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Baltimore County News

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Date: Apr 2019

Olszewski marks Arbor Day with reforestation project, Tree City USA award

County Executive Johnny Olszewski celebrated Arbor Day with Shady Spring Elementary School students and staff, planting trees to complete a 2.5-acre reforestation project that surrounds the schoolyard with native trees.

“Trees are critical infrastructure for our communities and for our environment, and it makes perfect sense for us to replace underutilized lawn space in schoolyards with forested acreage that reduces air pollution, absorbs stormwater and provides shade to help cut energy costs,” said Olszewski. “We appreciate our partners in the school system for helping us make a difference that will span generations.”

The Shady Spring Elementary School project is a 2.5-acre native tree planting along the perimeter of the school property. Students had the opportunity to plant and monitor the newly planted trees, meeting several Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards and Maryland Green School objectives. The project is a result of a partnership between the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) and BCPS’ Office of Science, called Comprehensive Landscape Improvement Projects. Since 2014, they have reforested 39 acres and planted 196 landscape-style trees at 37 schools.

EPS’ approach to planting on school property focuses on planting trees on underutilized school lawns to increase the County’s tree canopy and reduce BCPS’ long-term mowing costs. In addition to these plantings, EPS also planted 957 native shade trees from 2011 through 2012 at 46 County schools and other facilities under EPS’ Cool Trees program.

Baltimore County named a Tree City USA – for the 15th time

At today’s Arbor Day celebration, the County Executive accepted a 2018 Tree City USA award from the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. This marks the 15th year that Baltimore County has earned this high-level distinction. During that time, the County has reforested more than 375 acres. The Tree City USA designation requires that a jurisdiction spend at least $2 per capita on tree planting and care, and maintain a tree ordinance and an organization that advocates for trees. Olszewski presented an Executive Proclamation designating April 26, 2019 as Arbor Day in Baltimore County.

County working to achieve countywide tree canopy of 50 percent

Baltimore County's goal is to achieve and maintain a 50 percent tree canopy Countywide and within the three drinking water reservoirs by the year 2025. Additionally, the County is striving to achieve and maintain a 40 percent tree coverage within more populated areas inside the Urban Rural Demarcation Line and for each of the Census Designated Places (CDPs). Tree canopy maps and data on land cover are available by request for 30 CDPs in Baltimore County. These may be useful for finding opportunities for planting trees and for gaining an understanding of overall tree canopy levels in individual communities.

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TOWSON, MD – County Executive Johnny Olszewski today nominated Michael Mallinoff to serve as the Director of Permits, Approvals and Inspections, which oversees the development and use of land in Baltimore County.

“I’m proud of our efforts to create an innovative and thoughtful leadership team as our work to build a better Baltimore County continues,” Olszewski said. “Michael Mallinoff brings decades of management experience and shares my passion for expanding accountability and transparency across our government. I know he will be an invaluable addition to our administration.”

Mallinoff joins Baltimore County after mostly recently working to reform financial operations for the City of Mbeya, Tanzania, with Enabling Growth Through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE). ENGINE is a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), and the Executive Service Corps (IESC), and works to increase private-sector investment and promote economic growth in Tanzania.

Mallinoff previously served as County Administrator for Charles County, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of County Government. He has also served as Chief Operating Officer of the State of Maryland’s Department of Information Technology, City Manager for the City of Annapolis, and Manager of the City of Newport, Rhode Island. Mallinoff holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore.

He will join the Olszewski administration effective May 6, 2019, replacing acting Director Mike Mohler who has served in the position since January 2, 2019. Mohler will return to his role as Administrator of the Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

“I’m very appreciative for the hard work of Acting Director Mohler, for his exemplary service to the people of Baltimore County throughout our transition process,” Olszewski added.

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Earth Day cleanup highlights need for public participation

Towson, MD – County Executive Johnny Olszewski celebrated Earth Day in Randallstown, hosting a stream cleanup and calling attention to the need for everyone to help reduce the litter that degrades communities and threatens waterways.

