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Green July Recap: Building Community Through Environmental Restoration

four crew members dressed in hi vis clothing, waders, hats, while holding their fishing nets. Posing together, ready for electrofishing
Howard EcoWorks Crew Ready for Electrofishing. Featuring Matt, Andrea, Alex, and Chris

Throughout July, our dedicated Uplift and Summer READY team has remained incredibly active. Their endeavors have encompassed a range of vital tasks, from eradicating invasive species to eco-restoration through native planting. This month has proven to be more than just labor; it has provided valuable opportunities for professional growth, industry exposure, team building, and meaningful connections with like-minded community members who share the same environmental goals.

Quick Statistics

4 image strips. #1 is turf grass. #2 says: 1400 sf of turf replaced, 3,500 lbs of invasive species removed. #3 is black eyed susans. #4 says : and 265 native perennial plants installed

Our teams have collectively:

  • Removed 3,500 lbs of invasive species

  • Replace 1,400 sf of turf grass with native landscapes

  • Planted 265 native perennials

This transformation can take the form of managing county woodlands and stream restoration sites, to revamping landscaping around homes, schools, and places of worship.

Invasive Plant Species Removal

Fairwood Forest of Baltimore

crew member stooping downward to grab english ivy from the forest floor. Green forest in background and foreground
Crew Member, Niall, removing English Ivy

Our team was tasked with assisting Baltimore Greenspace and Ecotone for invasive plant removal in Fairwood Forest, Baltimore’s newest urban forest. Greenspace did an amazing job of saving this 4-acre space from developers. Instead of urban sprawl, the trees that rooted themselves many years ago in this abandoned lot are now saved into a land trust.

Our crews worked diligently to remove thousands of pounds of invasive species. In one report, it was found that 70% of the ground cover was just English Ivy. Fairwood Forest will continue to be an ongoing community effort to turn it enhance its potential for biodiversity. We’re proud we made an impact this season so it may mature into a beautiful environment for Baltimore residents.

Crew Members, Matt & Andrea holding a long root from an uprooted invasive. It stretches beyond the sides of them, and that was just the root!
Crew Members, Matt & Andrea holding a long root from an uprooted invasive

Rain Gardens & Bayscapes

Clocktower Community, Columbia

4 crew members are sitting on top of newly installed unfished natural stairs that connect to trails
Crew: Kate, Chantel, Leo, & Owen on installed natural stairs

Multiple crews have been busy installing natural stairs, native plant bayscape, and a rain garden throughout July in a Columbia neighborhood. We are still building and finalizing these structures and hope we can share the results soon.

Despite some curve balls thrown into our plans & unexpected delays, our team has been resourceful in finding solutions, learning new skills, and ultimately bringing beauty to unkept eroded hillsides in the Clocktower community. Already we’ve noticed local runners and dog walkers take advantage of the new natural stairs that connect to trails that run throughout the community.


Every year our Summer crews get to participate in an exciting professional development day of electrofishing with Montgomery Parks. Fitted with waterproof waders, nets, gloves, and electric fishing gear, teams would work with professionals in Montgomery Parks to catch, collect data, and release wildlife found in streams. This gives our crew industry exposure to ecological survey practices, and ultimately helps Montgomery Parks and County measure the biodiversity in their rivers and streams.

Multiple crew members shared their joy and enthusiasm in handling wildlife and learning about the biodiversity that exists in our freshwater streams. Reports range from fish, eels, crayfish, turtles, and more.

Biochar Burning

Environmentally friendly soil conditioner

Howard ecoworks crew gather around a fire pit to light the flames on a wood pile for a bio char demonstration.
Crew tend the fire in a biochar demo. Featuring Matt, Will, Xai, Andre, Kate, Evan, Niall, Ethan, & Markell

Our Crew and Staff spent a wonderful day with our Director, Lori, doing a biochar demonstration. You can learn more about Biochar on our website, but in summary it’s fine-grained charcoal made by pyrolysis, the process of heating biomass (wood, manure, crop residues, solid waste, etc.) The crew enjoyed this hands-on learning experience as well as the intense high flames in the beginning of the demo.

Meeting with Representative, Terri Hill

Howard Ecoworks crew member facing away from camera towards Terri Hill is explaining, gestering hands, asking questions. Terri Hill  is engaged with our crew and listening to question
Crew, Xai, speaks with Terri Hill

Our Uplift and READY Crews had an insightful day meeting with Representative, Terri Hill, Member of the House of Delegates, District 12. It’s not every day that we meet leaders who are passing laws that ultimately help our effort for the environment. We were able to ask questions and receive responses about her struggles, achievements and goals. Hill was a crucial voice in passing legislation to prevent HOA’s from banning native plant gardens, and implementing EV vehicle charging stations that are safe and compatible. Leo, an Uplift Crew Member, stated how they liked when Hill was discussing age gaps and when older people may perceive that the younger generation doesn’t care about anything. Hill suggested, rather, young people are focused on different goals and beliefs about what their future needs. Considering we have many passionate individuals on our team, it should be safe to say that there are many young people who do care about the environment, are ready to work, and get their hands dirty to protect the Earth.

Group photo with Staff, Uplift,  Ready crew, and Terri Hill
Group photo with Staff, Uplift, READY crew, and Terri Hill

It’s been an exciting July, and we look forward to sharing our accomplishments of August. We’re thankful for the hard work and dedication of our crew and staff for providing a tremendous service to our communities. If you feel connected to these experiences and think joining our tean is a good fit, don't hesitate to check out our employment page for opportunities!

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