Frederick County Office Of Sustainability and Environmental Resources

Quarterly Newsletter Blog

Jul 24

County Executive Gardner Re-Energizes Frederick County Sustainability Efforts

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 3:01 PM by Lisa Orr

IMG_2545On June 29, 2017, County Executive Jan Gardner announced plans to re-energize Frederick County's sustainability efforts. The county's Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources will return to its original mission to reduce energy costs and protect resources to preserve the quality of life for future generations. "We need to build a sustainable foundation for our region's prosperity, health and vitality to ensure the county's bright future," said Executive Gardner. "We can make Frederick County a leader to save green by going green." 

Read full press release...
Jul 24

Frederick County Joins STAR Communities!

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM by Lisa Orr

Frederick County has joined the national network of       STAR is a nonprofit whose mission is to "evaluate, improve, and certifycommunities to "achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for their residents."  STAR's Executive Director is Hilari Varnadore, who previously held the position of Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources with Frederick County Government.  County Executive Jan Gardner recently sat down with Hilari to discuss STAR and how it can help the County to measure its performance in key areas.  

Hilari shared STAR's 
"Leading Indicators" project, which is a set of 21 metrics for communities to measure, set goals with, and benchmark against other STAR participants.  These indicators include drinking water quality, housing and transportation costs, renewable energy electricity supply, total solid waste, and high school graduation rate.  The performance indicators are part of a community rating system that can lead to STAR certification.  

According to Hilari, “the rating system was built to help local leaders to determine ‘are our actions moving the needle on change in outcomes or conditions?” and that this translates to quality of life for citizens as well as community sustainability. 
 Executive Gardner said that she thinks “STAR Communities will help us to track our metrics and our goals across all of our county agencies, so we’re very excited to be able to get involved and become certified in STAR Communities.” Stay tuned as we work on this exciting project!

Jul 24

New Program Updates

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM by Lisa Orr

Creek ReLeaf 
OSER launched a new Reforestation program, called the Creek ReLeaf Program, which is focused on planting approximately 85 acres of trees on public and private lands.   We are seeing a decline in forests within this County.  The launch of this program spans over two County fiscal year cycles which allows the County to provide additional funding to provide more tree planting for the first year of this program.  The program received 18 applications with a potential of 185 acres to be reforested.  Staff are currently performing site visits as well as ranking the applicants based on criteria listed on the program's website.  Applicants will be notified on whether they have been accepted into the program by August and the trees will be scheduled to be planted in Spring 2018.  For more information on the program please see the County's Spotlight video feature located here.

5th Round of Power Saver Retrofits Launches in July
 Thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration’s Clean Energy Communities program, OSER’s Power Saver Retrofits program (PSR) will be able to serve at least 93 moderate- and low-income households with Home Performance with Energy Star audits and up to $10,000 in energy saving home improvements. Improvements such as insulation; air and duct sealing; and appliance, water heater, and heating and cooling upgrades to Energy Star models, help substantially reduce participants energy and water bills. The program has an open Waiting List, but several applicants on the Waiting List are likely to be served. Learn more or download an application here

PSR Photo.

Photo caption: Regina Maestromarino shows off her new Energy Star heating and cooling system installed through PSR.