Conservation Montgomery 

April 20, 2011

Community Updates
In This Issue
Legislation to Watch
Earth Day message
Purple Line meetings
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Happy Earth Day 2011 -- or Happy Earth Week...

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This is an ideal week to support the county bag bill, a nickel charge per plastic bag used in retail outlets around the county.  Consumers have a choice of taking in their own reusable shopping bags.  The Council is hearing plenty from opponents such as the American Chemistry Council.  If you want less waste and fewer plastic bags littering neighborhoods and waterways, the time to contact your elected officials is now.  More than 6,424 bags were removed from Montgomery County sites at the April 9th Potomac River watershed cleanup event --  more that the amount of bags collected than from any other county within the Potomac watershed.  See the next item  below for information about how to contact the Council.  A Council vote is set for May 3rd. 

The Montgomery County Delegation in Annapolis summarized the legislative session that ended last week.  A press release of accomplishments in a tough economic climate can be accessed here. A number of key environmental bills did not come to fruition in Annapolis, namely a bill to advance offshore wind energy throughout the state, which was the Governor's signature environmental legislation during the session.  An excellent summary of what happened with the state bag bill and proposed stormwater management legislation was provided by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.  Find their summary here.  

One bright spot in Annapolis was the passage of legislation requiring the Public Service Commission to impose a $25,000 a day fine on electric utilities for each violation of reliability standards.   The bill also specifies that Pepco cannot recover the cost from ratepayers. Pepco remains at the bottom of the list of the 25 largest investor-owned energy utilities in an American Customer Service Satisfaction Index survey.  Now if we just get Pepco to stop blaming trees for power outages -- particularly when there are no storms...

Speaking of energy, we welcome several new partners this month.  Clean Currents and Neighbors of the Northwest BranchClean Currents is the Mid-Atlantic's leading independent green energy company, providing residents and businesses in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delware with affordable wind and solar energy power. Neighbors of the Northwest Branch is a watershed group that has existed for the past 7 years with a mission of protecting, promoting and restoring the water quality, natural habitat, and ecological well-being of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River.

Check our calendar list below for events, and stay tuned for an upcoming schedule of CM Community Strolls.  If you have a good idea for a stroll, let us hear from you at ConservationMontgomery@live.com

 

County Legislation to Watch  
Walking the green talk every day 
An Earth Day Message from Julia Madsen
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"Going Green" is a term that we hear a lot these days. We hear it at the grocery store, at work, dry cleaners, restaurants, and especially in the media.  We hear a lot about being "green" but going green isn't something you can be; it's something you do. Earth Day is coming up and I'm sure we're going to be hearing the  term even more. This Earth Day, if everyone did something green then that would make them a green person. Helping the environment is an extremely simple thing to do. For example, if  you turned off the water in your shower while you were shampooing and conditioning. Doing that simple task can save 50 gallons of water a week! Think if everyone could try doing that how much water we could save. The answer is A LOT. And it's such a simple task. There are other ways to save water too, like fixing leaking faucets. Doing that could save 500 gallons of water each month! So this Earth Day (and everyday) do something green and make a difference.   

 

For tips on what you can do to help the environment, click here. 

 

Julia Madsen is a 7th grade student in the Montgomery County Public Schools. On Earth Day, she will plant trees along with other students in Laytonsville, MD.    

Purple Line meetings present opportunities for public involvement 
From Conservation Montgomery Community Reports

Public meetings are ongoing to review plans for the proposed Purple Line light rail, which consists of a two-track light rail and a paved biker/hiker trail running from Bethesda to Silver Spring using the full 66 feet of right-of-way along the route and most of the 90'right-of-way through the Columbia Country Club

At a May 4th meeting, the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) will present an overview of the current plans for the entire Capital Crescent Trail, including the community connections to the trail.  This meeting will also be used as an opportunity for the MTA and Montgomery County to get input from residents on the issues related to the trail, including access points and design features. The hope is to have productive dialogue about the plans. Read a full report on the April meeting, view the map, and more....


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Calendar items 


April

Link to Earth Day volunteer projects throughout the month.

RIP events to remove invasives in Sligo Creek watershed. 10 a.m. Full spring schedule here from the Friends of Sligo Creek.
April 16-20, "Do Something Reel" Film Festival at the AFI
April 21, EMERGENCY TOWN HALL MEETING on proposal to use park space for a school.
April 22nd, EARTH DAY, tree planting project in Laytonsville, MD, 9 a.m. Call 301-580-2855
April 25, Muddy Branch Alliance meeting, 7 p.m.
April 30th, Arbor Day County Celebration

May

 

May 1,   Nature Fair, Audubon Naturalist Society
May 4,   Public meeting on the Purple Line
May 7,   Earth Day Celebration and Community Green-Up Day
May 10, Webinar on human uses of water
May 11, Environmental Site Design Training Workshop, 7 p.m.
May 14, Public comments due on artificial turf report. Link here.
May 13, Montgomery County Civic Federation Awards Banquet
May 14, Spring Big Tree sale
May 16, Stormwater Partners Network meeting
May 20, Bike to Work Day
May 21, Conservation Montgomery Community Stroll in Takoma Park  (Check back at www.ConservationMontgomery.org for details.)

June

June 3-6, National River Rally, Charleston, S.C.
June 12, 2 p.m. Community Stroll, Rachel Carson Conservation Park  (Check our website and May-June newsletters for details.)

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