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. 

Water Stories from around the World

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Water Stories from around the World Video ContestWaterStoryLogo

Come to the Earth Forum of Howard County on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2 PM
First Presbyterian Church of Howard County 9325 Presbyterian Circle Columbia MD

See and Hear the following Water Stories from around the World:

  • The Cost of Gold: Weighing Impacts of Mining, Trade, and Climate Change in Peru with Jed Koball
  • Searching for Water in Haiti with Liz Bobo
  • Vanishing Ice and Way of Life in Alaska with Paul Berg


Enter the Video Contest:

Tell your Water Story! You may win the Water Video Contest:

  1. Click this: Video Entry Form and Submit a 30-second Concept clip video, in English, by April 23, 2015.
  2. Produce your Video on location this Summer
  3. Submit your Completed 5-10 minute Video by noon August 19, 2015

The Earth Forum is free and open to all. Contact them at earthforum@firstpreshc.org or call 410-730-3545. See them on Facebook or at www.earthforumhc.org.

Apply For CCC by April 17

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Chesapeake Conservation Corps
Chesapeake Conservation Corps

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program

The Chesapeake Bay Trust anticipates placing 20-25 Corps Volunteers in Host Organizations throughout Maryland for one year terms of service, with service to begin August 25, 2015. Individuals will be between the ages of 18 and 25 years at the time of enrollment. Corps Volunteers will receive stipends of $16,000 per year administered by the Trust.

Selected Corps volunteers will have the opportunity to work on a wide range of activities in the fields of environmental restoration, energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, forestry, community engagement and/or K-12 environmental education.

To download the application click here. All applications must be RECEIVED by April 17, 2015.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to announce solicitations for volunteers for the 2015-16 Chesapeake Conservation Corps, a program that provides service-learning opportunities and green job training for young people through environmental and energy conservation projects. This initiative, supported by the Trust, Constellation Energy, the National Park Service and the state of Maryland, pairs young adults with organizations that provide hands-on environmental, leadership, and technical training opportunities for a one-year term of service.

For any questions about becoming a volunteer or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Tara Baker, 410-974-2941, ext. 102.

Social Marketing Workshop

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We aren’t talking about Social Media — Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
We are talking about Social Marketing: “a process that applies marketing principles and techniques to influence target audience behaviors that benefit society as well as the target audience” (Lee and Kotler, 4th ed.).
Trained social marketing service providers from the University of Maryland Sea Grant watershed team and the Chesapeake Bay Trust will be delivering a hands-on,  interactive session, from 9 to 3, Saturday, March 7th at UME.

Green Steps for Howard County

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Come, be a part of the Earth Forum’s 2015-02-15-logoreview, discussion, and creative possibilities for caring for our part of the Earth and its inhabitants, at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 15.

Hear a panel of our environmental leaders share highlights of their 2014 work, their current work, and their ideas for how the whole community can work together.

Panel (3)


  • Ned Tillman, Howard County Environmental Sustainability Board
  • Kelly Dudeck, Food Policy Task Force Director
  • Rachel Beebe, Residential Stormwater Specialist
  • John McCoy, Columbia Association

Following the program, enjoy tasty and nutritious refreshments. Then view interesting information tables to learn more about the environmental activities, events, and programs in this area.

The Earth Forum is free and open to all and meets at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County.
9325 Presbyterian Circle
Columbia, Maryland

For questions email:  earthforum@firstpreshc.org or call 410-730-3545
Information is at www.earthforum.org


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Second Chance to Learn About Headwaters

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Where is YOUR StreamDue to last week’s postponed session – you have another chance (Feb 4th @ 7 PM) at the FREE information on the headwaters of the Patuxent watershed in Howard County.  You can still sign up and get location information at http://howardwsa.org/events/know-your-headwaters/

  • Headwater streams are vital to watershed ecology, yet they are often overlooked, paved over and neglected.
  • Come to this special session to learn more about this important County resource.
  • Brenda Morgan from Versar, Inc. will let us know all about our headwaters here in Howard County.

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Cleaner Water for You and Your Children