Celebrate Earth Day all month in April

In past years, the Kentlands Community Foundation through its Go Green program has partnered with the City of Gaithersburg to clean up around the lakes. This annual effort cleared the shoreline of recycling that blew away and other debris that made its way to the to the lakes over the last year. Unfortunately, like many events this year, there will not be a formal clean up day. However, it would be a great to continue the tradition and go out this month and pick up any litter you find—doing so safely, of course. If you are a middle school or high school student, keep track of your hours and send me an SSL form to complete. I am happy to complete SSL forms for service that improves our community. Next year, this great community building event will return.
Go Green and its members have been busy. Many of the members of Go Green have asked the Kentlands Citizens Assembly to become part of Sustainable Maryland. A program with the University of Maryland, Sustainable Maryland is a certification program for Maryland homeowners associations that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life. Alex Stavitsky- Zeineddin, chair of the Go Green committee, has been spearheading this effort. Other Kentlands residents have also been deeply involved in getting this program going, include Steve Whelan, Asya Smith, Serrin Gantt, Elizabeth Carr, Elly Shaw-Belbidia and Pat Kaufman. The KCA will formalize the committee in the coming weeks and the Sustainable Maryland project will begin formally this April.
In order to earn certification, the community must identify certain actions. Among the actions under consideration for the Kentlands program are increasing the number of bike racks in the neighborhood, biodegradable animal waste bags, centrally located electric car plugs, and adding a tab to the KCA website for sustainability tips and links. There are two much more ambitious projects identified. Stephanie Vierra, a member of Go Green and a Kentlands resident, has an idea to identify environmental interest areas. A sign would be placed by these areas and information about the species, plants or inhabitants would be provided. In addition to reminding us about how diverse an ecological community we have, these signs further the New Urbanism ideals that created this community. Another inspiring idea from Marina Khoury and DPZ is to look at the local zoning code to allow changes to existing buildings to promote work from home or care for elderly parents. All of these community actions will add up to make big changes in the sustainability of the Kentlands.
Our other programs have been planning ahead. The Villages at Kentlands and Lakelands have been hard at work on their strategic planning since early this year and we are looking forward to sharing their planned activities. And, The Kentlands Photography Association is in discussions with the new Gaithersburg Parks Recreation and Arts Corporation (G-PARC) Arts Alliance about organizing some photography meetups for the spring. A virtual wine tasting is being planned by the Kentlands Wine Club. A fundraising event will be held by Musica Viva Kentlands in the spring. In order to bring us the wonderful concerts two times a year, the concert committee looks for many ways to raise the money needed. Please look for more information for all these upcoming events on our website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
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