Sustainable Frederick County
Summer 2019
Lillian Joiner and OSER Project Manager Don Dorse y water the new demonstration garden during the tap-opening ceremony at the UMD Extension Services Building in Frederick. Pictured at back from left: Rick Walter and Stephanie Mathias from the University of Maryland, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and OSER Manager Shannon Moore.
County Launches Stormwater Prototype Project
Maryland State and local officials held a tap-opening ceremony on June 5, 2019 (pictured above) to launch an innovative project to demonstrate stormwater management options for property owners. The project, located at  330 Montevue Lane in Frederick , is a collaboration of the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources, the University of Maryland Extension Services , and the Frederick County Master Gardener's Program. The County received $40,000 through a grant from the Maryland Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bay Trust Fund to assist with the project.

“This project uses captured rainwater to feed beautiful gardens,” said County Executive Jan Gardner.  “Eight different techniques to harvest rainfall are showcased so visitors can learn about methods that might work for them. Frederick County is leading by example with the management of stormwater runoff.” 

The demonstration gardens are considered the first stormwater management demo project in the mid-Atlantic region. The project will also provide educational opportunities for those who want to replicate similar projects. For more information and to view the project, visit our story map .
Save Up to $7,000 - $10,000 in Home Energy Saving Improvements!
Atlas Energy Solutions applies spray foam insulation to a cantilevered section of a Power Saver Retrofits participant's home
The Power Saver Retrofits (PSR) program will continue to provide energy saving home improvements to low to moderate income households in the next year. OSER has been awarded a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration for the seventh time to continue the PSR program. There is no cost to qualified homeowners to participate. Please help get the word out by sharing this with friends, relatives, and neighbors who may not otherwise be able to afford these improvements.

The energy saving home improvements include:
  • Insulation in attics and basements
  • Duct sealing
  • Heating and cooling system (HVAC) upgrades to Energy Star models

Applications are now being accepted. Limited spots are available. Click here to learn more or to download an application, or contact Dawn Ashbacher at 301.600.6864 or .
2019 Sustainability Awards
From left to right: Tyler Hegamyer and Braeden Bumpers of McClintock Distilling, with City of Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor and County Executive Jan H. Gardner at the 2019 Sustainability Awards on March 28, 2019.
County Executive Jan H. Gardner and Frederick County Sustainability Commission Chair Ronald Kaltenbaugh presented the 2019 Sustainability Awards at the 8th Annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition Event on March 28, 2019. These awards recognize individuals and organizations in Frederick County that have made an outstanding contribution in helping the county advance sustainability efforts. Awards are presented based on demonstrated leadership, innovation and success in sustainability. Congratulations to the following winners:

Non Profit Category -  The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick
Commercial Category  - McClintock Distilling
Individual Category -  Elizabeth McCook and Jim Smith
Lifetime Achievement Sustainability Award  - George Rudy (Posthumously). 

Click here for more information about the winners!
Creek ReLeaf Wins BUBBA Award!
Frederick County’s Creek Releaf Reforestation program recently won second place in the Habitat Restoration Category of Chesapeake Stormwater Network’s Annual BUBBA Awards! The Best Urban BMP in the Bay Award contest (BUBBA) recognizes the best urban BMPs that have been installed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The Habitat Restoration Category recognizes restoration projects that create or restore a high-quality blend of wetland or upland wildlife habitats. 

The Creek ReLeaf program is a multi-year reforestation program that assists with the County's requirements for the MS4 Permit and is designed to increase the total amount of forested area within Frederick County.   Click here to read more about the award!
Congratulations Green Homes Challenge Certified Households!
Congratulations to Ron and Marie Free who won the $2,900 home improvement grand prize from Atlas Home Energy Solutions ! Photo by Russell Poole.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, City and County officials and OSER staff recognized  Green Homes Challenge   certified households at the 8th Annual Green Homes Challenge Recognition Event on  March 28, 2019  at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick. County Council Members Jessica Fitzwater and Kai Hagen, City of Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor, Burkittsville Mayor Debby Burgoyne and City of Frederick Alderman Roger Wilson were also in attendance.

Rebecca Culler and Deborah Moran from the Frederick County Office of Utilities and Solid Waste Management engaged the guests with a " Recyling Right" game and live music for the evening was provided by musician Ed Morrell. Prizes donated from local businesses were won by Challenge participants. Thank you to all our event sponsors !

