by Dan Rudt                                                                                                               

And the Winner Is…University of Maryland “WaterShed”

The University  of Maryland had two big wins at this year’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. On Friday, UMCP was declared the winner of the architecture prize. On Saturday, the school was named overall winner in a solar home contest that included universities from Belgium, Canada, China, New Zealand and the United States. The UMCP entry, called WaterShed, is a solar powered home that also conserves, filters and reuses water.

New Name and Address for Friends of Rock Creek’s Environment

The nonprofit, created in 2005 to protect and restore the 33 miles of Rock Creek and adjacent parkland, is now called the Rock Creek Conservancy. Their new office is located at the green business incubator at Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Suite 200, in Bethesda. The September 26 Bethesda Patch includes an informative piece about the Rock Creek Conservancy written by Beverly Firme.

Are Deer Eating your Plants? Ruth Clausen Has a Solution

Ruth Rogers Clausen has written a book that illustrates how to beautify your yard and garden while keeping the deer away. In 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don’t Eat, Clausen gives each plant a deer resistance rating and explains how to use it in your garden. Enjoy Alan Detrick’s beautiful photography while you plan and shop for next year’s garden. Busboys and Poets. Timber Press.

And If You Are Looking for Native Plants

The Maryland Native Plant Society Website is an excellent source of information about plants native to the Free State. Among the Website’s resources are a listing of plant nurseries around Maryland that stock a number of native plants, and a PDF guide, How to Shop for Native Plants.

North Bethesda Resident Honored by Sierra Club

The Sierra Club on September 23 announced the recipients of its national awards. Among them was Marjorie Richman of North Bethesda. Richman has been leading local and national outings for the Club since 1980 and received the Oliver Kehrlein Award for outstanding service to the Sierra Club’s outings program. The 2011 awards were presented in San Francisco Sept. 23-24 during the Club’s annual meeting.

Upcoming Green Events

Growing Native Webinar, Tuesday, October 4, 11:30 am. Growing Native, a project of Potomac Conservancy, engages thousands of volunteers in the Potomac River region each year to collect native hardwood and shrub seeds. The seeds are donated to state nurseries in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, where they are planted and used to restore streamside forests throughout the 15,000 square mile watershed. Email Deanna Tricarico at or call (301) 608-1188, x204 for information.

2011 Bethesda Green Gala, Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 – 10:00 pm, Round House Theatre. Come meet local folks from the businesses, non-profits, community organizations and individuals whose innovations, practices and lifestyles promote environmental sustainability — winners and runner-ups of the 2011 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards, who will be announced and recognized for their inspiring work in the environmental community. This promises to be an evening of sharing and connecting as a community where we celebrate our greener future. More information.

Muddy Branch Road Trash Pickup, Saturday, October 08, 8:30am – 11:30am. Join other volunteers and the Muddy Branch Alliance to pick up trash from Muddy Branch Square to Festival Shopping Center. Meet between 8:30 and 9:00 at the Starbucks in Muddy Branch Square. Sign up to help.

Conservation Montgomery Four Corners Community Stroll, Saturday, October 15, 10:00 – Noon. Learn about the natural features of the Four Corners community and the threats to open space in the area. Carol Ann Barth, First Vice President of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, will lead the walk and discussion. More information.

Montgomery County Community Service Week, October 16 – 22. The Montgomery County Volunteer Center invites you and your group to participate. More information.

Green Home Expo, Saturday October 22, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Bethesda Green. Learn easy ways to green your home and save money.  Presentations will cover conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.  In addition to industry vendors, meet representatives from nonprofits and Montgomery County government. More information.

Community Forklift Fundraising Extravaganza, Saturday, October 22, 7:00 – 10:30 pm, 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, MD. Entertainment by the DC Lady Arm Wrestlers, Silent auction, Wonky Dog food truck, DJ One HeART Muszik, and adult beverages! Must be 21 or over. Community Forklift is a low-cost building materials warehouse open to the general public and a project of Sustainable Community Initiatives, a 501c3 nonprofit. More information on tickets, sponsorships, or to donate a silent auction item.

Food Day, Monday, October 24, 2011, 7:00 pm, at the Church in Bethesda, 5033 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814. You are invited to a local screening of the documentary film “Ingredients” co-sponsored by Church in Bethesda, Bethesda Presbyterian and Graceful Growing Together. The evening will also include short presentations by community members about healthy food, sustainable farms and related topics. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.


Here’s what’s happening in green in Bethesda, Montgomery County and environs.

  • Stormwater Group Urges Increase in Fines–The Montgomery County Stormwater Partners Network wants the county to double fines for violating sediment control and illegal dumping laws. Sediment and pollution harm local creeks and affect the Chesapeake Bay. The current fine for a low-level, “Class A” offense is $500.
  • Retailers’ Open Door Policy: Enticement or Just Waste of Energy? Some Bethesda stores leave their doors open on hot summer days in order to lure shoppers inside. Bethesda Green suggests an alternative approach.
  • Vegans Find Oasis at Café Green–New D.C. restaurant offers healthful, mostly organic menu.
  • Rainscapes Rewards Rebates Return! After many inquiries concerning the release date of the new Montgomery County RainScapes Rebate application, the new process and approved rebate amounts are now available!  Notice that there are several changes to the process.  The RainScapes program promotes and implements projects on residential, institutional, and commercial properties to reduce stormwater pollution. Applications can be downloaded by visiting: or via the rebate page.
  • Water Quality Control Survey: Add Your Two Cents–Did you know the county Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is creating an improvement strategy that involves you?  Please take a minute to tell DEP your thoughts so that they can provide the best service to County residents and improve the health of our watersheds.  Take the Survey
  • ‘Hooray for the Bay’ Contest Highlights Benefits of Bay Plates–The Chesapeake Bay Trust is sponsoring a contest to raise awareness of the importance of Bay license plates. Ninety percent of the revenues from the sale of these plates goes directly toward Bay restoration and education programs. You can enter by writing and submitting a brief “Why I Love the Bay” message, or texting “BAYPLATE” to 24587, or submitting photograph one of 100 “Bay Factoid” signs planted in public places around the state. You could win a free Bay plate or $2,500! Get Complete Rules and Submit Entry

Local Green Events

  • Aug. 21, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – 19th Annual Native Plant Seminar & Sale at Irvine Nature Center — This event features lectures, workshops and a native plant sale. (Get Event Brochure-PDF) Cost is $60 for Irvine members, $70 for non-members. This native plant event is a favorite of the WhereYouArePlanted blog, a BG friend. Event Location: The seminar will be at Garrison Forest School, 300 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, Md.; the sale will be at Irvine Nature Center, 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, MD 21117. Phone: 443-738-9200
  • Aug. 26, 4-5:30 p.m. – Bethesda Green 101 – This monthly sessions for newcomers provides an introduction to Bethesda Green and ways to get involved as a volunteer or intern. More Info