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Virtual GreenFest 2020!

April 4th, 2020 - April 30, 2020


To celebrate Earth Day, and in light of the need to cancel public gatherings due to COVID-19, throughout the month of April we will provide some of the information and resources that would have been available at GreenFest 2020 through this website and the LiveGreenHoward page on Facebook.

Please check back in periodically as we will be updating the site as we receive information. 

Virtual Workshops

Coming soon!

Master Gardener Programs



Master Gardeners





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:

Los Maestros Jardineros del Condado de Howard son voluntarios, capacitados por la universidad, que proporcionan servicios de educación hortícola a individuos, grupos y comunidades, incluyendo agencias gubernamentales, asociaciones vecinales, organizaciones sin fines de lucro, sitios históricos, escuelas y grupos juveniles, adultos mayores y clubes de jardinería. Los programas y servicios de los Maestros Jardineros se ofrecen de forma gratuita a todos los residentes y grupos comunitarios del Condado de Howard. Si desea información adicional sobre nuestros servicios o desea saber cómo llegar a ser Maestro Jardinero consulte nuestro sitio web:



Native Plants





Although we couldn’t host the Native Plant sale this year, please support the following vendors who participate in GreenFest each year and make native plants accessible to Howard County residents:

Keystone Wildflowers:

Lauren's Garden Service

Meadowsweet Native Plant Farm


More information on Native Plants and links to other great websites can be found at:








Better Water Quality through Smarter Gardening


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
  • Fertilizing
  • 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






Better Water Quality through Smarter Gardening


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.  During this time of corona virus please take advantage of the following resources: (a) Ask and Expert  - you can ask a question anytime via the web or (b) Ask-A-Master-Gardener sessions (normally held at our libraries) via email

Learn more at:










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.


Learn more:








Pollinators and Native Landscapes


How you can help pollinators:

1.         Provide food – Plant natives

2.         Provide water sources (and puddling areas for butterflies)

3.         Provide shelter

4.         Safeguard pollinator habitat

a.         Control invasive plants

b.         Reduce pesticide and herbicide use

If you have questions about starting your Pollinator Garden or Native Landscape, please ask us at


Learn more at:



Grow it! Eat It!


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.


Below are resources for you to learn more and help you get started. Happy growing!


UME Home & Garden Information Center (HGIC) Webpage


UME MD Grows Blog


HGIC YouTube Channel on Food Gardening


Have Questions? Contact our MD Gardening Experts at


British American AutoColumbia AssociationHoCo Climate ActionHoward County ConservancyHoward Soil Conservation DistrictLauren's Garden ServiceLeague of Women Voters of Howard CountyMOM's Organic MarketMaster GardenerWatershed Stewards Academy

GreenFest Vendors

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Omega Eta Omega Chapter Greater Howard County, Maryland

We are dedicated to Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service to the Greater Howard County Community. We have service projects which serve women’s health, student mentoring and programs which provide a global impact. Participating in GreenFest each year facilitates this effort. We collect shoes, eyeglasses and denim of any color. The denim is re-purposed into insulation which is used in homes built by Habitat for Humanity. Visit our website to see our programs of service.

Audubon Society of Central Maryland

The Audubon Society of Central Maryland (ASCM) works to protect and restore birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education and action, for the benefit of people and the earth.

A nonprofit, all-volunteer chapter of the National Audubon Society, ASCM is always looking for volunteers! We welcome anyone with an interest in birds and other wildlife to visit our sanctuaries, join our nature walks, participate in our bird and butterfly counts, and contribute to the protection and management of our wildlife sanctuaries in Mount Airy and New Market, Maryland.

Facebook: @AudubonSocietyofCentralMD

Instagram: @centralmdaudubon

Citizens' Climate Lobby

Volunteers with Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) are building support in Congress for a national bipartisan solution to climate change.

Meet seven CCL volunteers from all walks of life who will tell you why they volunteer with CCL:

The solution they're advocating is gaining traction on both sides of the aisle:

It's easy to become a CCL volunteer. Just click "Join Us" and we'll find your local chapter for you:

Columbia Community Exchange

Time Bank

We’ve all heard that money makes the world go round.

But at Columbia Community Exchange, cash isn’t the only currency that matters.

We believe everyone has a unique and valuable skill set that can benefit our community when we share these skills with each other.  

It’s your opportunity for neighbors to do what they do best - lend a helping hand. The beauty is, it’s a mutual exchange, so help comes back around when you need it.  Plus, it’s easy and free. 

The ultimate way to harness community currency.  Time + Skill = Timebanking.  410-884-6121

Columbia Association- Department of Open Space and Facilities

The Columbia Association (CA) Department of Open Space and Facilities services offers many programs geared towards improving our local watershed and improving energy efficiency in the community. CA’s watershed management team offers free soil testing to Columbia residents, as well as training to identify and properly remove non-native invasive species (Weed Warriors). CA’s energy management team is an active ENERGY STAR partner, and encourages residents to utilize ENERGY STAR products to improve home efficiency. The Energy team also offers a Solar and Home Energy Cooperative program. Check out these and other CA sustainability initiatives on our website.

