The Sustainability Team is a staff committee within Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks leading environmental sustainability efforts within the department and among department staff. The mission of the Sustainability Team is to educate, encourage and empower staff to practice sustainability in their personal and professional lives.
Annually, our team organizes four Adopt-a-Road clean-ups for a section of Oakland Mills Road. Staff members from every division of our department participated in removing trash and recyclables from the local environment.
On October 23, 2019 we hosted the second annual Sustainability Day at our department headquarters. Staff members had the opportunity to learn about opportunities for environmental sustainability from local experts and other Howard County departments. The event also featured a Repair Café with a team of volunteers from Transition Howard.
To encourage reuse and waste reduction, we hosted a Spring Stuff Swap. Staff were encouraged to bring unwanted, but still useful items from home. Throughout the day, the items were available to be claimed by others who might want or need them. Unclaimed items were responsibly donated.
Beginning in 2018, staff began offering collection bins for tennis ball recycling at some of our busiest tennis courts. One year into the program, we had collected 2400 balls for recycling.
Outdoor water fountains with bottle fillers (and dog bowls) are being installed in parks throughout Howard County. The fountains provide free onsite hydration to park users without the waste of plastic water bottles. Generous donors are sponsoring water hydration stations, ensuring they are available throughout our park system. More information about how to sponsor a hydration station is available here.