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Congratulations! 2011 Green Award Winners

The City council has recently awarded four City residents “2011 Green Awards” for their outstanding environmental work.

Spellman House for Environmental 3-Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Spellman House

Spellman House is in its second year of implementing a $1.9 million green renovation project.  Last year, the building roof was replaced with highly reflective material and 50 solar panels were installed.  A new natural gas furnace was installed with a 97% efficiency rating.  Interior renovations included replacing old carpet with rubber carpeting and repainting with non-toxic paint.  A walkway made of previous crushed stone was installed around the 7,000 square foot community garden, extensive landscaping with new plant material was completed and fencing made of recycled automotive steel was erected around the perimeter of the site.  A small pergola and gazebo have been installed on the property and a larger 12’ x 16’gazebo, outdoor furniture made of recycled material and a bus shelter are planned for this spring.  The resulting benefits of the work include increased energy efficiency and cost savings and the landscaping enhancements are providing new opportunities for socialization among the residents.

Rick Borchelt for Environmentally Friendly Landscaping and Beautification

Rick Borchelt

On Drexel Road where many residences are beautifully landscaped and well maintained, 4602 stands out.

Rick Borchelt has used his knowledge of botany and his love of gardening to turn his yard into a quintessential cottage garden.  As one walks the stone path to the front entrance, one is greeted by a seasonal display of plants, many of which are heirloom varieties.  There are roses, spring bulbs, flowering shrubs, wonderfully scented lavenders, rosemarys and other herbs and a plethora of perennials, including hollyhocks, peonies, bergamots and coneflowers.

With his expertise in horticulture, Rick has created a garden that is both appealing and environmentally friendly.  The yard is registered as a National Wildlife Habitat and a Certified Butterfly Garden.  No mowing is necessary and the focus on native plants and those suited to this region makes the use of even benign herbicides and insecticides minimal.

Lastly, Rick is gracious in sharing gardening knowledge (and sometimes plants) with the neighbors.

Vicky Hageman for Conservation of Natural Resources

Vicky Hageman

For many years, Vicky has been a tireless volunteer for CCRIC, working diligently in every way to protect Indian Creek between Beltsville and Greenbelt, which, of course, includes College Park. (Indian Creek runs to the East of Lake Artemesia.) In addition to helping to coordinate and participating in all cleanups, she interacts with County officials when she identifies businesses that are breaking environmental laws (such as dumping into the creek). The College Park Committee for a Better Environment has partnered with CCRIC, at Vicky’s request, to begin the process of placing placards on storm drains to educate citizens about the need to not throw trash etc. in the drains because they lead to our waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay.

Vicky is a devoted environmentalist who has chosen this as her “mission,” and she has been very successful in many ways. She really deserves to be honored.

Eric Maring for Other Environmental Achievements

Eric Maring

In Sing to the Heart of the Earth, College Park resident, Eric Maring performs songs of environmental awareness for elementary school children. Songs such as “The earth is our home” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” send clear messages to children about doing their part to protect our earth and educate others (see video link below). Eric is well known by children in the College Park community as “Mr. M”. Among the many places where he teaches music classes for young people and their families are through College Park Arts Exchange, the Center for Young Children, the Levine School of Music, and he performs at local festivals including Maryland Day. All of Eric’s music is infused with themes of social justice, environmental education, and healthy living. See information about the show, Sing to the Heart of the Earth at his website:  and watch clips from the show:

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