Myersville! An electric vehicle fast charging station will be installed at the Sunoco station located at 9630 Myersville Road.  On August 26, 2021, Governor Hogan announced that $3.7 million in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is being awarded to sites in Maryland using funds from Maryland’s settlement with Volkswagen (VW) for air pollution violations. The State of Maryland is funding 36 new public fast chargers at 13 locations and 145 workplace charging ports at 24 business locations. To read more click here. The Town of Myersville is also working with Potomac Edison to install two electric vehicle charging stations accessible to the public in front of Town Hall. The expected completion date is Spring 2022.
Septic Pump Out Rebate Program
Frederick County residents who have their septic tanks pumped out by a licensed hauler every five years are eligible for a $75 rebate through the Septic System Pump-Out Program. As a best management practice, it is recommended that residents inspect their septic system yearly, and to pump out their system every five years. Inspecting and pumping septic systems promotes their effectiveness and longevity, provides a reduction of nutrient leaching over time, and protects our local groundwater and drinking supplies. Rebates will be available for homeowners who pump-out their septic systems in the amount of $75 regardless of the amount billed for the pump-out service. Due to funding availability, rebates are on a first come first served basis . Please visit our website to apply or contact Suzanne Cliber for more information.
OSER Staff Updates
Welcome Leann!

The OSER staff welcomed Leann Nizzardi to our team as our new Administrative Specialist. Leann brings years of administrative and accounting experience with her. She is also an active volunteer with many local environmental organizations like Stream-Link Education, where she helps to plant and maintain trees and Envision Frederick County. Leann also volunteers with Celebrate Frederick and was most recently the chair of the Going Green Block at In The Streets.

Leann is a graduate of Frederick Community College and plans to pursue her Bachelors in Communications.
Welcome Anna!

OSER welcomed Anna Eyler to our team as a new part-time employee. Anna has worked as an intern in the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and at the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club.

During her time with OSER, Anna will be providing support for various projects within the office. Anna graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020 with a Bachelors in Environmental Science and Policy.

In her free time Anna enjoys hiking, camping, and reading.

Make Your Fall Decorating More Sustainable
As you begin decorating for fall this year, here are a few fun and easy ideas to make those decorations more sustainable!

  • Turn a pumpkin into a vase! Carve out the center, add a small pot and fill it with beautiful fall flowers or succulents

  • Add mini pumpkins, gourds and brightly-colored ears of corn to your window boxes

  • Fill a reusable large glass container with mini pumpkins and gourds, or arrange them on a table runner with succulents for a beautiful fall centerpiece

  • Display stalks of grain in jars, vases, buckets or tie them with a ribbon

Sustainable decorating in all seasons is about choosing items that use minimal resources and will create less waste. Happy fall!
Expedited Permitting Process Now Being Offered
The Frederick County Division of Planning & Permitting offers an expedited permit application and plan review process for qualified residential projects. In most cases permits are issued in less than 24 hours. Expedited permitting services are offered for residential use applications that meet the established criteria for projects such as minor interior alterations, basement finishes, small additions, decks, porches, sheds, swimming pools/hot tubs, solar panels and more. Applicants can access the citizen permitting portal electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to submit applications and upload plans. For more information or to view the application submittal process, please visit the Division of Planning and Permitting's website. There is also an informative video available about the expedited permitting process.
Frederick County COVID-19 Joint Information Center
Frederick County Government Joint Information Center (JIC) has up to date vaccine and registration information on their website. You can opt-in to receive COVID-19 updates by texting FredCoVID19 to 888777 or receive email updates by registering at Alert Frederick website. Standard messaging rates may apply.