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Neighborhood Greenways

With funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Howard County and in partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, we are conducting outreach, education and restoration activities in Columbia and the surrounding community regarding Howard County's Green Infrastructure Network, our most valuable ecological resources in the County.  READY will build on past work in local neighborhoods where many  rain gardens have been constructed.  We will use the existing rain gardens, forest and the adjacent stream as focal points for our ‘Neighborhood Greenway’ education and outreach efforts.  Three workshops will be held on the topics of Water, Pollinators and Forests and each will include: 1)An introduction to the Green Infrastructure Network and ecosystem services; 2) A guest speaker; 3) A Stewardship Pledge Drive for attendees; and 4) Native plant give-away in exchange for stewardship pledges!

Neighborhood Greenway Workshop 3 - FOREST STEWARDSHIP

October 21, 2017, Time - 1PM - 3:30PM
Location - Miller Branch library, Patapsco/Avalon Room, 9421 Frederick Rd Ellicott City MD 21042
Guest Speaker: Michael Judd
Registration - Click here to register!

Food Forests, Water Harvesting and More!
Forests provide us with many valuable ecosystem services from climate regulation to recreation. Over the course of history in the Chesapeake Bay watershed deforestation has been a major contributor to sediment pollution and erosion.  It is important to maintain natural forest buffer habitat in Maryland.  Learn about the value of forests within our Green Infrastructure Network then dive in and discover how to plant a “food forest” as well as explore a variety of strategies to manage and enhance the water resources on your land--leading to healthier plants and watersheds. 
A food forest (or “edible forest garden”) is a low-maintenance gardening technique that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes woodland species with edible trees, shrubs, perennial vegetables, herbs, vines, and annuals. Designed correctly, a food forest is sustainable, resilient, builds healthy soil, sequesters carbon, stores rainwater, and provides habitat for wildlife--all while producing a cornucopia of food for you and your family!
Understanding and implementing just a few simple water harvesting techniques such as swales on contour, hugelkultur beds, and rain gardens can improve the way water moves through your yard and how effectively your plants are able to use it. Learn which designs best fit your land, how they are created, and how to make them look good.   Whether you have a little patch of backyard or a huge property to work with, the principles you learn will help make your land more diverse, productive, and ecologically friendly than ever before.
About the Speaker
Michael Judd has worked with agro-ecological and whole-system designs throughout the Americas for nearly two decades, focusing on applying permaculture and ecological design. His projects increase local food security and community health in both tropical and temperate growing regions. He is the founder of Ecologia Edible & Ecological Landscape Design and Project Bona Fide, an international nonprofit supporting agro-ecology research.

Neighborhood Greenway Workshop 2 - POLLINATORS

May 20, 2017, Time - 1PM - 3PM
The NonProfit Center, 9770 Patuxent Woods Dr., Columbia
Guest Speaker: Sam Droege
Registration - Click here to register!

Green Bee Infrastructure

To most, landscapes mean plants. Natural plant communities hold the soil in place and we are aware of their roles in producing oxygen, preventing erosion, providing visual beauty, and storing carbon. But there is so much more. Each plant species brings with it a set of insects and other animals that may use only that one plant species. So its not just about structure; it’s about diversity. We will explore how different plant communities have unique sets of native bees. What are native bees? Well, to begin with, there are over 400 species in Maryland and they pollinate about 75% of all our plant species. They have none of the characteristics that honey bees have and live in all of our yards and parks. We will talk about the interconnections between your bees, plants, and yards/parks in this talk and demonstrate that Green Infrastructures are about creating more than trees.

About the Speaker
Sam Droege has been spent most of his career at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, online identification guides for North American bees at www.discoverlife.org, and with Jessica Zelt reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program. His group maintains high resolution photographs of insects and other macro natural history objects at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Neighborhood Greenway Workshop 1 - WATER

March 25, 2017, 12:30-2:30PM
Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia
Guest Speaker: Lori A. Lilly - "Perspectives on Ellicott City Flood Mitigation"

Perspectives on Ellicott City Flood Mitigation
Ellicott City, MD has a history of flooding. The latest flood was experienced on July 30, 2016 and cost lives, businesses and significant damage to property. Efforts have been on-going to mitigate flood damage prior to the 7/30 event, and have increased since. Lori has been working with the community in both a professional and volunteer capacity since the 2011 Tropical Storm Lee flood to assist with mitigation. She will share knowledge gained from these experiences including the development and implementation of a watershed plan, initiation and implementation of a channel debris maintenance program, education and outreach efforts as Chair and Member of the Ellicott City Partnership’s Clean, Safe and Green Committee and voluntary service on the Ellicott City Flood Workgroup and Ellicott City Community Advisory Group.

About the Speaker
Lori A. Lilly is Director of Howard EcoWorks and an independent environmental consultant. Lori directed a non-profit and implemented watershed restoration projects in Oregon for 3 years. She then worked for the Center for Watershed Protection for 5 years as a Watershed Ecologist / Planner where she led illicit discharge training, research and field projects across the nation. Lori is currently leading multiple water resource improvement projects in the Chesapeake Bay through her consulting business and grassroots watershed restoration efforts in Howard County. 
Stewardship Resources

FOREST Workshop