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.
Native Plant Vendors
Enjoy some tasty treats from our food vendors!
Julie's Deeelicious Punch and Funnel Cakes
Document shredding will be held in Parking Lot A from 10am - 2pm. Please note that trucks may fill before the designated end time.
Residents may bring up to three bags or boxes of paper to be shredded.
Rain Barrel Giveaway
Registration has filled! Upcoming rain barrel giveaways will be available at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Visit the rain barrel webpage for more information.
Howard County residents can help reduce stormwater runoff with the help of a rain barrel – they collect and store runoff from roof downspouts, and this water can be reused for lawns and gardens, reducing the use of potable water.
This year, 40 rain barrels will be given away at Greenfest. Prior registration and online training is required.
Registration opens on April 5th, 2023!
Sports Equipment Donation
Slow Art Walk @ 11:00am
On average, many people look at a work of art for no more than 15-30 seconds, but slowing down can create deeper understanding of the works and more meaningful, richer personal experiences.
Take a slow art walk of HCC's campus during GreenFest! The walk will begin at 11:00am at the BLM sculpture located at the northeast entrance to the SET Building.
Bike & Walking Tours
Join MDOT for a bike and walking tour of Howard Community College!
Take a picture of any points of interest shown on the map or get
creative and add something new to the list. For each picture you
upload to Facebook or Instagram with #BPMP2050, you will be
entered in a raffle for a Visa gift card.
See the flyers for more details!
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! 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.
Workshops will be held in the Workshop Classroom (SET 109)
|10:30am - 11:30am||Friends, Not Foes: Supporting Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects in Your Environment||Madeline E. Potter, University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners|
|11:30am - 12:30pm||Howard County Butterfly Survey Results to Date and What You Can Do to Help Butterflies||Kevin Heffernan, Howard County Butterfly Survey|
|12:30pm - 1:30pm||Howard County Green Awards||Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services|
|1:30pm - 2:30pm||Rain Barrels for Stormwater Management||Radhika Wijetunge, Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services|
Compost Bin Giveaway
The Howard County Master Gardeners will be distributing a limited number of FREE backyard compost bins. They are also available to answer any questions about composting and gardening.
GreenFest is just one of many opportunities to pick up compost bins and learn how to make your own soil amendment. Visit our backyard composting page and download the 2023 calendar to attend a demonstration.
HCC Fueling Dragons
Light Bulb Exchange
Visit the Howard County Youth Climate Institute table with the Office of Community Sustainability to exchange old CFL and incandescent light bulbs for new, efficient LED light bulbs. Save energy and money!
Reduce waste by participating in the Youth Climate Institute’s clothing swap. Bring up to 5 gently used clothes for summer, including dresses, hats, shirts and shorts. You can exchange these with other pieces collected by this volunteer group and other GreenFest attendees. Look for the clothing swap near the Howard County Conservancy table. Help tackle fast fashion in our own community!
Enter to win our FREE Grand Prize Raffle! This year's prize is a hydroponic grow kit! See our flier for more details.
Upcycled, Inc. will also be raffling off their shorty bench. Visit their table to enter.
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.