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Baltimore County News

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By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Recreation and Parks

Any month is a great time to take a walk in the park – just bundle up, put on your warm and dry hiking boots, and look out for the poison ivy.

The truth is, the old axiom of “leaves of three, let it be” isn’t necessarily the case during cooler months.  As on trees, the leaves of three have more than likely dropped off in the colder weather, and all that’s present are the vines or roots of poison ivy. 

So, that means stay out of the woods and off the trails?  No way!  Just know what to look for when taking that cool walk.  

  • You may have seen hairy looking vines climbing the trees to the very top, or found round white seeds on a tree or shrub – birds love them, but don’t try to eat them.
  • The vines can also climb walls and be found in your fire wood piles. It is best not to burn this wood as the burning poison ivy vines can cause serious allergic reactions. 
  • If you know where the poison ivy was growing during the summer, it is probably best not to walk in the same area in the winter – whether covered by snow or not - as the poison ivy oils can still get on your clothes. 

Be aware of where you are walking and what you might brush up against while hiking and walking. 

Don’t make that hike something you are just itching to tell your friends about!


To find a Baltimore County walking trail or path near you, go to Trail Finder. Our Recreation and Parks online tool helps you discover new paths with trail maps you can download. 

Residents should check schedules for specific collection dates

Beginning April 1, 2017, yard materials will be collected separately for recycling (not with trash) from Baltimore County residents with “Y” days on their schedule.  These separate yard material collections will occur from April through as late as December 14.

For example, if a resident’s first “Y” day is April 11, yard materials set out at the curb or alley from April 1–10 will not be collected with trash, but will be picked up separately on April 11.  If a resident’s schedule has no “Y” days, their yard materials will continue to be collected with trash year-round.

While residents may set out an unlimited number of bags of yard materials, the collector may not collect all of the bags on the same day.  Collectors must make trash collection their first priority, and must take into account all of the residents on their route.  Residents are asked to leave their yard materials out until collection occurs.

Yard materials acceptable for recycling collection include grass, leaves, vines, twigs, shrubbery trimmings, and branches and limbs.  Residents are reminded to use paper (preferred) or plastic lawn and leaf bags to set out their yard materials, not trash cans.  Bags of yard materials set out for collection must not exceed 30 pounds.  Also, branches and limbs will be collected only if they are no larger than 3 inches in diameter, no longer than 3 feet, and tied in bundles not exceeding 30 pounds.

The yard materials collected on “Y” days will be composted into an earthy organic material, to be used by Baltimore County agencies and residents.

For more information about the County’s trash and recycling collection program, residents should visit the solid waste management web site or call 410-887-2000.


Part of statewide effort to strengthen services 

Baltimore County has joined a statewide effort to contact and survey young people who are homeless or struggling with serious housing issues. The statewide effort, known as Youth Reach Maryland, has engaged 10 regional partners and seeks to strengthen knowledge of and services to youth under age 25 who are not living with a parent or guardian and face an unstable housing situation that may be viewed as homelessness. The County's effort to contact this constituency will continue through April 2.

The County Department of Planning and the non-profit Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless (BCCH) are leading the County effort, working closely with service providers and institutions, including soup kitchens, homeless shelters, libraries, schools, colleges and universities. The County and its partners have assembled a network of people, including youth ambassadors, who will visit key locations, reach out and survey the select youth population over the two-week period.

Homeless youth may often go uncounted

Advocates for the homeless believe that independent youth and young adults under age 25 who are struggling with housing are often a hidden population that goes uncounted. Youth Reach Maryland seeks to improve the count and deepen knowledge of a unique, challenging constituency. 

Maryland's effort to improve outreach to homeless youth began in 2013, when the legislature made it a priority to improve the frequency and accuracy of counting the state's unaccompanied homeless youth. It established the Task Force to Study Housing and Supportive Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, which recommended a Youth and Young Adult Count of Unaccompanied Homeless. This later became the initiative known as Youth REACH (Reach out, Engage, Assist, & Count to end Homelessness) MD. The state effort is now led by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Learn more about Youth REACH Maryland

Those interested in learning more about Baltimore County's Youth Reach effort are encouraged to contact Terri Kingeter at or visit the following web links:



Youth Reach Maryland:

Revised September 26, 2016