Farm Academy

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Jamie Brown, one of the Farm Acad­emy farm­ers, com­mented: “We want to open the farm to our com­mu­nity to edu­cate our new neigh­bors and pfarm-academy-logo-450x310eo­ple through­out Howard County about what farm­ing really is. Many peo­ple don’t under­stand all the facets of agri­cul­ture, and the only way we can edu­cate them is by invit­ing them in to ask ques­tions so they can become more aware of what we do.”

Dur­ing Farm Acad­emy days, farm­ers will explain var­i­ous kinds of farm­ing oper­a­tions, rang­ing from live­stock to crops, pro­duce and nurs­eries. There will be three Farm Acad­emy ses­sions this fall. Each will be a three-hour ses­sions, offered free on Sat­ur­day morn­ings to par­tic­i­pants of all ages. Each ses­sion will accom­mo­date 20 to 25 peo­ple; addi­tional ses­sions will be con­sid­ered for spring, based on the level of inter­est. Please call Howard Soil Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict at 410−313−0680 if there are any questions.

Get More Information at Live Green Howard

You can choose to attend one or more of the Farm Acad­emy days.
Farm Academy On-Line Registration

Dates and Locations:

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


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:
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.

Qualified Knowledgeable Landscapers

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chesapeakelandscapeWouldn’t it be great if landscapers held credentials that ensured training on conservation landscaping best practices.

The Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council (CCLC) is developing the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) initiative to create a comprehensive training and credentialing system that formalizes conservation landscaping standards and ensures  thoroughly trained landscaping practitioners and firms. These firms will have the skills and expertise to design, install, and maintain small-scale conservation landscaping practices for efficient nutrient and sediment removal. CCLP has partnered with UMD Sea Grant Extension, Wetlands Watch, and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Habitat Partners (Consortium) to develop this initiative.

Consumers will benefit by having a reliable source of qualified landscape practitioners.  The CBLP pilot is in Maryland, Virginia and DC Metropolitan Area. The goal is a set of CBLP credentials and a formalized network of credential practitioners recognized and accepted throughout every state and locality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Learn more and register for the Columbia meeting.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
  • 9:45 AM to 2:00 PM (Lunch provided)
  • Howard Community College

This meeting is a part of a continuing effort to have an open dialog with our partners and supporters as we develop a core curriculum, a voluntary and rigorous credentialing process, and a long-term, self-sustaining system of continuing education, credential improvements and program expansion/administration.


Download the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) flyer.

2014/15 Class Project Completion

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Hardy Planters

On a warm and humid evening this last week, a group of students and friends completed the Howard County Watershed Stewards Class Project for the class of 2014/15.  Designed and implemented by the class, this rain garden captures and uses rain water from a nearby roof.
Its completion marks a major milestone in the progress of the 2014/15 WSA Class.  Other milestones include completing Action Projects based on neighborhood assessments, outreach to address issues discovered during assessments, and educational or best management practices like this newly installed rain garden.

Free Material About Maryland Agriculture

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 HorsefarmWSA Info Session About Maryland Agriculture

This past June 22, a number of Master Gardeners, Watershed Stewards, and concerned citizens came together to learn from the experts about the agricultural focus toward the Total Maximum Daily Load and Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Office of Resource Conservation in the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Howard County Soil Conservation Agency updated attendees, then opened the floor to a Q&A session.

MKC_0372cdLouise Lawrence provided extensive information and demonstrated why Maryland is a Chesapeake Bay leader in Federal compliance.  We learned about the many regulatory programs, funding, and outreach provided by the State of Maryland.
Get Her Presentation Here  Lawrence_MD_Ag_Programs

Bob Ensor explained how soil conservation solutions are solving Howard County issues and what’s being done by our local farmers to lower the Total Maximum Daily Load on the Bay.
Get His Presentation Here Ensor_County_Soil_Conservation

Maryland Ag — What It Is Doing About Bay Pollution

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Register then come to the Howard County University of Maryland Extension:

  • Monday, June 22,  6:30 – 8:00 PM
  • 3300 North Ridge Road, Suite 240 
  • Ellicott City, Maryland 21043 

Continuing Ed - How Agriculture is Limiting Bay...

Eventbrite - Continuing Ed - How Agriculture is Limiting Bay Pollution

Learn from the experts about the agricultural focus toward the Total Maximum Daily Load and Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Office of Resource Conservation in the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Howard County Soil Conservation Agency will update attendees and then open the floor to a Q&A session.

A Special Dorothy

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A Special  Dorothy with a  Deering Woods Rain Garden

It takes a community of hard-working young adults, a few members of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and an outgoing 90-year old to build and maintain a functioning rain garden that slows the flow of storm water and allow it to soak back into the water table.  With this work comes a lot of fun and learning –the fun and learning embodied in Dorothy Brooker.

Dorothy-with-raingardenDorothy who’s lived an active life, is a delight to know.  The first 61 years of her life was shared with communities in New York State, as a teacher, wife, and mother of four.  When her eldest daughter, Sherry, went to college, Dorothy began another career – this time working for the New York Education Department on teacher certification and retirement.

Since her retirement almost 29 years ago, Dorothy has been an active citizen in Columbia, with activities ranging from gardening to volunteering for the Howard County Hospital and Landscape Committee of Deering Woods.  As a Landscape Committee member, she learned about how we can use native plants in rain gardens to manage stormwater.  The landscape committee worked with Don Tsusaki and Lori Lilly and a team of young adults in the READY program to install three rain gardens in Deering Woods to manage the stormwater problems they were experiencing.

Of those rain gardens, one is next to Dorothy’s condominium. When she saw the READY crew working last summer, sweating in the summer heat, she came out to offer them Popsicles.  She also offered her bathroom for their needs. 

After the rain garden was planted, Dorothy and her daughter Sherry organized residents to water and care for the new plants.  When Dorothy saw that the rain garden needed an adjustment, she told Lori and Don.