Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Up Your Green Know-how At Free Clean Energy Exhibition Monday

Up Your Green Know-how At Free Clean Energy Exhibition Monday

Thought leaders from industry, academia and government will come together on Monday, October 4th at the Hilton Inner Harbor in Baltimore to focus on job creation and business development opportunities inherent in addressing the climate change challenge.

The conference requires registration and $250, but a consumer trade exhibit that coincides with the summit will be free and open to the public from 9:00am – 9:00pm. The trade exhibition will have information on technologies such as wind and solar renewable energies, alternative fuels and biomass and smart energy consumption.


For more information about the summit, CLICK HERE.


Stink Bug Uproar
September 28, 2010, 5:25 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

Stink Bug Uproar

Image Courtesy of Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

An article out today in the Baltimore Messenger gives us some insight into Halyomorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug), where they came from and why they are here in great numbers this year.  Below are some excerpts from the article:

At the University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center, a team of horticulture specialists fields calls on all manner of plants and pests.

But for the past few weeks, one topic has dominated the call center: stink bugs.

“By and large, that’s all everybody wants to talk about,” said Christine McComas, a certified professional horticulturist who estimated that 90 percent of calls to the center’s hotline in recent weeks are for stink bug queries.

The bugs, which are roughly the size of a pumpkin seed and are a mottled brown color with a shield-like back, made their first confirmed appearance in Allentown, Pa., in 2001. They arrived in western Maryland by 2003, and began heading east.

The bugs are native to areas of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and were unintentionally transported to the U.S. in shipping containers

It could be worse, according to Jane Wolfson, director of the Environmental Science and Studies Program at Towson University.

“They can’t hurt you. Be glad they’re not mosquitoes,” said Wolfson, a resident of Jacksonville. “They do smell, there’s no question about it. But the smell’s not permanent..

Residents have seen an insurgence of the insects in recent weeks, as the air cools and they seek indoor places to “overwinter.”

Lack of predators, plentiful food sources and weather conditions likely contributed to the insurgence of the bugs this year.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Maryland Green Party Candidate Fatally Struck By SUV While Cycling
September 23, 2010, 1:09 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Maryland Green Party Candidate Fatally Struck By SUV While Biking

From the Washington Post:

A 30-year-old Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate died late Monday night, less than two days after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle in the Largo area, authorities said.

Maryland State Police said Natasha Pettigrew died at a Prince George’s Hospital Center at 10:30 p.m. Monday. She had been critically injured on Route 202 about 5:30 a.m. Sunday while training for a triathlon, police said.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Senate candidate Natasha Pettigrew was in Baltimore last month at the Candidates’ Night Out campaign event in Hampden.  She provided passionate and thoughtful responses at the forum.

Oyster Farming In The Chesapeake Bay Discussion

Oyster Farming In The Chesapeake Bay Discussion

Bloomberg School of Public Health (Wolfe St. Building)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Oyster Aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay

Presentation and Discussion led by Christine Keiner
12:00 to 1:15 pm

Location: W3030

Park(ing) Day Observed in Baltimore

Park(ing) Day Observed in Baltimore

PARK(ing) Day
Parking spaces around the globe to be temporarily reclaimed for people

September 17, 2010 — 11:00am – 7:00pm
At three locations in Baltimore City

Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure.

Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2009 included more than 700 “PARK” installations in more than 140 cities in 21 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe, including the first-ever PARK installation in Tehran, Iran. “Urban inhabitants worldwide recognize the need for new approaches to making the urban landscape,” says Rebar’s John Bela. “PARK(ing) Day demonstrates that even temporary or interim spatial reprogramming can improve the character of the city.”

PARK(ing) Day is a grassroots, “open-source” invention built by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions.

Locations in Baltimore:

EDSA Landscape Architecture Firm
EDSA Inc. is a landscape architecture firm whose mission is to create sustainable places to live, work and play. Look for the “Guerrilla PARK” at EDSA.

