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*

  • Richard M. Hesse, Retired, formerly COO/CFO The Maryland Science Center - Co-Chair
  • Bill Withers, Organizational Development Consultant - Co-Chair
  • Kevin McAliley, Bike HoCo - Vice Chair
  • Ishani Gandhi , CPA, CFE, PwC - Treasurer
  • Kris Althouse, HMS Insurance Associates - Secretary
  • Afua Boateng, Former READY employee / nursing student
  • Jim Caldwell, past Director of Howard County Office of Sustainability and Director of Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
  • Don Mohanlal, Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation
  • Elizabeth Moss, Esq., CPPO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Hina Naseem, Howard County Public School System
  • Cynthia Paige-Desi, Howard Community College
*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.

Don Tsusaki, Deputy Director

Having launched the Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) program in 2012, and running it through 2015, we are very excited to announce that Don Tsusaki is returning to take on the role of Deputy Director of Howard EcoWorks! Aside from his watershed protection interest, Don is a musician (German/Austrian Zither and Accordion) and photographer.

Ted Wolfe, Operations Director
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 Design Manager

Jenny Wienckowski joined Howard EcoWorks 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.

Justin Bowers, Program Manager

Justin Bowers is an accomplished leader in the environmental field with more than seven years experience in ecological planning and natural resource management. He has coordinated projects both locally and internationally, and has a passion for building community partnerships. While a native of the Baltimore area, Justin holds master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan.

Recent News

  • Here's a roundup of recent headlines from our organization. 
  • Dig. Plant. Soak. Repeat. Year End Fundraiser!Spread the word! EcoWorks year end fundraiser includes this awesome shirt, modeled here by EcoWorks staff - Lori Lilly - Councilwoman and former EcoWorks Board Member Christiana Mercer Rigby ...
    Posted Dec 5, 2019, 4:55 AM by Howard Ecoworks
  • Ellicott City - Soak It Up – Part 4 – By, Lori Lilly Did you miss Part 1?  Find it HERE. Did you miss Part 2 too?  Find it HERE. Oh my goodness, you missed Part 3 as well?  Find it HERE. Well ...
    Posted Sep 22, 2019, 11:32 AM by Howard Ecoworks
  • HOWARD ECOWORKS UNVEILS BRAND REFRESH TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY OUTREACH COLUMBIA, Md., September 6, 2019 – Howard EcoWorks, an environmentally focused workforce development organization, announced today that it is seeking a new 2020 Soak It Up community partnership.  The Soak It ...
    Posted Sep 17, 2019, 9:22 AM by Howard Ecoworks
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 19. 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.