He spotlighted two new anti-litter promotions – his BaltCo Litter Blitz promotion, and a new anti-littering ad campaign – speaking to a crowd of dozens of community members and representatives of environmental organizations, including the National Aquarium and local watershed protection groups.

Baltco Litter Blitz promotion asks everyone to snag some litter

The County Executive launched BaltCo Litter Blitz, a grassroots outreach effort that asks people in Baltimore County to pick up some litter this April and May – either as a DIY effort or through a community cleanup – and share their efforts online using #BaltCoLitterBlitz or #trashtag.

“We all have a responsibility to respect and take care of our waterways,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Earth Day is a great reminder to everyone that we can make a difference in our neighborhoods. If each of us stops to pick up litter when we’re out walking or at our kids’ outdoor activities, we can make a huge difference together in our neighborhoods and help protect our local environment.”

Details of the initiative, including a list of community clean-ups hosted by the County’s watershed protection partners, are available on the County’s website.

In addition to promoting volunteer efforts, the County’s Code Enforcement inspectors are conducting an Earth Month series of commercial dumpster sweeps in various locations around the County to emphasize compliance with regulations designed to prevent overflow and spillage of trash.

Litter doesn’t stop where it drops campaign connects litter to food supply

Olszewski also announced an anti-littering campaign, whose slogan, Litter Doesn’t Stop Where it Drops, communicates that when litter hits the ground, wind or rain carries it down the nearest storm drain and into a stream. In addition to being unsightly, litter contains dangerous bacteria and toxins that pollute waterways, harm aquatic life and can even contaminate fish and other seafood.

“A staggering amount of plastic pollution enters Maryland’s waterways each year, and the National Aquarium is committed to doing its part to defeat this threat,” said John John Racanelli, National Aquarium President and CEO. “Plastic pollution poses a serious risk to Maryland wildlife and the habitats they depend on for their survival—and single-use plastics are the worst of the worst. We are pleased to partner with County Executive Olszewski and proud of his team’s efforts to clean up Baltimore County’s bountiful natural environment. Together with County residents, we can all do our part to prevent litter from entering our streams and bays.”

The ad images below feature platters of seafood graphically contaminated with litter and debris to demonstrate the connection between the environment and the food chain.

County is required to reduce trash in the Gwynns Falls and Jones Falls

Baltimore County is one of six jurisdictions in the United States that are under federal mandates to reduce trash in specific waterways (Baltimore County and City for the Gwynns and Jones Falls; Washington D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for the Anacostia; and Los Angeles County).

This Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) mandate is based on the federal Clean Water Act and is issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment as a “pollution diet.” The TMDL states that each year 159,626 pounds of trash need to be stopped from entering these waterways in Baltimore County from storm drains, in order to help eliminate the trash impairment of the Baltimore Harbor.

The County is currently implementing Phase 1 of the strategy for reducing trash in these waterways, which involves monitoring and community engagement. If in ten years this method does not reach the goal, the County would move to Phase 2, which involves very expensive high-maintenance structural changes like litter trapping devices.

Join the Adopt-A-Road and Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge Programs

In addition to the two-month Litter Blitz promotion, Olszewski encourages people to participate in the County’s year-round litter collection programs, Adopt-A-Road and the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge. 

The County’s Adopt-a-Road program currently includes about 90 groups who pick up litter along a designated section of County roadway at least four times per year.  Eligible adopters include civic and non-profit organizations, school groups, commercial and private enterprises, families and individuals. For more information, call the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.

The Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge allows groups who conduct a 15-minute litter cleanup to designate a BCPS school to earn credit towards grants to fund school-based environmental projects like outdoor classrooms, butterfly or rain gardens and nature educational opportunities for students. This program is a joint initiative of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability and the school system.

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Revised September 11, 2017