Green News & Events, Week of August 01 – 07, 2011

by Dan Rudt

Earn a Certificate in Commercial Urban Agriculture at PGCC – Prince George’s Community College partners with ECO City Farms to offer the first program of its kind in the region, designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to starting your own urban farm. A total of six courses (28 hours of instruction) make up the Certificate program. The courses are taught by ECO City Farms staff at their urban farm at 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, Maryland, 20781. More information here.

Volunteer and Experience Urban Farming – Not ready to farm for a living, but want to get your hands dirty? You can experience urban farming every Saturday as a volunteer at ECO City Farms. The educational, not-for-profit in Edmonston is designed to serve as a prototype for sustainable local farming. Workshops, potlucks and tours are also available.

Green Tech Company Wins DC Business Plan Competition – For the second year in a row, a green technology company has won the annual Washington, DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) Business Plan Competition. The award consists of a $100,000 investment and $50,000 of in-kind services. The winning company, Skyline Innovations, offers solar water heating and energy efficient HVAC systems, with no capital outlay by the customer. EnviRelation, LLC, a District-based business that composts restaurant waste and scraps, was last year’s competition winner.

Planned Solar Installation will Double Maryland Solar Power ProductionThe Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland Solar, LLC was granted a 20-year lease by the state for 250 acres near the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown. The company plans to install 100,000 solar panels on the land and will create approximately 125 construction jobs, beginning later this year.

Good News for Electric Vehicle Owners – If you own an EV, you will soon be able to buy the GE WattStation Wall Mount Electric Vehicle Charging Station at Lowe’s. GE and Lowe’s have announced the WattStation will be available at 60 Lowe’s stores and nationwide at in September. Lowe’s will be the first retailer to carry the GE product.

More Good News for EV Owners – The nation’s largest drugstore chain plans to become the largest retail host of electric charging stations. Walgreens says it will install electric vehicle charging sites at 800 of its retail locations across the country (including the DC market) by the end of the year. Two types of chargers will be installed. One, a high speed charger, should add 30 miles of driving with a 10 minute charge. The other, a Level 2 charger, is expected to add up to 25 miles of range with a one hour charge. Walgreens also will have more than 100 rooftop solar installations at stores and distribution centers by the end of the year.

Upcoming Green Events

Bethesda Green First Thursday Happy Hour @ Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle, Thursday, August 4, 5:00 PM, 4844 Cordell Avenue. Meet fun, like-minded people and learn about exciting, upcoming Bethesda Green events. Let us know you’re coming!

Green Networking Event at Dirty Martini, Wednesday, August 10, 5:30 – 8:00 pm. Capital Cabal and the Sustainable Business Network of Washington (SBNOW) invite you to enjoy appetizers, drink specials, door prizes and meet dozens of other “green” professionals at the 100% wind electrified Dirty Martini, 1223 Connecticut Avenue NW, (Dupont Circle). $15 in advance; $20 at the door. Preregister here.

2011 Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, August 12-20th. Experience the mobile science lab, Old MacDonald’s barn, animal birthing center & milking parlor, chat with master gardeners at the Bay Friendly Garden, and learn about honeybees. Don’t forget to buy some food and enjoy the rides and contests. More information here.

Closing the Loop in Our Food System: Breakfast, Panel Discussion & Optional Farm Market Visit, Sunday, August 21, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. This is the first in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals. Location: Bethesda Green & Bethesda Central Farm Market. More information here.

Maryland Clean Energy Summit 2011, Thursday, August 25 – Saturday, August 27, Marriott North Bethesda Hotel and Conference Center. More than 60 speakers from business, government and energy non-profits will discuss how Maryland is “Investing in Energy to Generate Jobs.” Clean energy companies and those that serve them will exhibit. This is an excellent education and networking opportunity for those who are in the clean energy field or curious about it.

Fertile Ground: Local Sustainable Farm Tour and Lunch, Saturday, September 10, 12:30 – 3:00 pm. Rocklands Farm, 14525 Montevideo Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837. This is the second in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals.  More information here.

Savor Local Flavor: Four Course Dinner and Discussion with Chef Tony, Monday, September 19, 7:00 – 10:00 pm. Chef Tony’s, 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.  This is the third in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals. More information here.