April 7, 2021

County’s GreenFest 2021: A Month-Long Virtual Celebration of Earth Month

Montgomery County’s annual GreenFest—a celebration of the environment—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 offers 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 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:  
  • 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 DC Environmental Film Festival at GreenFest will feature environmentally themed films available free to the public as part of Earth Month activities. The presentations will have virtual panel discussions with experts.  

The festival schedule includes: 

Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Tuesday, April 20. 7-8 p.m. Series of short films will showcase 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:  
Scheduled to be on the panel: 
  • Moderator: Tiffany Ward, chief equity officer, Montgomery County
  • Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey, Detroit Hives  
  • Rozina Kanchwala, EcoLogic  
  • Pablo Blank, CASA of Maryland  
  • Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance   
Register at  https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/115149. Links to watch the films online will be emailed to participants after they register.  

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 
Community cleanups will be held throughout April. Learn more at #MontgomeryPlogs Challenge at Greenfest. Sign up for the #MontgomeryPlogs #Challenge at  https://mcgmd.wufoo.com/forms/greenfest-plogging-challenge/  

Children’s games and activities will be scheduled throughout the Greenfest celebration.  Greenfest scavenger hunts 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.