Montgomery County’s annual GreenFest—a celebration of the environment—this year will be a month of free online and in-person events throughout April. The series of activities will include educational workshops, an environmental film festival and family friendly games and scavenger hunts.
GreenFest is a chance for residents, businesses, nonprofits and neighbors to come together, share ideas and get involved in finding ways to make the County a cleaner, greener place.
GreenFest partners include the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Montgomery Parks, Brookside Gardens, the County Department of Transportation, Poolesville Green, Bethesda Green, One Montgomery Green and University of Maryland’s Sea Grant Extension.
“Greenfest epitomizes our community’s commitment to sustainable practices and eco-friendly culture,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “I encourage all residents to participate in Greenfest activities and enjoy these free, family-friendly ways to educate and empower us to do better in order to protect our planet for future generations.”
Greenfest kicks off Thursday, April 1, with a series of educational workshops by industry experts on a variety of topics that will help resident to “green” the Earth and their home environments. GreenFest partners are also will join the DC Environmental Film Festival to offer free online documentary screenings in April.
All lectures and screenings will be held online using Zoom. After registering, a link will be emailed to 24 hours prior to the live webinar.
The schedule of free GreenFest educational workshops will include:
- Beautifying Montgomery County through Plogging. Thursday, April 1. 7-8 p.m.
Ever heard of Plogging? The virtual lecture will address a new trend in environmental activism. It will talk about community cleanup initiatives of Montgomery County groups working together on this important campaign. Register at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115141.
- Como puedo ayudar yo? (lecture in Spanish). Thursday, April 8. 7-8:30 p.m. Join efforts to protect our communities and the environment. Join Montgomery County agencies, Montgomery Parks and local nonprofits such as the Audubon Naturalist Society, CHEER, CHISPA of MD, Defensores de la Cuenca and Latino Outdoors in a discussion about current environmental efforts in the County. The lecture will talk about the various ways the Latino community can join to protect our communities and the environment. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/95131072528. Join via telephone at 301-715-8592. Webinar ID: 951 3107 2528.
- Aiming for Zero Waste: Compost Food Scraps in Your Backyard. Thursday, April 15. 7-8 p.m. Join the County Department of Environmental Protection for a virtual workshop on how to compost various types of food scraps in the backyard using rodent-proof compost bins. Discussion will address acceptable types of materials that can be composted, best practices to manage the composting process to prevent critters and odor and what to do with the amazing “black gold” after the materials are composted. Register at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115144 .
- Become a Community Scientist in Your Own Backyard – Join the City Nature Challenge. Thursday, April 22. 7-8 p.m. The “City Nature Challenge” from April 30 to May 3 features cities around the world competing to make the most observations of nature, find the most species and engage the most people. Residents can submit photos of wildlife through the iNaturalist app and contribute to ecological studies that help scientists better understand the plants and animals of the local landscape. Lecture will detail how easy it is to participate, including how to use the iNaturalist app to submit observations. Have a smart phone with the free iNaturalist app pre-downloaded. Registration required at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115146
- Creating a Planter with Native Plants. Thursday, April 29. 7-8 p.m. Lecture will highlight the benefits of using native plants to beautify gardens while helping to support local wildlife and pollinators. Participants will learn steps to create a beautiful planter using plants native to this region. One participant will win a native plant container. Register at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115148
The festival schedule:
Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Tuesday, April 20. 7-8 p.m. Series of short films showcases the initiatives underway in minority communities to address a variety of environmental issues. The panel discussion will bring together activists and environmental experts to discuss environmental justice as it relates to communities of color. Discussion will address how climate change will impact the health and quality of life for Black and brown communities. Other issues will include the work being done in Montgomery County and beyond to engage minority communities in protecting their environments.
The film lineup includes:
- Venture Out - https://dceff.org/film/venture-out/
- Detroit Hives - https://dceff.org/film/detroit-hives/
- Water Flows Together - https://dceff.org/film/water-flows-together/
- Constant Thought - https://dceff.org/film/constant-thought/
- Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey, Detroit Hives
- Rozina Kanchwala, EcoLogic
- Pablo Blank, CASA of Maryland
- Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance
The Story of Plastic. Tuesday, April 27. 7-8 p.m. Plastic pollution is everywhere, smothering watersheds, bays and oceans and poisoning communities around the world. The session will address what is being done to increase recycling and eliminate plastic waste. Join environmental leaders to discuss the efforts underway in Montgomery County and Maryland to reduce waste stream and improve the environment.
Registration required at https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115153. A link to watch the film online will be emailed to participants after they register.
Scheduled to be on the panel:
- Moderator: Adam Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection
- Shane Robinson, executive director of Trash Free Maryland
- Lori Nicholson, community activist in Montgomery County
- Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate
Sign up for the #MontgomeryPlogs #Challenge can be done at https://mcgmd.wufoo.com/forms/greenfest-plogging-challenge/
Children’s games and activities will be scheduled throughout the Greenfest celebration. Greenfest Scavenger Hunts will be part of the fun. They are family friendly nature exploration events for all ages and abilities. These outdoor adventures will offer lessons about eco-friendly features in the community and at local parks.