Saturday, April 9, 2022
10:00am - 3:00pm
GreenFest is Howard County's largest celebration of Earth Day. The event aims to connect residents with the resources that local businesses, non-profits and government provide to help anyone be a good steward to the environment.
Thank You, Sponsors!
The following native plant vendors will be participating in the Native Plant Sale this year. The sale will be located in Parking Lot A. Stop by to show your support and purchase some wonderful additions to your garden.
Residents may bring up to three bags or boxes of paper to be shred. The event will be held in Lot A from 10am - 2pm (or until trucks are full). Think before you shred--please ONLY bring items that contain personal information. Junk mail, catalogs and office paper can be recycled with regular curbside recycling collection. Although these events will have hours, shredding will be available until trucks are full which may occur before designated ending times.
For other upcoming shredding dates and more information, please visit our Document Shredding page.
Do you have items in your house that need fixing or mending but you don't know how to fix them yourself? Bring your broken items such as toasters, lamps, clothing, jewelry, vacuum cleaners or small appliances to the Transition Repair Café at GreenFest!
Volunteers will evaluate and fix as many of them as they can for FREE. Volunteers will also be available to answer questions about repairs on items that are too large or not possible to bring in.
Garden tool repair will be available on the Quad, next to the fountain near the Galleria.
Please register your item that needs repairing.
Howard County residents interested in obtaining a rain barrel must complete the online training below.
Please limit one per household.
The training will close when the maximum submissions are reached. Please visit our website for more upcoming training and giveaway opportunities.
Master Gardeners will be available to answer compost and gardening questions as well as distributing FREE backyard compost bins during the event. Compost bins are first come, first served.
Can't grab a compost bin? Check out our website for more chances this year to attend a compost demonstration and giveaway.
Dr. Sara Via, University of Maryland
10:00am - CL162
It can be sobering to realize how our personal actions contribute to climate change, yet the first step to making a difference is knowing what these impacts are. Learn how your carbon footprint compares to others nation-wide and in your community and check out 25 ways to reduce your impact.
Linda Hunt, Master Naturalist
11:00am - CL162
Results of the HOCO butterfly survey suggest that private gardens may be critical for sustaining pollinators threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. This talk can help you create a mini garden providing the food and breeding sites that butterflies need for their survival.
Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services
12:00pm - CL162
Join us in honoring seven local businesses and community organizations for their efforts in reducing waste and taking steps to improve our environment.
HoCo Climate Action
1:00pm - CL162
A panel discussion. Clean energy requires rethinking our gas and electrical grids. As we increase wind and solar installations and increase building standards incentivizing electrification, questions are raised – how will these changes affect our electric grid and gas distribution systems?
2:00pm - Meet on the Quad by the Galleria
Join Sue Muller, one of the County Coordinators for the Breeding Bird Atlas. She will show you how to conduct a breeding bird survey and contribute meaningful data to this citizen science project, mapping the distribution of breeding birds across the state. Please have the eBird app on your smart phone, downloadable here: https://ebird.org/about/ebird-mobile/
Master Gardener Program
- Master Gardeners
- Ask a Master Gardener
- Grow It! Eat It!
- Watershed Stewards Academy
- Home and Garden Information Center
Howard County Master Gardeners are volunteers, trained by the university, providing horticultural education services to individuals, groups, and communities including government agencies, neighborhood associations, non-profit organizations, historic sites, schools and youth groups, senior citizens and garden clubs. Master Gardener programs and services are available free of charge to all Howard County residents and community groups. For more information on our services or becoming a Master Gardener check out our website.
Our mission is to educate residents about landscape practices that protect the Chesapeake Bay and our local waterways. By changing a few simple practices, together we can help keep our Maryland water healthy.
Are you Bay-Wise? Test your knowledge of these Bay-Wise principles by using the Bay-Wise Yardstick to see how you measure up.
- Controlling Storm water Runoff
- Encouraging Wildlife
- Protecting the Waterfront
- Mowing properly and Watering Efficiently
- Managing Yard Pests
- Mulching and Recycling
- Planting Wisely
Home consultations to assist homeowners with their landscaping problems will resume once the threat from the Corona virus is past. In the meantime, please refer to the resources on our webpage.
Ask a Master Gardener-Plant Clinic is a program where Master Gardener volunteers, in conjunction with the University of Maryland Extension, provide information to home gardeners at the county libraries and other events throughout the county.
Compost is a dark and crumbly material produced by the natural decomposition of leaves, kitchen food scraps, and other organic materials. Why compost at home?
- Reduces waste: Yard and food waste that can be composted make up around 25% or more of trash to landfills.
- Improves soil: Compost helps break up clay and attracts earthworms that aerate soil.
- Retains moisture: Slows run-off from rain by holding three times its weight in water. Incorporate compost in the soil so you water less.
- Reduces need for fertilizer: Compost provides nutrients for your plants, trees, lawns and shrubs.
How you can help pollinators:
- Provide food – Plant natives
- Provide water sources (and puddling areas for butterflies)
- Provide shelter
- Safeguard pollinator habitat
- Control invasive plants
- Reduce pesticide and herbicide use
The Grow It! Eat It! campaign is a joint venture between The Maryland Master Gardener program and the Home and Garden Information Center - to provide education and encourage Marylanders to learn how to start and maintain successful food gardens.
Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to start a home garden! With the current COVID-19 crisis we are all a bit stressed and could really use the therapeutic benefits and productivity of food gardening. Here are just few of the many benefits to growing your own food:
- Fresher & More Nutritious - Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally in the garden and are consumed within days of harvest have more nutrients than store-bought vegetables.
- Save Money - A seed packet of basil costs as little as $.99 and contains hundreds of seeds. One small bunch of basil in the grocery store can cost 3x as much.
- Greater Variety - Food gardening provides the opportunity to try plants and varieties that aren’t available in markets.
- Less Environmental Impact - We minimize our food's environmental impact when we grow it at home.
- No Pesticides – Growing food at home means you have total control of how the plant is grown and cared for. It’s a simple way to guarantee your food is organic when you don’t use pesticides.
The Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy is a cooperative effort of the University of Maryland Extension and Howard County to increase the number and diversity of trained volunteers who have the knowledge and skill required to enhance the health of our local streams, rivers, and lakes. Watershed Stewards work with neighbors to provide best storm water management practices.
We are not accepting requests for neighborhood and homeowner inspections while we limit personal contact to help minimize the impact of the Corona virus. We will resume when it is advisable; hopefully soon. Stay safe.
The Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) develops and delivers science-based, sustainable gardening and integrated pest management education for better human and environmental health. HGIC partners with the University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener Program to provide educational resources to the volunteers as well as digital resources through our website and the Maryland Grows blog.
Thank you to all who attended GreenFest this year, and special thanks to all of our vendors, workshop hosts, and sponsors who helped make our return a success.
Highlights from the event:
- Over 1,000 attendees
- 20,000 lbs of documents shredded
- 50 rain barrel giveaways
- 50 compost bin giveaways
- Over 50 vendors
- 11 sponsors
- 169 old light bulbs collected and 504 LED light bulbs distributed
- 30 broken items repaired (including a vacuum cleaner, heater, sewing machine, food processor, leaf blower, crockpot and lamps)