Floura Teeter
FTLA’s PARK(ing) Day installation will take root in three metered parking spaces in front of Floura Teeter’s downtown office at 306 W. Franklin Street from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. FTLA staffers will transform three normal blacktop metered parking spaces into a temporary urban oasis with grass, trees and plants. FTLA’s installation is open to the public and will offer snacks and lawn games in addition to ongoing tours of a simulated living roof.

Windup Space
The Parks & People Foundation is teaming up with Baltimore community artist Marian April Glebes to create an outdoor installation for PARK(ing) Day.

Find these locations – MAP.

For more information on PARK(ing) Day 2010, go to


25th Street Station, Come Hell Or High Stormwater

25th Street Station, Come Hell Or High Stormwater

Walmart Storm Drain at Baltimore Port Covington Shopping Center

For residents involved in legislation regarding the proposed 25th Street Station, the process has been a disappointing one.  There was the promise “this is not a done deal”, but during community presentations by the developers, the tone was one of “Here’s what we’ve done” rather than “Here’s what we can do for you”. Communication from District 7 Councilwoman Belinda Conaway, where the 25th Street Station project is proposed, has been poor. Residents living within a walkable distance of the site, but whose locale is not named “Remington”, have been deemed persona non grata by the councilmember and ignored. And finally, site plan concerns raised about the complex fell on deaf ears at the Planning Commission hearing on August 5th.  After four-plus hours of testimony, the commission voted unanimously, without deliberation, to approve zoning changes and move the project forward.

With this in mind, there is an urgent need in the 11th hour to bring attention to an issue that has received little scrutiny. The primary Environmental Site Design feature for the 11-acre site, the green roof atop Walmart, is insufficient to satisfy current local and state laws regarding sustainable development.  As a result the project appears to be failing in its methods for Stormwater Management under current law.

Stormwater management is an especially important concern for development within close proximity to our waterways and, in particular here, the Chesapeake Bay.  Stormwater runoff is generated when rain and snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces and is not filtered by the earth.   Runoff collects debris, chemicals, sediment and pollutants and transports it directly, unfiltered, to stormdrains and the nearest waterways.  The design plan for the 25th Street Station includes paving over the majority of the 11 acre site and does not appear to contain enough pervious surface area to adequately manage stormwater runoff under the current law.

This issue was brought up at the August 5th Planning Commission hearing, but was disregarded out of hand on the basis that the project had been “grandfathered” into the old requirements.  While it is true that provisions exist for the Maryland 2007 Stormwater Management Act where waivers can be administered by local agencies to projects that have received preliminary approval, but have yet to be realized, the 25th Street Station is not appropriate to be considered for such a waiver.

The development team was well aware of the 2007 stormwater law when they created their project’s design.  The lawyer for the project, Jon Laria, is the Chair of the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland and has conducted forums on stormwater management.  On September 2nd Laria was also appointed Chair of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission.  You would think that Mr. Laria would aid the developers in creating a model sustainable project for the City of Baltimore.  Instead he appears to be using his expertise to help his team skirt the law.

When a copy of the Stormwater Management Waiver was requested from the Baltimore Department of Public Works, the DPW responded that this project does not have an approved waiver and to date a waiver has not been requested.

Waiver or no Waiver, by not adhering to current stormwater management standards, this project is not “LEED certifiable” as required by Baltimore Green Building Standards.  According to the United States Green Building Council LEED 2009 minimum requirements, new construction “must comply with applicable federal, state, and local building-related environmental laws and regulations in place where the project is located.”

The last hope for resolution of this issue is at the September 15th Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing.  Hopefully Committee members will require compliance of current stormwater regulations and LEED certification for the passing of the PUD for the 25th Street Station.  Otherwise they will be an accomplice in rendering the developers immune to current city and state environmental regulations.

Port Covington Stormwater Filter: Rocks On A Gutter