Green News & Events, Week of July 25 – 31, 2011

by Dan Rudt

Ribbon Cutting for Maryland’s First Wind Farm – Constellation Energy held a ribbon cutting ceremony last week at the site of Maryland’s first commercial wind farm. Constellation’s 28 wind turbines, spread along eight miles of Backbone Mountain in Garrett County, can produce enough electricity for 23,000 homes. Reporter Scott Calvert of the Baltimore Sun reports on the mixed reviews the turbines are receiving from Garrett County residents.

More American Families Growing Their Own Veggies – The National Gardening Association says the number of U.S. households with food gardens grew from 36 million in 2008 to 43 million, or 37% of all households, in 2009. Four out of five home gardeners have at least some college education, while two-thirds of them are over 45 and a slight majority are women. For more information, see the attractive infographic on the Mother Nature Network, or mnn.com.

Maryland Wins Federal Grant for Conservation and Parklands – Senators Cardin and Mikulski have announced a $723,598 matching grant to the state from the Department of Interior’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). According to the press release, the LWCF grant “will enable Maryland’s state and local governments to establish urban parks and community green spaces; to restore and provide public access to rivers, lakes and other water resources; and to conserve natural landscapes for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment.” LWCF matching grants “leverage public and private investment in state and local public outdoor recreation.”

Car Sharing Provides Multiple Benefits to City of Baltimore – Zipcars, Inc., which has provided car sharing services in Baltimore for the past year, has released results of a Baltimore member survey showing multiple benefits for the city, as well as for Zipcar drivers. Nearly half the survey respondents were able to avoid buying a car, while 18% sold their existing cars. Some said they drive less and walk, bike and use public transit more than they did a year ago. For the city, fewer cars means less pollution, less congestion and less competition for parking spaces.

Sustainable Food JobsSustainablefoodjobs.wordpress.com has been around since 2009, so this may not, strictly speaking, belong in a news roundup, but if you are interested in the field and not familiar with the site, it is well worth visiting. Unlike the many sites that waste your time with jobs that are unrelated to your search term, all the listings I have seen are actual sustainable food jobs! The site also provides links to college programs in sustainable agriculture as well as sustainable food blogs and companies and organizations you can contact for information and networking.

Volunteers Needed to Distribute Recycling Info at MC Ag Fair – The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection seeks volunteers to staff recycling information tables during the upcoming County Agricultural Fair, August 12 – 20. To volunteer or request additional information, contact the Recycling Volunteer Program at (240) 777-6445 or ana.arriaza@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Upcoming Green Events

The Buy Local Challenge, July 23 – 31. Support Maryland farms. Eat at least one thing from a local farm every day during Buy Local Week. And, bring the challenge to your workplace today.

BG 101, Thursday, July 28, 4 – 5:30 pm. Bethesda Green’s monthly orientation session. Learn about Bethesda Green history, programs, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Home Canning Demonstration, Saturday, July 30, 10:30 – 11:30 am. Learn to can food at the Bethesda FreshFarm Farmers Market at Veteran’s Park, corner of Woodmont and Norfolk.

Connecting Local Farms, Food, and Community in Three Meals

Join Bethesda Green and Full Plate Ventures to enjoy the gastronomic pleasures of three local, seasonal, and home-style meals while meeting those who are building a healthy, local, sustainable food system in our region. Register early; space is limited!

  • Closing the Loop in Our Food System: Breakfast, Panel Discussion & Optional Farm Market Visit, Sunday, August 21, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Location: Bethesda Green & Bethesda Central Farm Market. More information here.
  • Fertile Ground: Local Sustainable Farm Tour and Lunch, Saturday, September 10, 12:30 – 3:00 pm. Location: Rocklands Farm, 14525 Montevideo Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837. More information here.
  • Savor Local Flavor: Four Course Dinner and Discussion with Chef Tony, Monday, September 19, 7:00 – 10:00 pm. Location: Chef Tony’s, 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814. More information here.