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.


Walk with a purpose! Track down the wavyleaf basketgrass that has invaded Patapsco Valley State Park!
Dr. Beauchamp (right) shows how to identify wavyleaf basketgrass

Join us to learn to identify wavyleaf basketgrass and help us survey the Patapsco Valley State Park. Observations of this alien invasive species can be recorded using a smartphone app or a handheld GPS. Every sighting that is submitted to the database helps us target the enemy in order to eradicate it!

McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park

Saturdays:  June 20July 11July 25August 8 and August 29, 2015

10 am - 12 pm   (Please arrive by 9:45 pm to sign in and attend a brief training session)   

The Wavyleaf Mapping Project is sponsored by Towson University's Department of Biological Sciences School of Emerging Technologies in partnership with Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland DNR, Maryland Sierra Club and Patapsco Heritage Greenway.   

For more information on this project and/or to download the application they are using on your iPhone or Android smartphone (currently only Android), or record points on your handheld GPS, go to:


Note:  Pre-registration is needed so you can get into the park for free in appreciation of helping with this project!   
To register, go to     Click on "Event Registration." 


Follow "Environmental Event" signs to the parking/registration area posted in the park. Look for the posted signs and PHG staff wearing the bright orange safety vests to direct you to registration!    

From I-695/I-70 West take I-70 to Marriottsville Rd. ( Exit 83). Go North on Marriottsville Rd. for 4 miles to the park entrance on the right.

From I-70 East take Rt. 40 to Marriottsville Rd. Turn left. Park entrance is 5 miles on the right.

Follow the posted signs near the entrance and inside the park to direct you to registration/parking.  

Closest address to use on your GPS:  11676 Marriottsville Road; Marriottsville MD 21104   

Age Restrictions

You are welcome to bring your family and friends. Children under 16 are welcome if they are supervised and accompanied by an adult volunteer.

What to Wear    

We recommend that our volunteers wear a hat, long pants and sleeves, so any prickly underbrush or insects won't bother you.  Good sturdy walking/hiking shoes are needed and something to drink to keep you hydrated on your hike! 

What to Bring:

Your iPhone or Android smartphone or handheld GPS. IMPORTANT:  Download the application before you come to training.  Go to the link found at . For more information or details about this project, email ProfessorVanessa B. Beauchamp at or call 410-704-2286 .

Thanks for helping restore our native ecology!

Read more

Without good erosion control, dirt washing off a single construction site can damage three miles of downstream waters (see article). The second Greater Baltimore Survey is now being organized by Sierra Club partner, CEDS. The survey of construction sites will assess how well erosion control measures have been applied. The goal is to provide Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard – with the public support needed to further reduce construction site mud pollution. 

The first Greater Baltimore Survey led to increases in enforcement staff and in compliance with erosion safeguards. The second Survey will begin in a few weeks. If you’d like to be part of this effort or learn how to win similar improvements in your watershed, sign up for a survey date at Registration

Volunteers are needed for the following surveys: 

·        Baltimore City, Monday, June 22nd, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

·        Carroll County, Saturday, June 27, 10:00 AM - 1:00PM

·        Carroll County, Tuesday, June 16th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

·        Carroll County, Wednesday, June 10th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

·        Carroll County, Wednesday, June 24th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

·        Harford County, Monday, June 15th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

·        Harford County, Saturday, June 20, 10:00 AM - 1:00PM

·        Harford County, Thursday, June 11th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

·        Harford County, Thursday, June 25th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

·        Howard County, Friday, June 12th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

To register for specific survey(s) go to: GBS Registration

No prior experience or any particular expertise is needed. The Survey will be conducted by nearly a hundred volunteers on 18 different dates – three per jurisdiction. On each Survey date a team of five or six volunteers will travel from site to site in an SUV. We will not trespass onto sites or confront anyone: we’ll view construction sites from adjoining roads or other public areas. Each survey lasts two or three hours. Further information about survey procedures can be found at: 2015 GBC Procedures.  

We’re currently compiling a database of active construction sites in the Greater Baltimore Area.  If you know of a site in the City or five surrounding counties, please add it to the Construction Site Database

For further information contact Richard Klein at 410-654-3021 or

Read more