We are developing a workforce to undertake environmental improvement projects for a healthier Howard County.



Solutions for healthy streams and communities


Board of Directors*

  • Laurie Bulka, Community Volunteer (Secretary)
  • Josh Feldmark, Resource Evolution LLC (Chair)
  • Guy Hager, Retired, formerly Senior Director, Parks and People Foundation (Vice Chair)
  • Bob Marietta, Howard Community College
  • Christiana Mercer Rigby, Community Volunteer
  • Jaison Renkenberger, Teacher, University of Maryland / Anne Arundel County Public School System
  • Rizwan Siddiqi, P.E., EBA Engineering

Advisory Member

  • Bill Mahoney, Howard County Office of Community Sustainability

*Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

Our People*

Lori A. Lilly, Director

Lori A. Lilly has been with the READY program from 2014-2016.  She originally came on as Operations Manager in May, 2014 and 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 and from 2009-2014, she worked for the Center for Watershed Protection as a Watershed Ecologist / Planner.   Lori works part-time managing her own environmental consulting business.   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.

Nicole McDaniels, READY Program Manager

Nicole was born and raised in Baltimore City, MD and has been active in non profit management for 15+ years. Her professional career has always been about helping and serving the community. Nicole was the Medical Practice Manager of the HIV Clinic for People’s Community Health Center, serving the needs of the patients from medication, doctor appointments, to counseling newly diagnosed patients. She moved on to a new opportunity to embark on the mission of (then) Governor O’Malley to get inner city residents out into the state parks. She then joined Parks and People and partnered with Department of Natural Resources to help recruit 200+ youth for the summer 2008. At first, she was a contractual worker for Parks & People Foundation, but the program started to evolve into a year-round program. Parks & People then hired her as a full time employee to hire not only youth, but also an adult landscaping crew. As roles kept evolving within the Foundation, she was promoted to the Program Coordinator’s position for the Building Resources And Nurturing Community Health and Environmental Stewardship. She held that position for another 6 years before deciding to seek out new opportunities.

Julie Costantino, Project Coordinator

Julie comes to Howard EcoWorks with 6 years of experience in the environmental field. She started her career at the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) reviewing wildlife management plans and providing input to improve habitat enhancement projects through a range of ecosystems. From there she joined the Education Department at WHC as the Conservation Education and Outreach Coordinator. Here she developed educational material focusing on hands on learning and connecting youth to opportunities that provide practical work experience in the environmental field. While at WHC she also worked on riparian restoration and rain garden installation projects with a variety of audiences. Her background also includes experience in Stream Restoration through her work at Brightwater, Inc. where she performed geomorphic stream assessments and biological data collection. During her time at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Julie worked as part of the Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory. Here, she worked on research projects that focused on the movement of heavy metals in the environment. Upon the departure of her Research Leader at the USDA Agricultural Research Service she sought out new opportunities. As a Howard County resident Julie found a match in Howard EcoWorks and the READY program, looking to put her time and effort into something meaningful that helps her community and the environment.

*Our People currently contract and work for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to manage the READY program; a transition plan for moving staff and READY to Howard EcoWorks is in process.

Recent News

  • Here's a roundup of recent headlines from our organization. 
  • First Landscapes For Life Class Graduated at Howard County Dept of Corrections We were really excited to graduate our first Landscape for Life class at the Howard County Department of Corrections.  The group learned sustainable gardening practices over a course of (5 ...
    Posted Apr 14, 2017, 11:50 AM by Howard Ecoworks
  • READY is hiring! Applications for the summer READY program are open!  We're looking for young people 16-26 years old who wish to make a difference in the Howard County community, work ...
    Posted Mar 15, 2017, 1:49 PM by Howard Ecoworks
  • New projects underway in 2017!! We are very excited to kick off two new projects in 2017, both focused on community engagement and both generously funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust!  The first project, Howard ...
    Posted Mar 15, 2017, 1:38 PM by Howard Ecoworks
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 10. 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.