Westminster, MD, Monday, October 16, 2023 – The Carroll County Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Environmental Action Awards.  Awards are presented biennially to individuals and groups chosen from nominees submitted by their peers and are granted for endeavors and projects that result in a positive benefit to the environment and have the potential for long-term community environmental benefit.

The Student Engagement Award goes to Ashlynn Kief for designing and building a book-sharing box for Charlotte’s Quest Nature Center. The Little Free Library was constructed from repurposed materials and is stocked with donated books, both of which divert waste from the landfill.  She also established a non-profit, named The Book People Project, to support her goal of providing free access to reading.  Ashlynn will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship by Spot-On Engineering Solutions, Inc., as well as a $50 gift basket from JeannieBird Baking Company. The Runner-Up award goes to Patrick Grundy for his Piney Run Park informational sign project and accompanying invasive plants educational piece.  He will receive a $500 scholarship from Atlantic Blue Water Services of Westminster.  Honorable Mention goes to Emelia Neff for organizing a children’s environmental education event in Mount Airy.

This year’s winner of the Positive Practices Award is Friends of Liberty Reservoir for their efforts to collect and remove litter from the trails and promote public education about litter, invasive plants, and water quality.  Friends of Liberty Reservoir will receive a $100 gift card donated by Sun Nurseries, Inc. for use at their establishment.  They will also receive a gift basket donated by JeannieBird Baking Company. JeannieBird was the winner in this category in 2021.

John Hubbs received the Educational Outreach Award for his leadership as a Master Gardener.  Among many other initiatives, he restarted the Bay-Wise Committee and supported the Grow-It-Eat-It training.  At Krimgold Park in Woodbine, John created native plant gardens and removed invasive plants.  He worked with the Carroll County Departments of Public Works and Recreation and Parks to educate staff regarding practices to prevent beavers from building dams.  John prepares a regular newsletter for the Friends of Krimgold Park group about these activities to educate the public and raise awareness of environmental issues, such as bird nesting and loss of biodiversity.   John also organized Earth Day events in 2022 and 2023. He will receive gift baskets from Sun Nurseries and JeannieBird Baking Company.

The winners will receive their awards at the county’s 2023 Environmental Symposium on Saturday, October 28, 2023. The symposium is free and open to the public and will be held at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster from 9 AM to 12 PM.  For more information on the awards, visit www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/boards-commissions/environmental-advisory-council/environmental-action-awards/.  For more information on the Environmental Symposium, visit www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/directory/planning-land-management/environmental-symposium/.