Sustainable Frederick County
Quarterly Newsletter
Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20, 2022. Frederick County will have pit stops at the Brunswick Train Station and the downtown Frederick Transit Center. Bicycling a great way to stay in shape, reduce stress, and it’s better for the environment! According to Clean Air Partners, cars and trucks travel more than 38 billion miles on the roads annually, accounting for 30-40% of ozone-causing pollutants. To find out more about Bike to Work Day 2022 visit their website.
EV Charging Bill
On March 15, 2022, the County Council passed a bill to adopt amendments to Chapter 1-6 of the Frederick County Code (Building Code) to require electric vehicle charging infrastructure for charging electric vehicles in certain new residential structures. The bill was introduced by County Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer at the January 11, 2022 County Council meeting.
The bill will increase the home charging capabilities for new residential construction by requiring the installation of electrical wiring and an outlet in most new residential construction for single homes, townhouses, and duplexes. Homes will have to have space reserved in the electric box for a charger and will have to have conduit from the box to a junction box in the garage or parking pad.  
Solar Co-Op 2022
Thinking about adding solar or an EV charger to your home? Try a co-op!
OSER is proud to announce its partnership with The City of Frederick, other Maryland jurisdictions, and Solar United Neighbors for a 2022 Maryland Solar/EV Charger Co-op. Co-ops bring neighbors together, answer questions, and use bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and a quality installation. Each homeowner gets a personalized proposal. Co-ops make installing a solar system or EV charger easy and Solar United Neighbors is forming a new co-op now!

Visit the website for virtual information sessions. Black Ankle Vineyards will be hosting an in-person information session on Friday, August 12, 2022.
Questions? Contact Dawn Ashbacher, Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources, 301-600-6864 or
OSER Project Updates
Catoctin Creek Pond
Catoctin Park Stream
Double Pipe Stream
Pinecliff Park Stream
BMP #20
BMP #20
Just like Spring has sprung so have many of our Department’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)! OSER staff are extremely busy prepping for the start of our Catoctin Creek Watershed projects which include four stormwater pond retrofits and one smaller stream restoration project within the Jefferson area.

These projects will assist the County to reduce polluted stormwater runoff while also using newer technology to provide reduction in thermal impacts to the receiving stream while ensuring the maintenance of these facilities are easier to maintain.

The County is retrofitting two stormwater ponds with an enhanced surface sand filter that has turf grass on top for easy mowing and maintenance while the other two stormwater facility locations allow the County to construct larger permanent wet ponds with an enhanced native wetland fringe to create a balanced ecosystem. Above one of the larger stormwater ponds, the County will be performing 1,200 linear feet of stream restoration on an actively eroding stream bed to help protect the County’s sewer infrastructure as well as reduce long term maintenance of sediment deposition to the downstream pond. These projects are slated to start construction early June 2022 and will take approximately one year to construct.

The County will be resuming its Double Pipe stream restoration in mid-June and anticipates the remaining portion of 1,200 linear feet of the project to be completed around October 2022. Highlights of this project include establishing a 35-foot-wide riparian buffer on both sides of the stream to shade the stream where there were little to no buffers, removing livestock from the stream, and providing new crossing over the stream including a new livestock crossing. There will be additional opportunities to provide new wetland features along the left and right sides of the streambed.

Another project the County will be starting is a stream restoration (Phase II) project within the County owned Pinecliff Park located along the mainstem of Monocacy River off of Reich’s Ford Road. This project includes almost 600 linear feet of stream restoration, replacement of the old weir wall to ensure a portion of the stream is diverted into the ice pond which has a rare and endangered wetland species and reducing active erosion occurring from the floodwaters of the Mainstem Monocacy. The project also includes the planting of over 480 native trees and 200 native shrubs to assist in reestablishing a riparian buffer. This project is anticipated to start in July and will be completed within approximately 6 months. 

The stormwater facility known as BMP #20 is located near the town of Walkersville north of Frederick City. The facility was designed and built over 20 years ago and OSER Watershed Studies determined that it was not performing to current standards. The facility was essentially a flat field that did not help with stormwater quantity or quality control. 

The new design converted the facility to a Submerged Gravel Wetland type that collects the stormwater in a large area of buried gravel. Special soil and wetland plants are installed above the gravel bed to remove the excess nutrients and pollutants from the water before it is pushed out by the next storm event. A forebay was also added where the stormwater enters the facility to slow it down and not wash out the wetland during large storm events. The area drains over 90 acres, so a substantial amount of water is delivered here during large storms. 

The forebay temporarily collects the incoming water and slowly releases it through the gabion rock wall to the wetland area over 24-48 hours after the storm event.
Power Saver Retrofits Program Receives $460,000
Frederick County residents can save money by making their homes more energy efficient. Energy audits and energy-efficient home improvements are available at no cost to qualified homeowners through Power Saver Retrofits, a program of Frederick County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources. Improvements and audits are funded through a $460,000 grant that the Maryland Energy Administration awarded to Frederick County last month.

“Making our homes more energy efficient is something all of us can do to make a difference,” Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said. “We save green by going green.”

