by Alison Wentzellbggreennews_logo11

New Program Helps Montgomery County Establish More Farms

These days becoming a successful new farmer is hard, but as the demand for local food increases so has the need for local farms.  Recognizing this new market, Montgomery County’s Green Economy Task Force proposed the implementation of the New Farmer Pilot Project.  The project will support new farmers as they establish themselves in the county.

The project provides new farmers with the education and resources that they will need to become a well-established farm.  The program offers a variety of classes ranging from business planning to soil management, which are open to all those who wish to attend.  Once applicants are chosen, the system operates like a dating service.  Farmers and landowners are matched up with potential landowners and mentors, and then they can decide if they want to meet.  The New Farmer Pilot Project helps new and old farmers to build the necessary relationships they need to succeed.  Click here to see the Washington Post article with more information.

New Wetland in Waldorf Provides Habitat for Ducks

The students and faculty at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School in Waldorf came together last Wednesday to build an 8.5 acre wetland behind the school.  The project was lead by Brown Elementary teacher Jack Belle, who had always been inspired to use the area behind the school to create a pond that could be used to teach kids about ecosystems and the environment.  With the help of his students and over $3 million dollars from the local and federal government, he was able to make his dream a reality.  Students planted thousands of plants and created a habitat for a variety of living organisms, including a flock of ducks that now have an appropriate nesting ground.  Generations of students will be able to use these wetlands to not only learn about earth systems and the role they play in our lives, but to build a stronger relationship with nature that will hopefully inspire them to act in a more environmentally conscious way throughout their lives.

For the full article in the Washington Post click here.  

Solar Panels To Be Installed on Dozens of Buildings

In 2009 the town of Chevy Chase approached the county seeking permission to put solar panels on the Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center roof.  Since then the project has escalated and Montgomery County is set to put solar panels on dozens of roofs, including the Chevy Chase recreational center.  The county plans on leasing the rooftop space on public buildings to private companies, so that it is free of cost for the county.  Whatever energy isn’t utilized by the building can then be sold back to the power grid by these companies.  Town officials are excited for the project to get underway because it demonstrates the town’s commitment to renewable energy and being green.

For the full scoop in Gazette.Net click here.

Upcoming Events

  •  Maryland Green Legislative Update, July 11, 7 PM to 9 PM, Bethesda Green 4825 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD

Join Doo Consulting as they invite Stuart Kaplow to speak about new laws pertaining to green building and sustainable business opportunities.  He offers a fast paced and fun review of each of the new green laws enacted by Maryland.  Both businesses and consumers are welcome to join and learn about the opportunities created by the government to feed Maryland’s environmental industrial complex. RSVP via Eventbrite.

  • Calleva Dirty Dinners 2013: A Farm to Table Series, July 13, 6 PM to 9 PM, Calleva Farm 19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson, MD

Come out to Calleva Farm and enjoy a gourmet meal made entirely from ingredients grown and prepared at the farm.  Meals include local wine, non-alcoholic “mocktails,” and live music in a beautiful outdoor farm setting.  Reserve your table today!

  • Green Roof Training, July 18-20, Casey Trees, 3030 12th St. NE, Washington, DC

Join Green Roofs for Healthy Cities for their Green Roof Boot Camp and become a certified green roof professional.  Classes will cover design and installation, waterproofing and drainage, and plants and growing media.  Click here for more information or register now.

Alison Wentzell is a senior at American University and an intern with Bethesda Green.  Her interests in sustainability focus on the community, environmental politics, and cultural aspects of the environmental movement.