Community Involvement

The Stormwater Management (SWM) Division is involved in a variety of community projects and outreach efforts that promote clean water strategies in the county. Some of these efforts are described below.

Landscaping with Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens

Gardening with storm water in mind will reduce rain runoff and keep pollutants from entering our streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Watch "Slow it Down, Spread it Out, Soak it in" to learn how you can use storm water in rain gardens, rain barrels and other environmental projects. As a Howard County resident, you can make a big impact on stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of pervious surface that absorbs stormwater runoff on your property. Check out this handy webpage of best management practices that you can do at your home.

The Bureau of Environmental Services and the Howard County Master Gardeners have partnered together to provide free rain barrel workshops to Howard County residents. Contact the Master Gardeners at 410-313-2707 for information. Workshops are held at the Alpha Ridge Landfill in Marriottsville, MD. See Upcoming Events for scheduling.

Watershed Enhancement Grant

Every year the Stormwater Management Division offers a Watershed Enhancement Grant to local non-profit 501(c)(3)organizations. The purpose of the grant is to encourage change in citizen and community behavior as they affect water quality in the Howard County's lakes, rivers and streams. 

This grant is intended to:

1. increase citizen awareness and participation in water quality issues and projects,
2. provide education opportunities for Howard County residents and/or
3. implement restoration projects.

The Watershed Enhancement Grant is administered through the Chesapeake Bay Trust in partnership with Howard County. For more information about the grant go to or contact the Bureau of Environmental Services at 410-313-6444.


Howard County’s Annual GreenFest features many commercial and non-profit vendors with information about how to live a more ecologically sound lifestyle. Vendors and exhibitors bring information on green products, ecological home cleaning and lawn care, alternative energy, water conservation and reuse, and tips for greening your everyday activities plan to attend. Learn more about GreenFest.

Community Outreach Opportunities

Howard County encourages residents to care for their property in an environmentally friendly way. We encourage proper lawn fertilization and herbicide / pesticide application techniques, use of native plants for landscaping and replacement of lawn areas, and maintenance of stream buffers.

Enviroscape and Homescape are two educational tools used by the Howard County Storm Water Management staff to provide environmental education for adults. These tools are used to provide a bird's eye view of the impact that adult homeowner activities have on the environment.

If you are a community group, individual, or teaching institution that would like to start a water quality improvement project, or if you would like a speaker to talk on these topics at your next community meeting, please contact the Stormwater Management Division at 410-313-6432.