Echoes of Nature

Echoes Of Nature is a Maryland based nonprofit educational organization that utilizes live animal ambassadors to enhance our educational programs.  Our mission is to bridge the gap between people and nature to encourage stewardship and a lifelong love of nature.  We provide programs for ages 2-adults at schools, early childhood centers, adult centers and special events. On our website you will soon find activities for a variety of ages. You can find out more about us at:

Facebook: (EchoesOfNature) 

Instagram (EchoesOfNatureMD)  


The FRESHGLOW Co’s patented all-natural food-saver, FRESHPAPER, is infused with organic botanicals that naturally slow down spoilage, over-ripening, and wilting to extend the freshness of produce and bread 2-4x. Simply drop a sheet wherever you store fresh produce or baked goods. Reuse for a month, and then compost or recycle.

FRESHPAPER is a critical, all-natural tool to help during this time when folks are reducing trips to the market & buying produce in bulk.

We're offering a special GreenFest supporter discount. Simply add GREENFEST2020 to the discount box online on to receive 20% off of your whole order.

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland: Troop 816

My name's Julia Chen, and I'm in Girl Scout Troop 816. You might’ve seen me at GreenFest last year. I was at a table with my two pet ducks, Sunflower and Amber! You can visit my website to learn more! For my Silver Award, I made my project about pet ducks, so that’s why I’m at GreenFest—to educate the community about raising pet ducks and to increase the familiarity of ducks as pets. Ducks are great pets, but don’t get them as an impulse purchase!

Go Howard (Howard Commuter Solutions)

Go Howard, formerly Howard Commuter Solutions, is the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program of Howard County, Maryland.  We’re your resource for information on ridesharing, transit, biking, and other alternatives to driving by yourself in Howard County, including telework.  Visit us at to find out more.


Green Drop Charitable Donations

GreenDrop is the fast, easy, and convenient way to donate gently used clothing and household items. All contributions benefit the Military Order of the Purple Heart, The National Federation of the Blind or The American Red Cross. 

We encourage you to use GreenDrop once we all return to normalcy.  Please visit our website for updates and follow us on Facebook.  GreenDrop is grateful for your past support and we look forward to serving you soon.

Concierge Program

Additional Information

HoCo Climate Action

HoCo Climate Action is an all-volunteer grassroots organization working to inspire and engage the people of Howard County to take action on the climate crisis. We focus on advocacy, education, and outreach. We have monthly meetings and send out a monthly e-newsletter full of actions, events and news. We also have an active Facebook page. We are always looking for volunteers, and membership is free.​ 



Email us for more information at ​​.


Alpha Ridge Landfill is not only your disposal location and recycling drop-off location but also a premier organics recycling facility.   

Naturally-colored shredded hardwood mulch is recycled from brush and wood delivered to the site.  This material has been ground and aged to a natural brown through the composting of the fresh leaves, twigs and sap.  $21/cy 

HoCoGro Compost is certified by the US Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program (STA). It is composted at our industrial composting facility on site, and recycled from yard trim, grass, leaves, food scrap and horse manure. See our Latest Analysis for HoCoGro Compost. $23/cy 

Blended topsoil is made from native soils and our compost.  $25/cy 

Howard County Bird Club

The Howard County Bird Club promotes the knowledge of, interest in, and protection of bird life and other naturally occurring species and their habitat.  This is done through field trips, seasonal bird counts, newsletters, classes, and public programs. We raise money to buy or manage habitat both locally and further abroad. We invite you to explore the natural wonders of Howard County through our photo galleries. And to join our field trips and public programs. There is a world of wildlife to observe and protect.  Enjoy its beauty with us.

Howard County Bird Club- Butterfly Division

Watching butterflies can help reduce the stress in these trying times.  We have been surveying county butterflies for the last six years. Over 126,000 butterflies of 80 species have been found by 116 people during that time. 

Come join us. Go to our website to find a reporting form, checklist, photo page, and identification tips. It's easy to get started. Also, consider planting a pollinator garden to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. A spreadsheet with all you need to know to design your garden is at the same URL. Please contact either Linda Hunt ( or Kevin Heffernan ( with questions.

Howard County Conservancy

The Howard County Conservancy’s mission is to educate children and adults about the natural world, preserve the land and its legacy for future generations and model responsible stewardship of our environment. We are celebrating 30 years as a local, nonprofit supporting our community. During these troubled times, take time in nature like hiking our 5 miles of trails, which are still open dawn to dusk daily.  Let us help you connect to nature by visiting our website or social media channels below for our posted nature activities and Facebook Live programs.





Howard County Office of Community Sustainability- Energy Programs

Get tips on how to save energy at home. For information on how you can power your home or business with renewable energy, please visit our website. This includes information on how to join a co-op to make purchasing solar panels more affordable or how to save money through community solar – a great option for families that rent or have shaded property.

