Our mission is to empower an under-served workforce to respect and restore our natural systems for future generations.



Our vision is to lead in developing innovative solutions, a skilled workforce and partnerships for resilient communities.

Board of Directors*

  • Josh Feldmark, Bike Maryland (Chair)
  • Kevin McAliley, Bike HoCo (Vice Chair)
  • Ishani Gandhi  (Treasurer), CPA, CFE, PwC
  • Richard M. Hesse, Retired, formerly COO/CFO The Maryland Science Center (Secretary)
  • Kris Althouse, HMS Insurance Associates
  • Afua Boateng, Former READY employee / nursing student
  • Bob Marietta, Howard Community College
  • Hina Naseem, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland
  • Christiana Mercer Rigby, Community Volunteer
  • Misty Sexton, Solutions Advocate
  • Rizwan Siddiqi, P.E., EBA Engineering
  • Bill Withers, Organizational Development Consultant

Ex Officio

  • Bill Mahoney, Howard County Office of Community Sustainability

*Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

Our People

Lori A. Lilly, Executive Director
Lori A. Lilly has been with the READY program since 2014.  She originally came on as Operations Managerand became the Project Manager in September, 2015.  During her tenure with READY, she worked with the County to establish a native plant nursery at the Howard County Department of Corrections, developed and implemented a debris management program in the Ellicott City streams to help prevent flooding, and led the formation of Howard EcoWorks to ensure READY's long term sustainability in the County and provide leadership for social and environmental change.

From 2006-2009, Lori directed an NGO and implemented watershed restoration projects in Oregon.  From 2009-2014, she worked for the Center for Watershed Protection as a Watershed Ecologist / Planner.   Lori owned and operated her own environmental consulting business from 2014-2017.   As a volunteer, Lori was the first Chair  and is currently a member of the Ellicott City Partnership's Clean, Green and Safe Committee and she has been appointed by the Howard County Executive to serve on Ellicott City Flood Workgroup and Ellicott City Community Advisory Group.   Lori lives with her family at the Howard County Conservancy where her husband is the Caretaker.  For fun, Lori enjoys gardening, hiking, playing ultimate Frisbee and has a 1st degree brown belt in karate.

Brooke A. Abercrombie, Workforce Manager

Brooke A. Abercrombie joined Howard EcoWorks as Workforce Manager in March 2018. She possesses a A.A. in Liberal Arts, a B.S. in mathematics with a minor in secondary education, and an MBA. Though originally from Baltimore, Maryland, she has been a resident of Howard County since 1971.

Brooke is excited about developing a workforce that is passionate about and effectively preserves the ecological well being of Howard County.

Brooke is a single mother of a daughter and a son, and enjoys many interests including (but not limited to) karaoke, snowboarding, theater, and writing. 

Ted Wolfe, Landscape Manager
Ted grew up in Howard County, MD before he attended college at the University of Alabama. During his time in Alabama, Ted began to appreciate and admire the natural world around him more than ever. He worked on an organic farm and quickly fell in love with sustainable agriculture. Ted graduated in 2011 with a B.S in Physics and accepted a position with the United States Peace Corps to live and work in Paraguay. After 2.5 years of incredible and new experiences in South America, Ted returned home to Maryland and began life anew in the States.

Ted previously worked as a residential energy auditor helping to improve the energy and water efficiency of families in the central Maryland region. Afterwards, Ted joined the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay where he managed the Project Clean Stream Program, Trees for Sacred Places program, the Chesapeake Network website, and many other community engaging projects.

Ted lives in Annapolis and when not working enjoys reading, hiking, drinking tea, and muay thai. In 2015 Ted was certified as a Master Watershed Steward by the Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy.

Jenny Wienckowski, Landscape Designer

Jenny Wienckowski joined Howard EcoWorks as Landscape Designer in October 2018. She has a B.A. in Biology and a Master of Landscape Architecture. Jenny is a LEED Green Associate with more than 6 years’ experience working with residential and non-profit clients. She focuses on environmental site design for surface stormwater in urban and suburban situations, and creative solutions to site constraints. Trained in Permaculture Design, she uses systematic site analysis and extensive native plant knowledge in her designs.

She has lived, studied, worked, and played in the Patapsco watershed for 40 years.

Virginia Gambrell, Nursery Manager
Virginia joined Howard EcoWorks in June of 2018.   She has a B.A. from Salisbury University.   She is from Central Maryland and recent transplant to Howard County.   Virginia has a green thumb and a passion for raising plants, animals, and grateful hearts.

Recent News

  • Here's a roundup of recent headlines from our organization. 
  • StormwaterStory Map The Maryland Department of the Environment put together a wonderful StormwaterStory Map so that the public could learn about stormwater, why it matters, and what Maryland is doing to manage ...
    Posted Aug 21, 2018, 12:29 PM by Howard Ecoworks
  • Sierra Villas - First Summer READY '18 Project Installation! The summer READY crews have been trained and completed their first project installations in the Sierra Villas neighborhood in Columbia!  The projects were quite extensive and a bit more complicated ...
    Posted Jul 14, 2018, 9:04 AM by Howard Ecoworks
  • The Ultimate Plant List! These plants do it all - they are shade loving, deer resistant, have deep root systems,  and are generally good for most types of soils!  Check 'em out and get planting ...
    Posted Jul 12, 2018, 2:12 PM by Howard Ecoworks
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 13. View more »


READY employs Howard County residents ages 16-26 to build rain gardens and conservation landscapes that filter stormwater runoff and alleviate flooding from pavement and other impervious surfaces.

The investment Howard County makes in READY yields returns in four ways:

  • Provides living wage jobs for young adults who have a hard time finding work
  • Helps Howard County meet its federally mandated stormwater management obligations
  • Provides congregations and non-profit organizations with pollution and stormwater management help they might not otherwise be able to afford
  • Reduces pollution to local water ways and the Chesapeake Bay

You can find us around the County working 5 days/wk.