Howard County Group

The Howard County Group of the Maryland Sierra Club

welcomes your participation in our environmental initiatives. The Sierra Club supports educational programs, conservation efforts, environmental candidates and legislation, and outings. Find more information here on our website, and the latest schedule on the Calendar. See below for the latest news.


Howard County's FY 2016 proposed budget has set aside a large sum to install synthetic turf in six different locations within the county, including Centennial Park and three high schools. Artificial turf has a reputation for injuring athletes; the material also contains dozens of toxic chemicals, and may even be linked to cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in teens with high exposure to the turf. Because of the potential risk, both the Los Angeles Public School System and the New York City Department of Parks have stopped installing synthetic turf. 

On top of that, grass fields with the right maintenance programs can actually be cheaper than the imitation. 

There will be a budget hearing open to the public on Monday April 20th at 7:30 pm in the Banneker Room of the Howard Building (3430 Court House Dr #100, Ellicott City, MD 21043). Sign up to speak or go online to submit testimony. Then stand with us at the hearing to save our green playing fields.

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When we said renewable energy source, we didn't mean garbage. And burning garbage for power is not the "energy answer" we were looking for. Now that both the Howard County government and school system have separately cancelled their contracts with Energy Answers International, it's almost certain that the trash-fueled incinerator at Curtis Bay will never be built. 

Thank you to the Howard County officials who made the choice for clean energy...and incidentally, support reducing, recycling and composting that particular resource instead.

To celebrate, there will be an outdoor concert for people from all over Maryland to explore positive alternatives for Curtis Bay--like an exciting solar energy proposal--alongside the residents there through art, music, and fellowship.

WHAT: Concert and Art Festival for Fair Development

WHEN: April 25, 2015, at 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

WHERE: Benjamin Franklin High School, 1201 Cambria St., Baltimore, MD 21225 


Sierra Club Carpool

Questions? Contact the Staff Organizer for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, Seth Bush, at

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Saturday, April 25, 2015; 8:45 am - 1:00 pm  
Belmont Manor, Patapsco Valley State Park: 6553 Belmont Woods Road, Elkridge, 21075
Parking will be off of Belmont Woods Road.  Follow posted signs to event.

Learn to recognize wavyleaf basketgrass, a rapidly-spreading invasive non-native plant. Then join us for a short walk near the Belmont Manor in PVSP and help us map the location of any wavygrass we see. Volunteers can use the smartphone application developed by the Wavyleaf Mapping Project at Towson University, or can use a handheld GPS and submit their observations by email. Once trained, citizen scientists are encouraged to report sightings of the plant anywhere they notice it. 

The Wavyleaf Mapping Project, in partnership with the Patapsco Valley State Park volunteer coordinator, the Patapsco Heritage Greenway, Inc., and the Sierra Club, has the goal of mapping the wavyleaf basketgrass distribution throughout the entire Park in 2015. This is the first step to eradicating the plant and saving the native biodiversity of the Park. To register, go to   

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Tuesday April 28, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Belmont Manor, Patapsco Valley State Park: 6553 Belmont Woods Road, Elkridge, MD 21075
Free. Meet in the Belmont Carriage House Conference Room.

Dr. Marc Imlay, Chair of the Sierra Club Biodiversity and Habitat Stewardship Committee, will speak about invasive plants in the area and what we can do to combat them. Learn about other local groups fighting the spread of these 'villains of the valley', including Tree Savers of Catonsville (removing English Ivy from trees) and Towson State University (tracking the location of wavyleaf basketgrass through GPS technology). 

To register, go to

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The Howard County Sierra Club is a sponsor of this year's GreenFest. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Howard Community College, Burrill Galleria
10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044

Free admission.
Theme: Living with Wildlife

Description: Check out the more than 100 exhibits. Workshops and children’s activities all day. Recycling events for Howard County residents include electronics recycling. Collections for all visitors include a Goodwill truck for clothing and household goods, Habitat for Humanity for building materials, bicycles for "Bikes for the World", blue jeans to make insulation, cell phones and eye glasses. Outdoor activities include a watershed walk and Garlic Mustard Pull. There will also be native plant sales on the Quad from 10 - 4!

Vendors and non-profit displays will provide practical information about steps to take both at home and at work to promote environmental responsibility. Be sure to collect your favorite great green giveaways throughout the festival! Lunch will be available for purchase. For further information, visit .

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Monday, April 20, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
Miller Branch of the Howard County Public Library (9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, MD 21042)


In November 2014, the Park Service began the process of redesigning the trails in Patapsco Valley State Park. Trail Manager Dan Hudson led the effort, conducting meetings with different trail users and interested stakeholders, including Sierra Club. 


Please visit the Open House and share your vision for the Park's trail system. Help us create a network of sustainable paths that encourage appreciation of nature with a minimal impact on the environment. 


The Superintendent of the Maryland Park Service is pleased to announce an open house for the purpose of presenting draft concepts for a Trail Vision for Patapsco Valley State Park. 

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