Learn more about what the County is doing to improve its energy efficiency and go renewable. 

GreenFest Vendors

Howard County Sierra Club

SIERRA CLUB MISSION STATEMENT: To explore, enjoy and protect the planet. To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.

Join Sierra Club! - Using our link helps bring a portion of your membership directly to the HoCo Sierra Club



Contact us at to ask questions, submit pictures to be featured on our social media, or to ask about volunteer opportunities!

Howard EcoWorks

Howard EcoWorks is a local non-profit organization that empowers diverse workforces to respect and restore our natural systems for future generations.  We specialize in the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes with our trained Chesapeake Bay Landscaping Professional staff and crews.  We work with government, private, non-profit, faith-based and residential entities and members of the community in support of a clean and healthy environment.  Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to get involved and keep up to date with our hiring opportunities and spring, 2020 tree give-away. 

Jimbo & Jules

Jimbo & Jules is a local mind & body wellness business with a deep passion to help people and the planet find relief! We create all-natural products infused to soothe with high-quality full-spectrum CBD and essential oils, using certified organic ingredients sourced from sustainable U.S. businesses. Every purchase contributes directly to our Conscious Garden Project, which aims to restore our relationship with nature through native plant gardening. In pursuit of this mission, we give away free native wildflower seeds with every order! Please visit and follow us at @jimbo.n.jules for all the buzz 🐝

jimbo & jules

Kitchen Saver

Kitchen Saver takes every effort to make kitchen remodeling as environmentally friendly as possible. Refacing your existing cabinets eliminates the need to rip out old fixtures. This lightens the load for already overburdened landfills and reduces the amount of debris that needs disposal. Using high quality materials that are warranted for 10 years we reduce the need for replacement and less waste in landfills. Call us at 800-427-0108 or visit to learn how Kitchen Saver can transform your old kitchen in as little as five days without the total remodel price. And, Prepare to be impressed!

Lasting Light Wellness

Online Free Classes - Essential Oils

Lasting Light Wellness your home for organic essential oils, green cleaning, organic body care, pet, wellness, makeup products and energy healing sessions/classes. Yes, even make your own hand sanitizer/room spray! Do you want to learn how to use essential oils and what oils are good for what things? We have a series of online classes including essential oil basics, essential oils for athletic performance, and essential oils for self-care. More classes all the time. Location: Wilde Lake Village Center.

Lauren's Garden Service

Lauren's Garden Service and Native Plant Nursery is an eco-friendly design, install, maintain company with a native plant nursery in Western Howard County. Lauren Turner has been running LGS in Howard County, specializing in natives, for 15 years! We're experienced with drainage solutions, rain gardens and other stormwater BMPs and conservation landscapes. Check out our website to see photos of the type of work we do and what we offer at our native plant nursery. Like us on Facebook to see garden tips, pretty plant photos and updates on the biz. Give us a call if you have a project in mind! 410-461-2535.

Lauren's Garden Service- Native Plant Nursery

Now taking online prepaid plant orders and preparing the orders for delivery to your driveway (no human contact). Interested folks have 2 options for submitting orders: 

1. Email sizes and quantities of plants you would like to order. You can use our inventory to see what we usually carry but also tell us if you are wanting something that isn't on the list. We could likely get it for you.

2. Search for plants on our Online Native Plant shop and submit a quote that way. First deliveries scheduled for early April and will continue on a rolling basis. 

Less Plastic Please

Less Plastic Please successfully worked with the Howard County Delegation and County Council to place a 5 cent fee on plastic shopping bags. 

LPP has collected t-shirts to make into reusable shopping bags, conducted bags making workshops, and provides them free to the public with the support of LA Mart. 

LPP has tabled at community and environmental events including Greenfest, Electric Vehicle Week, Earth Forum, and HCC's Sustainability Day.

LPP successfully lobbied the Columbia Association to declare a climate emergency.


Maryland Community Solar

Maryland residents, whether they rent or own their homes,  can sign up for community solar programs and get the benefits of solar energy without having to install solar panels or other equipment.  Come and speak with knowledgeable independent staff who can help you understand the basic processes for signing up, expected savings, and information on the important terms and conditions in contracts that you will encounter to help you make an informed decision.  There are a variety of community solar programs available. Attend this workshop sponsored by the Maryland Energy Administration to learn about how these programs can affect your energy costs. 

Meadowsweet Native Plant Farm

Through the use of Native plants, we hope to encourage gardeners to use a more environmentally friendly approach to gardening.  Our native plants are ideal for creating backyard habitats for wildlife, as well as enhancing butterfly and hummingbird gardens.  Whether you are creating a new garden site or working on an existing site, we hope to provide the plants needed to achieve your goals.  We specialize in herbaceous perennials & shrubs native to the Northeast.  Please check out our website for nursery hours or call to set up an appointment. 717-487-3612 or 717-225-05