In an effort to still provide some opportunities that would have been available from our previously planned 2020 Alternative Spring Break, Howard EcoWorks will be providing a decentralized, socially distant Alternative Spring Break Program activity. From Monday April 6 through April 10th, EcoWorks encourages volunteers to carry out one or multiple environmental restoration activities at or near their homes. With proper paperwork authorization from Howard County Public School System, these activities can be counted toward student service-learning hours, or can be included on a resume! Each activity will have an accompanying video on our YouTube and Instagram pages to provide instruction and explanation on how and why we are doing these activities.
While taking part in this Alternative Spring Break, please take and share a picture or video of yourself participating in the activity so that we can confirm your involvement. You can send us your photos to email@example.com, or share them with us on Instagram (@hcecoworks) or Facebook (@HowardEcoWorks). Please note while providing the photos if you do not want us to share the images on any platform!
Proper safety measures are mandatory. Individuals participating should wear gloves for all activities. If you are in the woods, make sure to wear long pants and be aware of ticks. If using tools, make sure you are familiar with how to use them and make sure you are following proper tool safety. Be conscious of your surroundings at all times.
Here are some of the activities that we have available:
Please Note: Some of these activities will not be possible for each individual to carry out around their house. If none of these options are a possibility for you, consider visiting the National Resources Defense Council for letter writing that you can send to your representatives! Check out this page for details on how to write a strong letter. Take some time to find a topic you feel strongly about, and remember to send us a copy of your letter so we can give you credit! Or, if you speak a second language, please see the "Document Translation" activity.
Trash Clean Up (Easy, No permission Required)
Have woods near your house? Get outside and help restore
their natural beauty by picking up trash. Grab some gloves, bring a
trash bag and if possible haul along larger objects that may not fit in
the bag. Remember to have fun and take in your surroundings!
Invasive Species Management (Moderate, Permission Required*)
Fixing Mulch Volcanoes (Moderately Challenging, Permission Required*)
This activity requires some attention to detail! You may not notice it, but
many trees are over mulched, forming a 'volcano' shape starting at the
base of the tree. This is harmful for the trees as it deprives them of air and
creates an environment that invites insects and disease. Be sure to check
our YouTube video on how to identify and remedy this problem! This is a
difficult activity that will require permission as well.
Document Translation (Confirm with us first)
If you speak a second language and are unable to get outside, Howard Ecoworks has a unique activity for you! We are looking for individuals fluent in another language who could translate environmental and brochures and information into that language! This would allow the information to reach even more people and help spread environmental awareness through all of our communities, while also providing you, the translator, with knowledge on environmental friendly practices! If you think you're a good fit for this role, please email us first at firstname.lastname@example.org!
* Howard EcoWorks is not collecting permissions slips for activities where permission is required as noted above. However, you should obtain permission from the property owner (even mom or dad) before cutting, removing or otherwise altering plant material or landscaping that does not belong to you personally. In addition, you should also gain permission before using any tools that do not belong to you, even mom and dad.
For any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out!
Jordan Bellido de Luna, Program Assistant
This activity gives you an opportunity to identify and remove invasive
Bittersweet, we will teach you how to identify and properly remove
invasive non-native species that are prevalent in Howard County. A particularly important invasive to remove this time of year is Garlic Mustard, as it is currently flowering and removal is important to stop the spread! This activity requires gloves and equipment such as pruners, and requires permission from the homeowner or landowner before you begin work!