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Keyword: environment

Action Will Preserve 23 Acres of Developable Land and Protect Local Waterways

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler and 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins announced the County’s plans to preserve a significant parcel of environmentally sensitive land in Middle River to prevent development, thereby protecting water quality for local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.

The County plans to acquire 23 acres, located on the southwest corner of Bengie’s Road and Bourque Avenue, which is less than a mile from Dark Head Creek and Middle River, and is immediately adjacent to another 28 acres of open space owned by the State of Maryland. Program Open Space acquisition funds will be applied to reimburse the full $100,000 purchase price.

“Preserving rural lands is one of the most effective ways to protect the drinking water supplies for 2.6 million people in the Baltimore region, as well as the water quality of our streams and rivers that flow to the Chesapeake," Mohler said..

"I am always looking for sites around the district for Project Open Space,” said Bevins. “I am thankful for the administration for purchasing this land. This is the latest in a long list of ways we have worked to improve the environment here in Middle River. From dredging the Bird River to preserving open space, I have worked hard to protect and improve the environment.” 

The property is zoned for medium-density residential development and has a recorded 20-lot subdivision. By purchasing this property from Windlass Woods, LLC., the County is guaranteeing its ability to serve as a filter for stormwater, protecting the water quality of Middle River and the Chesapeake Bay. It will be preserved as a forested refuge for wildlife, while offering scenic views in a growing area of the County, near the Baltimore Crossroads mixed-use development.

By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Baltimore County Department of Public Works, Recycling Division

Throughout his career with Baltimore County, the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz demonstrated a steadfast commitment to protecting the environment. He understood that governments, businesses and citizens must work together to find solutions that help us live and conduct business more sustainably.

With the help of many other county employees, County Executive Kamenetz built a legacy of environmental stewardship that will have an impact on our region for generations to come.

  • Almost two billion dollars invested in water and sewer projects to provide safe, clean drinking water and responsible waste management.
  • More than $137 million in stream restoration, shoreline stabilization, reforestation and other water quality projects to preserve and restore the County’s natural infrastructure, including nearly 50,000 trees planted on 466 acres.
  • Building a new single-stream recycling facility.
  • Establishing energy efficiency and renewable energy policies to reduce the County’s carbon footprint.
  • More than $68 million invested in new parks, recreation facilities and community centers.
  • Seventeen Small Watershed Action Plans developed to clean up streams and rivers and send healthier waters to the Bay.
  • Twenty four TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Implementation Plans developed in nine county watersheds to reduce waterway pollutants such as trash, bacteria, sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen and mercury.
  • Creating the environmentally-focused Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook page.

Baltimore County has earned a number of recent awards for its environmental programs, including:

  • National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA Awards every year from 2010 to 2017
  • Maryland Recycling Network’s Outstanding Government Leadership Award
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge
  • National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for the County’s Single Stream Recycling facility
  • Maryland Recycling Network Extraordinary Achievement Award for the Clean Green Baltimore County Facebook page

By his leadership and actions, County Executive Kamenetz saw a sustainable future for our county and state, with cleaner air and water, green open spaces, abundant forests, healthy wildlife and a thriving Chesapeake Bay.

He also had faith that we, the citizens, employees and institutions of Baltimore County, would do our part to make this vision a reality.

The question is, what can we do today to make ours a cleaner, greener county? Find tips and resources at





By Jeanette Garcia Polasky, Baltimore County Department of Public Works

Looking at the Earth from above, we get perspective on our changing, living planet. Astronauts understand this better than any of us, given their firsthand experience seeing Earth from space. They call this the Overview Effect.

East full disk image, GOES 16 satellite |
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

When astronaut and Cockeysville native Reid Wiseman accepted a Hero Pin from County Executive Kamenetz in 2015, I asked him about experiencing the Overview Effect. His response was profound.

“When I went to space, and you start to look out, you can watch sands from the Sahara Desert get blown all the way over to Brazil. You watch a hurricane. You see flooding. You see a dam.

"You can see cities really well, they just look like smudges; but you start to realize that the Earth is far more alive than any of us.

“This machine right here has been going a long time – before we came – and it will be going a long time after we leave. It’s our home.

“The Earth is like our parents – parents for every human being that’s ever walked on the planet, every animal. So that was really what I took away. This machine we live on is much more alive than any of us in this room.”

The idea of Earth as a living machine has stayed with me since that day. If only everyone could have the opportunity to experience it, perhaps we would be inspired to put in the hard work required to leave behind a livable planet for future generations.

It’s unlikely that you or I will ever get the chance to see Earth from space, but what we do have is a way to simulate the experience – with virtual reality (VR), and you can do it without spending a dime.

Here’s an Earth Month challenge – make your own cardboard smartphone VR viewer for free. You can find tutorials online, as well as a downloadable VR viewer kit offered by Google at no charge. You probably already have the materials you need sitting around the house or in the recycling bin. After it’s assembled, get out your smartphone and download a free app.

Get ready for a whole new worldview from 117 million feet!

Get involved in Earth Month. Baltimore County is hosting events including Earth Month Pop-Ups in the parks and an Earth Day Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event. Take action all year long.  Participate in cleanups, plantings and other events to protect and connect with the land, waters and wildlife that make our Chesapeake home special.

Revised September 11, 2017