Earn WSA Certification

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Howard County’s Watershed Stewards Academy is holding a series of informational sessions to highlight its Master Watershed Steward program.

The Challenge:

WSA is looking for innovative problem-solvers, interested in serving the community by preserving and improving water quality at the local level.

The Program:

WSA is an affiliate of the University of Maryland Extension in Howard County. It is training program that empowers residents to improve the water quality of local streams and rivers. Through a series of classes and community-based activities, you can learn how to spearhead individual and community efforts aimed at reducing the harmful effects of polluted storm water runoff into local streams, rivers, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.

Training will commence on Sept 6, 2016 and we require your attendance at one of the following information sessions for enrollment.

When Where
Tuesday, June 14,  7 PM Glenwood Branch Library
Wednesday, June 29,  7 PM  Miller Branch Library, Avalon Room 
Tuesday, July 12 ,  7 PM  Savage Branch Library, Da Vinci Room
Thursday, July 14,  7 PM East Columbia Library
 Saturday, July 30,  10 AM  Glenwood Branch Library

For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at (410) 313-2711 or trmatt@umd.edu

Native Plant Sale at GreenFest 2016

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Buy Local, Eat Local, Be Local!

A native plant sale sponsored by the Howard County Master Gardeners,  will held as a part of the Howard County MD GreenFest 2016. The sale is  located on the Quad at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia

Saturday April 16, 2016
10 a.m.-4 p.m
Rain or Shine  (Most of GreenFest is inside.)

2016 Features
  • Grand prize raffle to win $100 gift certificates to local farms
  • Local green businesses and information on sustainable products
  • Native plant sale – Master Gardners
  • Children’s nature play space
  • Rain Barrel workshop including 50 free barrels to give away
  • Free compost bin giveaway
  • Workshops and speakers
  • Local farmers selling food, plants and CSA memberships
  • New this year – Intro to Geocaching

The Watershed Stewards Academy will be there too!

We hope to see you!

Go to www.hcgreenfest.org to learn more.

Learn about Permeable Hardscapes

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Continuing Education

Pervious Concrete

Mr. Marshall Davidson will present an overview of pervious concrete, how it works, and some of the applications for residential areas.

Mr. Davidson will address this topic for the non-professional so that the rest of us might be better prepared to talk about this subject.

Mr. Davidson is a registered professional engineer with over  25-years of experience having worked in both private and public sectors.  For the last 7 years, Mr. Davidson has been working for Howard County Department of Public Work’s Transportation & Special Projects Division as a project manager primarily focused on drainage and flooding related issues within the County.

Additional Incentives

Permeable Pavers

Residents who replace an impervious surface with a permeable hardscape may receive reimbursement for costs associated with the removal of the impervious surface and installation of the permeable hardscape.

Please refer to the Howard County Clean Scapes BMP Incentive Program Criteria for the details and contact Rachel Beebe with questions.  Residents must document the costs associated with both the impervious surface removal and the permeable hardscape installation (e.g. via an itemized invoice), then Howard County can reimburse 50% of the cost paid for pavement removal between $600-$1200 and 50% of the cost paid for the permeable hardscape up to $1200.  So combined,  a resident could be eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of the cost paid up to $2400.

Excellent Information Sessions – Past and Future

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The Last Talk

The Sustainability Information session by Jim Caldwell, was an excellent one.  If you missed it or would just like to have a copy of the presentation for a closer look, we’ve got it here for you to download.
Jim's Talk

The Next Talk

Click here for tickets to the next talk on January 12th


At 7 PM on Jan 12th, at UME we will hear from Joe Berg, an Environmental Scientist and Senior Restoration Ecologist at Biohabitats.  Biohabitats a firm that specializes in Conservation Planning, Ecological Restoration, and Regenerative Design.  He has expertise in Stormwater and Watershed Management.

During Joe’s talk we will learn about how we have changed our watersheds, our approach to dealing with stormwater, resulting runoff problems, and regenerative restoration solutions.

2015 Class Graduation

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WSA Graduating Class

The Class of 2015 Graduated November 3rd

Members of the class show above are from left to right –  Catherine Rice, Ted Wolf, Ellen Roberts, David Schuster, Deirdre Sunderland, Jessica Cox, Rahul Kesarkar, Richard Seyfried, James Cimaglio, Woody Merkle, and Karen Nook Riches.


Georgia Eacker opened the ceremony with Welcome remarks.  Georgia is the Howard County University of Maryland Extension Faculty Extension Assistant, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Master Gardener Coordinator.  She has been the Watershed Stewards Academy’s guiding light.

