Gaithersburg Environmental Awards Were Presented on April 1

Courtesy City of Gaithersburg

The City has recognized environmental leaders during Green Month for their sustainability efforts featuring “innovative, sustainable green practices.” Below is a list of those who were recognized:

Rebecca Rutkove: Rebecca Rutkove is a City resident and student at Wootton High School. She takes classes in AP Environmental Science and Physics, is a member of the Greenhouse Club, and hopes to have a career in Environmental Engineering. Rebecca has created an informational bulletin board on invasive species, which is on display at Croydon Creek Nature Center, and she has participated in multiple stream cleanups. In her spare time, Rebecca monitors the chloride level in the Muddy Branch Stream and reports her results on the Izaak Walton League’s website, the Clean Water Hub. Her work is a crucial part of the Muddy Branch Alliance’s and the Izaak Walton League’s chloride monitoring program.

Episcopal Church of Ascension: The Green Team at Episcopal Church of the Ascension, co-led by Mary Kolle and Gail Unterberger, was formed in 2021 with the support of Reverend Javier Garcia Ocampo and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. The Church took the initiative and applied for and received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to install a rain garden in 2023 to help mitigate stormwater runoff on its property. The Church has also installed a rain barrel that collects water from its roof that is used to water all the plants on the property. The Green Team planted a total of seven native trees that will further mitigate stormwater runoff.

Asbury Methodist Village: Residents and staff of Asbury Methodist Village are passionate about recycling and waste reduction. Each year they strive to improve and build upon their efforts. In 2023, more than 57,000 pounds of shredded paper was collected for Asbury’s Shred-it event. In addition, almost 314,000 pounds of food scraps were diverted from the food waste stream, more than 2,000 seedlings of native plants were planted, and more than 38,000 pounds of scrap metal was collected.

Appreciation Award Winners

Habitat Action Committee: Kevin Misener is instrumental in protecting the natural environment in and around Gaithersburg. He has been leading stream monitoring initiatives, organizing cleans up, serving as a weed warrior, and maintaining the native plant meadow and the Izaak Walton League Headquarters. Kevin was also noted as being extremely pleasant to work with while improving the social and environmental aspects of the community.

Gaithersburg, Parks, Arts, and Recreation Corporation (G-PARC): The Gaithersburg Parks, Arts, and Recreation Corporation (G-PARC) promotes awareness, engages public and private partnerships, and raises resources to support new and matured parks, arts, and recreation initiatives of the City of Gaithersburg. G-PARC helps to enhance the quality of life for all City residents by working with the community, businesses, and civic groups to support and enhance Parks, Arts and Culture, and Recreation. G-PARC’s successful 2023 fiscal year included continuation of popular programs, launches of new initiatives, and record financial support from businesses, grants, and individual donations.

Muddy Branch Alliance: This past year, the Muddy Branch Alliance distributed 400 native trees and 1,000 native plants to members of the community. The Alliance continues to develop community education and engagement about the local ecosystem and wildlife through new installments of its Wild Wanderers program. The Alliance has also been instrumental in removing invasive species from local parks. Through its hands-on removal efforts and community engagement, the Alliance has raised awareness about the importance of invasive species management and helped stabilize areas of Malcolm King Park against non-native invasive plants. Furthermore, the Muddy Branch Alliance has played a vital role in monitoring salt levels in local streams. These monitoring efforts have provided valuable data that inform conservation strategies and policy decisions.

Janette Rosenbaum: Janette Rosenbaum serves as president of the Muddy Branch Alliance and as chairperson of the Gaithersburg Environmental Affairs Committee. At the Muddy Branch Alliance, Janette has been instrumental in the Natural Gardens program and native plant sale. Her work in this area also leads neighbors to use and understand the value of regional plants in our community. As chair of the Environmental Affairs Committee, Janette led the annual presentation to the City’s Mayor and Council. Janette is always full of ideas and is an expert on regional environmental concerns.

As part of Green Month, the City recognizes individuals and organizations demonstrating outstanding environmental stewardship in the community with Environmental Awards. Mayor Jud Ashman and members of the City Council presented the awards at a ceremony at City Hall on Monday, April 1, 2024.

A proclamation designating April as Green Month and April 26 as Arbor Day in the City of Gaithersburg was presented to Environmental Affairs Committee (EAC) Chair Janette Rosenbaum during the Mayor & City Council meeting following the awards ceremony.

The EAC selected three Achievement Award recipient and four Certificate of Appreciation winners. Collectively, the winners are growing our local green economy, improving their business models with sustainable initiatives, working within their neighborhoods, and inspiring a new green generation.

This year’s Green Month includes a variety of activities that celebrate and improve the environment. Explore all Green Month activities here.

For more information on the City’s environmental programs please contact the Environmental Services Division at 301-258-6370 or email [email protected].

Courtesy of the City of Gaithersburg

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Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

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Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

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FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

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Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

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Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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