To qualify for the program, households must meet income requirements, based on the number of people living there. For instance, individuals living by themselves qualify if they make $57,750 or less annually, while a four-person household is eligible up to $82,500. For more information about the program, income limits, or to download an application, visit or contact Dawn Ashbacher, the County's Sustainability Program Manager, at 301-600-6864 or
OSER Staff Updates
Ayodeji Adesuyi
Welcome Ayodeji!
OSER welcomed Ayodeji Adesuyi to our team as our new GIS Analyst. Ayodeji brings years of GIS, field research and spatial analysis experience with him. Ayo is a member of American Association of Geographers (AAG). He is also an active volunteer with humanitarian organizations such as A21 Campaign where he helps in furthering awareness around child and human trafficking as well as Junior Chambers International (JCI) which focuses on human development empowerment. Ayodeji is an avid nature explorer and an advocate for sustainable nature conservation. Ayodeji is a graduate of Stellenbosch University, where he majored in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing.
Grant Will Help Businesses Save Money Through Energy-Saving Improvements
New grants are available for businesses to make energy efficient retrofits and save money. Frederick County is offering supplemental grants, up to $5,000 for LED lighting upgrades and up to $10,000 for deeper retrofits to HVAC and commercial refrigeration systems. These funds will cover the customer co-pay for incentives offered by Potomac Edison. By combining funds, businesses may make improvements at no cost as long as funding is available.

There are two eligible Potomac Edison Programs. First, the Small Business Direct Install provides a turnkey solution, choosing the best products for an upgrade, managing the installation process and providing enhanced warranty support. Potomac Edison provides incentives covering up to 80% of installed energy saving measure costs.

Second, Building Tune-up (BT) offers incentives to offset the upfront costs for energy efficiency improvements in existing commercial buildings through HVAC, refrigeration, lighting, and food service measures. These incentives support more comprehensive improvements.
The programs are available for most non-residential facility types including commercial, institutional, and industrial customers. To qualify, participating projects must be in Potomac Edison’s Maryland service territory. Willdan Energy Solutions is implementing the Potomac Edison programs in partnership with Frederick County.

For more information, contact Willdan: or call 800-880-3808.
Green Business - Royal Farms
USDA Under Secretary Xochtil Torres Small talks to Frederick County Sustainability Director Shannon Moore and Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer while Congressman David Trone talks to staff of Royal Farms during the new grant announcement
On April 12, 2022, Congressman David Trone and USDA Under Secretary Xochtil Torres Small visited Frederick County to announce a new grant designed to increase the use of renewable fuels. 

The Royal Farms store located on Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick, will use these funds to increase the amount of ethanol sold in the region. The store will be installing over 100 fuel dispensers at 17 fueling stations
throughout Maryland and Delaware. A great investment for a greener tomorrow!

For more information on grants, loans, and incentives for alternative vehicles and charging, visit the following links: Transportation Incentives ( and EV Driven (
Restore Our Earth - Rooting for Native Plants
Indian Pink Flower (Spigelia marilandica)
As you begin planting your garden this spring, be sure to include native plants. Native plants have deep roots which help to soak up stormwater and are easy to maintain once established.

Native wildflowers, shrubs and trees promote biodiversity, and are well adapted to the local environment. They allow landscapes to coexist with nature creating more sustainable landscapes. Many native plants are drought resistant which reduces the amount of watering required to keep the plants healthy.

Native plants like milkweed and butterfly weed are great for attracting pollinators, like bees and butterflies!

For more information on gardening with native plants and other homeowner tips, be sure to check out the Resources page on our website.
Mosquito Prevention
Dudrow Pond in Frederick County
Summertime is almost here! Warm days, cool nights, fun times outdoors and mosquitoes! These pests can be a nuisance if their breeding habitat is near your home or recreational areas. To keep them away be sure to eliminate all areas of standing water in your yard. Mosquitos require standing water to breed, and it doesn’t take much (a single soda bottle cap full of water is enough!) This includes containers around the yard and under decks, partially clogged gutter systems, gutter diversion pipes into yards (especially the corrugated ones, they are perfect for holding water), upside down frisbees, etc. Water left standing for just a little over a week is long enough for a full mosquito life cycle from egg to adult. 
Stormwater facilities that are always wet are often thought of as breeding grounds for mosquitos, but they are actually not very attractive for them. Given the choice, mosquitos much prefer the safety of a nice quiet container in a nearby yard to lay their eggs. Stormwater facilities are often designed or naturally become wetland type environments that contain balanced ecosystems with all the predators that love to eat mosquitos. This includes frogs, turtles, fish, dragonflies, predacious diving beetles and others that keep mosquito populations in check. Stormwater facilities that are designed to drain within 24-48 hours do not hold water long enough for the mosquito life cycle. Here are some more great mosquito prevention tips from the Frederick County Health Department.
The Benefits of Tree Tubes
During your travels, you may have driven by some of our local reforestation sites. They are easy to spot, because instead of trees, the area is covered in tall tubes. The tubes serve a very important purpose in helping our reforestations succeed.

Tree tube protectors help to support young seedlings and prevent harm from deer rub, rodents, mowers, weed eaters and harsh weather.

When the trees are big enough to support themselves the tree tubes will split at the perforated areas and break away from the tree (pictured at left).

While doing maintenance on one of our reforestation sites in Point of Rocks, MD the trees were growing well and we were able to remove many of the tube protectors from the trees! Go trees!
Summer Fun Family Activity - Sandwich Bag Compost
Here is a great family activity to learn how composting works!

What you will need: A sandwich bag with a sealable top, a paper straw for air, food scraps, paper and water.
  1. Place food scraps in the sandwich bag (chop up larger items).  Fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and egg shells work best. Avoid meat, dairy and processed foods. 
  2. Add in a little bit of shredded paper so it doesn’t get too soggy.  Your mixture should be 60% food and 40% paper.
  3. Place a straw in the corner of the bag to let in some air and seal the bag.
  4. Keep your mixture watered by adding in two tablespoons every couple of days and squish the bag to mix.
In a few days you will start to see results and soon you will have beautiful rich compost to add to your garden!