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Keyword: department of environmental protection and sustainability

Thousands of Volunteers Removed Tons of Litter in 15-minute Clean-ups

At an awards ceremony this morning at Battle Monument School in Dundalk, students and staff were excited to learn that their school won the grand prize, a $3,000 environmental grant in this year’s Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Debbie Phelps, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, announced that thirteen Baltimore County public schools were winners in this program that resulted in more than 4,900 volunteers picking up some 4,679 bags of litter in 359 litter clean-ups around the County over the past year.

Battle Monument students and staff celebrate their Clean Green 15 victoryCounty Executive Kamenetz encouraged the audience of students and faculty to think about where litter ends up. “The rain washes it into the storm drains, into our streams, and eventually to the Chesapeake Bay,” he said. “Litter not only looks bad in our neighborhoods, it also pollutes our waterways – and that’s bad for wildlife, fishermen, boaters and the environment.”

 

Clean Green 15 Results:Tons of Litter Collected, Thousands of Grant Dollars Distributed to Schools!

The 2017 program resulted in more than 4,900 volunteers picking up some 4,679 bags of litter in 359 litter clean-ups around the County over the past year.

In addition to litter, Clean Green 15 volunteers collected many tons of bulk trash items from parks, streambanks, schoolyards and other locations around Baltimore County. Clean-ups included schoolchildren as well as community-based volunteer activity.

Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge Winning Schools – 2017

Award

Prize

School

Grand Prize

$3,000 grant

Battle Monument School

1st Place ES

$1,500 grant

Reisterstown Elementary School

2nd Place ES

$500 grant

Grange Elementary School

1st Place MS

$1,500 grant

General John Stricker Middle School

2nd Place MS

$500 grant

Perry Hall Middle School

1st Place HS

$1,500 grant

Dulaney High School

2nd Place HS

$500 grant

Sparrows Point High School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Bear Creek Elementary School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Edgemere Elementary School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Milbrook Elementary School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Westowne Elementary School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Colgate Elementary School

Honorable

Mention

iPad

Charlesmont Elementary School

 

Clean Green 15 Now Underway for Next Year

In addition to awarding prizes to the winning schools from this year, Kamenetz also announced that the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge is on for next year, with groups eligible to log clean-ups from May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2019 for consideration in next year’s awards. “We delighted to see the enthusiasm for the Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge,” Kamenetz said.

Through this program, BCPS schools and their community supporters conducted quick 15-minute litter clean-ups and competed from last May through this April to see which school communities could log the most clean-ups. The program is open to any group, including school-based groups, places of worship, youth groups, civic or community groups, scout troops, sport teams, businesses or other organizations that wish to help clean up their community. Groups were asked to report their clean-ups on the BCPS website.

Clean Green Collaboration

Through the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools awarded grants to the top winning schools to fund school-based instructional projects emphasizing the theme of environmental literacy.  Examples could include installing a reading garden or rain garden, planting trees, diverting downspouts, or environmental education projects. Six schools won Honorable Mention awards and received iPads and participating schools will receive a tree to be planted in their schoolyard.  

“The Clean Green 15 Challenge is a great, practical way for our students to learn about the environment at the same time as they demonstrate their pride in their schools and communities,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance.

This is the fourth year for the challenge, which is a collaboration of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS), Baltimore County Public Schools and the Education Foundation of Baltimore County. This year’s sponsors include Wheelabrator Technologies, Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability and Tradepoint Atlantic.

“Litter is not just unsightly, it harms wildlife and our environment,” said Council Chair Tom Quirk. “What I like about Clean Green 15 is that it gets students involved so they can make a real difference and understand that it’s not okay to litter.”

Photos from today's awards ceremony are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHskZwWFBv Feel free to share!


Offers broad range of helpful environmental resources for residents and businesses 

Baltimore County is helping residents celebrate Earth Month in a meaningful way by providing information on the County’s web site about local environmental events, clean-ups and volunteer opportunities; as well as information about energy audits, renewable energy, green business practices and more.

“In Baltimore County, we have a long history of protecting and preserving our environment to support the high quality of life that our residents enjoy,” Kamenetz said. “April is Earth Month, and it’s a good reminder for all of us to think of some simple changes we can make to reduce our impact on the environment. Many of these changes can actually reduce costs, for example, by cutting energy bills; and make our lives a little easier, such as switching to grasscycling rather than bagging lawn trimmings.”

The Baltimore County Departments of Public Works and Environmental Protection and Sustainability teamed up to present a web page where Baltimore County residents and businesses can find the latest information on eco-friendly events and opportunities. Listed events including a Rain Barrel and Compost Bin sale, the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge, stream clean-ups and household hazardous waste collection.

The web page also links to energy efficiency and conservation resources for residents and businesses. The site includes a wealth of user-friendly information, including comprehensive instructions for a Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit, as well as information for residents and businesses who want to learn how to switch to a clean renewable energy provider.

Additional information is available for landowners interested in finding out about how to protect farm or forest land through easements, residents needing to upgrade outdated septic systems, and anyone looking to donate reusable building materials to be re-purposed. Learn more by visiting www.baltimorecountymd.gov/EarthMonth 


“This plan ignores science and is like spraying a can of Raid on the surface of the water,” EPS Director says

Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) Director Vince Gardina responded today to the Governor’s unilateral decision to fund short-term treatments to target an infestation of midges, a non-biting nuisance insect, in the Back River area of the County. “The infestation of midges in the Back River is caused by the nutrient-rich bottom sediment in the river that has accumulated over a century. These impacts will not be negated by a Band-Aid approach which will result in a waste of taxpayer funding. Baltimore County chooses to use environmental restoration funding based on proven science and known results. Furthermore, Back River is a waterway of the State of Maryland and as such is the State’s responsibility to manage,” Gardina said. 

 “While Governor Hogan claims that Baltimore County should join the State by frivolously matching his $330,000 expenditure to test the efficacy of such an application, my staff and I have researched the science and feel that nutrient reduction at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant and removal of the pollutant-laden bottom sediment in the upper Back River is the only real answer to stop midge larvae. While this may be difficult and impractical, the solution proposed by Governor Hogan is completely political and will have no real results, setting unrealistic expectations for the public,” stated Gardina. “The Governor’s small-scale treatment of midge larva will have little effect on the midge population. It will leave most of the Back River untreated allowing midge populations to easily reproduce and continue to be a nuisance,” he said.

 The Governor’s suggestion that Baltimore County holds primary responsibility for the waters of the State is factually inaccurate. Last October, the Governor proposed that Baltimore County pay for half of a $1.3 million program for midge remediation in Back River. The County declined because even that level of spraying would not achieve a comprehensive solution and would not be an effective investment of taxpayer dollars.​


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017