Have you taken the Challenge? Click here to get started!
Frederick County Sustainability Commission Recognizes Local Students for Composting Efforts
Joe Richardson (center) and Frederick County Sustainability Commission Chair Ron Kaltenbaugh (center) with students from the Brunswick High School Composting Team.
On April 17, 2019, the Frederick County Sustainability Commission presented awards to over 80 students involved in the HAWK (Helping All With Kindness) Club at Urbana Elementary School and the Composting Team at Brunswick High School f or their involvement in food waste diversion programs at their schools. In the United States, 30-40% of food that is produced is wasted, and is sent to landfills where it emits harmful greenhouse gases.

Bar-T Mountainside's Joe Richardson , spearheaded the initiatives and has been working with the students in both programs. The students help in the lunch room during and after lunch to help sort the waste and to collect the data. They weigh trash, recyclables, organics, and liquids. Data collected showed that anywhere from 70 to 90% of waste can be diverted from the landfill. Of this, 50% is compostable and the rest is from recyclables and liquids. During the 2019-2020 school year, the composting program will be operating in at least 14 schools in the county.  
Monocacy and Catoctin Watershed Alliance
Pictured top to bottom: Claire Hudson and Michael Paskowsky

The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance   held its quarterly meeting on April 17, 2019 at Hood College. Guest speaker   Claire Hudson , Biology Instructor and Coordinator of the Coastal Studies Program at Hood College, gave a presentation on a pilot study that sought to determine the efficiency of garden beds designed to receive rooftop runoff and act as reservoir for sub-irrigation. 

Guest speaker   Michael Paskowsky ,  a board member of the  Friends of Baker Park   and a Project Manager for the   Culler Lake Renaissance,   updated us on the future Culler Memorial Plaza project around Culler Lake which will provide interpretative educational elements for visitors to the park. 

Thank you Claire and Michael for your presentations and your work on these wonderful projects! If you wish to participate and receive alerts about upcoming events and meetings for MCWA, please visit our   Register   page to subscribe!

The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance (MCWA) is coordinated by the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) and is a mutual, collaborative, non-advocacy effort among individuals and organizations desiring to work together to improve the health of the Monocacy and Catoctin watersheds.
Where We've Been!
OSER provided family-friendly activities at the Green Neighbor Festival in May. Pictured: OSER Project Manager, Angelia Miller, helping a young visitor make a planter out of a recycled water bottle.
If you have been out and about at the many events going on around our County this Spring, you have probably seen the OSER Team hard at work!

In March, we enjoyed talking to residents at the annual Frederick County Home Show held at the Frederick Fairgrounds. In April we hosted booths at the Thurmont Green Fest and at the Middletown Green Expo (on a very windy day!)

In May, we participated in the Catoctin Nature Fest, the Fast and the Furriest, Bark in the Park and we offered family-friendly activities at the 3rd Annual Green Neighbor Festiva l held around Culler Lake in Baker Park.

We ended our spring events at the beginning of June when we hosted a booth at the Mother Earth News Fair a t the Frederick Fairgrounds. If you missed us this spring, stop by and see us on S eptember 14th at the 37th Annual "In the Street" festival which runs along Market Street and Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick.
Recycling and Composting Updates
New Recycling Rules

Due to shifts in global markets and recycling processes, the recycling program is changing :

1. Shredded paper is no longer accepted (bagged or loose) in the blue-bin recycling program. It acts like confetti at the sorting center, making sorting and baling problematic, and it ends up contaminating other material types, reducing their value.

2. “Bag of bags” are no longer accepted in the blue bin program. You can visit this link for extensive lists of drop-off collection locations

** Recycling has never been allowed in plastic bags. When bagged materials reach the sorting center they are generally disposed. This wastes your efforts and makes the recycling program program less efficient and more expensive.  

Click the image below for information about Recycle Coach , a free recycing information program!
Homeowner Tips for Composting

  • Always add more carbon rich dry materials (dried weeds, newspaper, sawdust, etc.) than high nitrogen materials (fresh grass clippings, fruits, vegetables, etc.). Too much nitrogen rich material can cause the compost pile to stink.
  • Do not add meats, fats, or oily products.
  • Bury any added food scraps to deter animals.
  • Occasional turning of compost piles allows for materials to decompose at a faster rate.
  • The composting process is finished when the pile no longer heats up and is dark in color with a crumbly texture.

The Frederick County Department of Utilities & Solid Waste Management sells Geo-Bin composters year round at the landfill office. Geo-Bin composters cost $20 (payable by check only ) and come with informative handouts for successful composting.

The department also schedules composting classes on demand, to any group of six or more individuals. To set up a class for church groups, clubs, or other community gathering contact the Office of Utilities & Solid Waste Management (301-600-2960 or email to ) .