Graduation Address
Graduation Address

John McCoy (Watershed Manager at Columbia Association and Member of the WSA Advisory Committee) provided a stirring Graduation Address.   John’s in-depth knowledge of watershed processes, water quality monitoring design and analysis, and on-the-ground habitat and water quality restoration are a great asset to the community and to the Watershed Stewards Academy.  Through his efforts the CA cost sharing program has been a success.  His work with many current and future WSA graduates is extremely valuable.


Yards and Fields: A Water Quality Event

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Local farmers employ Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improve water quality.  The Howard County Government promotes residential BMPs to reduce pollution. Let’s learn more about water quality improvement efforts in our Yards and Fields.

You are invited to Yards and Fields: A Water Quality Event, a half-day (9 am – 2:30 pm) Forum Plus conference on Thursday, November 12th!

RSVP by November 5th at  cleanwaterhoward.com/ForumPlus.

The day will include breakfast and lunch with education and networking opportunities, all at no cost to you.

The location is:

  • 2319 Waverly Mansion Dr.
  • Marriottsville, MD 21104

Members of the agricultural and residential communities will unite to share their efforts to improve local water quality. The event will feature presentations by local farmers, local government, and funding organizations that can make your next effort to preserve and improve water quality a reality.

yards and fields flyer finalNetwork with the community and learn more about BMPs from:

  • Local Farmers
  • Howard County Government
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • Howard Soil Conservation District
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

RSVP by Nov 5th and get more detailed information

Welcome the New Academy Class

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2015/16 Class First Night
2015/16 Class First Night

Students Sitting, Left to Right: Chunlei Ding, Sheila Robinson, Iris Mars, Radhika Wijetunge

Standing, Left to Right: Ned Tillman, Guest Speaker;
Barbara Schmeckpeper, WSA Instructor and Course Designer;
Terry Matthews, WSA Coordinator;
Philip Roberts, Buffy Illum, Marvin and Alan Schneider, Students; and Georgia Eacker, Howard County University of Maryland Extension Urban Agriculture Coordinator

The fourth session of the Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy began on September 17th when Ned Tillman provided a keynote orientation.

As a local author, geologist, naturalist, and community leader, Ned provided an ideal orientation. He Identified the extent and characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, discussed the historical and current dynamic aspects of the Chesapeake Bay, introduced the historic and present ecosystem (flora and fauna) of the watershed, and describe the current status of the Bay and obstacles to restoring the Bay.

Follow Ned at https://twitter.com/nedtillman


Tour AND Plant Sale

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presented by
Howard County Master Gardeners
Saturday, September 19 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM
6425 Allview Dr., Columbia, Md. 21046

You are invited to tour a local garden in Columbia featuring many Bay-Wise practices designed to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors will enjoy a delightful landscape that creatively captures rainwater, native and deer resistant plantings, a variety of outdoor living spaces, retaining walls of recycled materials, rain barrels, raised bed vegetable garden, permeable pathways, wildlife habitats, and much more in a clever, attractive and practical use of space.

We will be hosting a native plant sale that day as well.

Our emphasis this year again will be how homeowners can effectively manage storm water on their properties.

This is a free event sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension,  Howard County Master Gardeners
For more information email: pharrington61@verizon.net
Master Gardeners LogoUniversity of Maryland Extension




The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

One stream at a time

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Howard County Watershed Academy hopes to save the bay, one stream at a time

Front Page of the Columbia Flier – And In the Baltimore Sun


Sabrina Fu

Read the article, then sign up for one of the information sessions listed, to the right!

Applications Now Being Accepted

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Howard County, MD
– Watershed Stewards Academy –

Will your children and grand-children have clean water?

According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, storm water runoff is
Child at Beach - copyright M.Calvertthe “fastest growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay.” Storm water runs across impenetrable surfaces, picking up pollutants, such as pesticides, animal waste, fertilizers, sediment, and other substances, as it makes its way to the nearest storm drain, and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.

How You Can Help:

We slow the flow of storm water, aid in its dispersion, and promote absorption. We are the Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy (working closely with the University of Maryland Extension). We seek to raise community awareness and move citizens to take action toward reducing pollution and abating excessive storm water flow. One way we accomplish this is by training, certifying, and supporting Master Watershed Stewards, who in turn, serve as ambassadors to the community through education and outreach, special projects, and other volunteer efforts.

Take an Active Role in Preserving the Environment: Applications are Being Accepted Now!

Before you apply please contact Terry R. Matthews (410 313 2711) to schedule a meeting.

Remember – Every Drop Counts.

Every Drop Counts

Support WSA!