by Dan Rudt

Call to Action for DC Area Bicyclists

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has published a “call to action” directed to area bicyclists and bicycling activists. Published in a 30 page PDF document on the group’s Website, the stated purpose is to make bicycling “a viable form of transportation for a much broader segment of the population.” WABA calls for “some unity among the many planning bodies, transportation agencies, and advocacy/advisory groups” in the Washington area in order “to move beyond simply making bicycling possible” and to fully integrate it into our regional transportation network. The PDF lays out how bicycling advocates can position themselves to help the region move toward that goal.

Habitat for Humanity Offers Free Weatherization Services

Non-profit home builder, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County (HFH-MC), now offers home weatherization services for county homeowners who cannot afford to pay someone to perform needed repairs and do not have the knowledge to do the repairs themselves. The aim is to reduce the homeowner’s electric, gas and water bills. Weatherization includes stopping air leaks from windows and doors, insulating attics and crawl spaces, replacing light bulbs with CFLs, installing low-flow shower heads, and similar services.

Eligibility for assistance depends on household income and number of family members. For a family of four, for example, annual household income must be less than $67,600. The homeowner must be willing to contribute up to 10 hours for education and sweat equity in the project, which is carried out by Habitat staff and volunteers. Individuals and families interested in applying should contact Teresa McCoy at 301-990-0014 x 19, or download the application.

Wanted: Birders with Binoculars and Winter Coats

Tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas will participate in the Audubon Society’s 112th Christmas Bird Count from December 14 through January 5. The first Audubon census involved 27 people on December 25, 1900. Audubon and other organizations use the data collected to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action. Information about the bird count, including how to get involved, is on the Audubon Website.

Volunteer to Help Build Section of Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail

Volunteers are needed from noon to 4 p.m. on November 19 and 20 to help build a new, quarter-mile section of the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail that will connect Northwest Branch and Sligo Creek parks. The new trail portion will be on the Breewood Property, located at the southeast corner of Sligo Creek Parkway and University Boulevard behind the Norwood Church. The project is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Northwood High School, Neighbors of Northwest Branch and Montgomery County Department of Parks. Volunteers are needed each day to clean up litter, build stepping stones across a small stream, remove small roots and debris along slopes and, in difficult soil, blaze the trail and cut heavy invasive vines. Meet at the front entrance to Northwood High School, 919 University Blvd., Silver Spring. Students can earn Service Learning hours for their work. Email Jennifer Chambers, the project coordinator, at

Upcoming Green Events

Free Screening of Documentary, Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, Monday, Nov. 14, 7:30 pm, TC Williams High School Rotunda (second floor), 3330 King Street, Alexandria. This screening of the first full length documentary about the legendary conservationist, ecologist and author of The Sand County Almanac is presented by Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Go Green Alexandria, TC Williams HS Environmental Club, and Equinox Investments. Read about the movie here. Registration, directions and important note about parking posted here.

Virtual Town Hall. Live Internet Discussion with County Executive Ike Leggett, Wednesday, Nov. 16, noon – 1 pm. Get your questions ready and send them in advance. More info here.

Montgomery County’s first “Know Your Farmer,” Call-In Webinar, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 8 pm. Montgomery Victory Gardens hosts “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Organic Agriculture in the 21st Century,” a discussion with Montgomery County farmers Nick and Sophia Maravell.  Nick is the operator of Nick’s Organic Farm in Potomac and one of only four farmers sitting on the prestigious National Organic Standards Board, while his daughter Sophia, who has studied organic agriculture throughout the world, is one of our nation’s new generation of aspiring farmers. Register here.

Home Energy Efficiency Workshop, Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30 – 8:30 pm., Silver Spring Civic Center. Silver Spring Green invites you to learn more about energy audits, making retrofits to winterize your home and how energy efficiency can save you money! Driving directions and registration.

Montgomery County Green Business Crash Course Webinar, Nov. 17, 8 – 11 am. Offered in partnership by Montgomery College and Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. The course instructor will guide you through the application process to accelerate your certification. More info and registration.

Keystone XL Pipeline — Bad for the Environment and Our Health — Where Do We Go From Here?, Nov. 19, 6 – 10 pm.  Presented at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in the sanctuary, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20815.  Event includes potluck dinner and a panel discussion after showing two movies about the Keystone XL pipeline by Academy Award nominee Leslie Iwerks: “Pipe Dreams,” about the environmental devastation of tar sands; and “Downstream,” about a doctor’s valiant efforts to save the health of an aboriginal community in Canada affected by tar sands. RSVP to:  Molly Hauck, or 301-949-0178.


Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 am – 2 pm. Wootten High School, 2100 Wootton Parkway, Rockville

Sunday, Nov. 20, 10 am – 2 pm, Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Shred and recycle your confidential paper and donate reusable clothing and household goods in working condition. Partners in these events are, Office Paper Systems, A Wider Circle, Interfaith Clothing Center, and NAMI Montgomery County. Volunteers welcome. More information and guidelines.

Maryland-Asia Environmental Partnership (MD-AEP), 3rd Annual Energy and Environmental Leadership Series Banquet, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6 – 9 pm. Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (home of the world’s first sustainable aquaculture system), The Columbus Center, Baltimore. Philippines Ambassador to the United States, The Honorable Jose L. Cuisia will keynote the event. Also expected to attend are MD Secretary of the Environment Bob Summers, Secretary John Griffin of DNR, Chesapeake Bay Commission Director Ann Swanson and key Environmental Committee members of the MD General Assembly. Tickets are $90. When registering, type “BethesdaGreen” when prompted for a discount code and receive a $15 discount. More information and registration.