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.
Vendor and Sponsor applications are now open!
Native Plant Vendors
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 to the Transition Repair Café at GreenFest! Volunteers will evaluate and fix as many of them as they can and offer their expertise on items that are too large or not possible to bring in. Please register your items prior to the event. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions.
Rain Barrel Giveaway
Compost Bin Giveaway
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 80 vendors
- 15 sponsors
- 276 old light bulbs collected (122 CFLs and 154 incandescent) and 216 LED light bulbs distributed
- 22 broken items repaired (including several pieces of jewelry, clothing, fanny packs, a scale, Christmas lights, vacuum cleaners, a bicycle, stuffed animals, headphones, camera, and lamps)
- 143 golf balls, 112 softballs, 43 golf clubs and other sports equipment collected for kids in under resourced communities
See the photos here.
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.