Student green teams get involved in annual Green Expo

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

By the time the inaugural Calvert County Green Expo came to a close last September, plans for its second edition were already well underway. Calvert County Citizens Green Team member Dennis DiBello laid out goals to increase the event's vendor count from 65 and its budget from a single $500 grant.

Seven months later, both goals have been met. The second annual green expo, set for this Sunday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, already has more than 80 clean-energy vendors signed up to display products and services and received about $4,000 from nine sponsors.

"Last year we basically had a zero budget," said DiBello, president and chief inspector for American Property Consultants, a St. Leonard firm that conducts household energy audits. The expo is free and open to the public.

While the venue remains set at the park's pavilion, the green team decided to hold the expo in the spring so that it could involve Calvert County students. Nearly all of the Calvert County public schools have their own "green teams," and 18 of them will have displays at the expo detailing what they are doing to be green, Director of Planning and Zoning Greg Bowen said. A fall event didn't leave the student green teams enough time to adequately prepare, Bowen added.

Returning from last year's expo will be the Kiwanis burger trailer and a Girl Scouts Kids Zone so youngsters can enjoy some games while parents search for energy savings. In addition to vendor booths, the county will have information for homeowners on how to apply for a variety of "green" options.

"I think one thing that we should reinforce is the notion that, this year in particular, there are quite a few state and federal tax breaks for people who are considering new technologies, so really this is an opportunity to see what these new technologies look like and what is available," Bowen said.

Keynote speaker Peter Doo of the Maryland chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will talk about LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, accreditation for buildings, while two sets of speaker lineups have been set, DiBello said. The Calvert County Master Gardeners, Patuxent Riverkeeper and Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust, among others, will give presentations on how to save the environment, while energy auditors, SMECO and vendors will explain how residents can save money using green products.

Business Appreciation Week events set

Calvert County's Fifth Annual Business Appreciation Week will begin Monday, May 3, and last until Friday, May 7. This year's theme, "Shades of Green: The Future of Business," will recognize the various ways local businesses work to conserve resources and help create a sustainable community.

The week will include several events, workshops, networking activities and personal visits with local business owners and county staff.

On May 3, an invitation-only kickoff reception will be held at Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick.

On May 4, county "ambassador teams" will visit various companies from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and a "Business Leaders and Legends Reception and Awards" event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Old Field Inn in Prince Frederick. The event is free, but seating is limited. For more information, call 866-517-0477.

On May 5, the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will last from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Hills Golf Course in Lusby. Fees apply. For more information, call 410-535-2577 or go to Also on May 5 will be a Women's Business Roundtable Networking Event at the College of Southern Maryland's Prince Frederick campus from 6 to 8 p.m. Seating is free but limited. For more information, call 301-934-7583 or go to

On May 6, an energy-savings workshop for businesses will be held in the Calvert County Planning Commission Hearing Room from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The hearing room is located inside the Courthouse Square on Main Street in Prince Frederick. For more information, call 410-535-4583 or e-mail Also on May 6 will be a Calvert County Chamber of Commerce After Hours Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 132 Main Street in Prince Frederick. The event's fee is $5 for chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. For more information, call 410-535-2577 or go to

For more information on Business Appreciation Week, including updates on planned activities and events, or any of the services the county offers to local businesses, contact the Calvert County Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583 or 301-855-1880, via e-mail at or go to

Meeting on Solomons bridge options

The Solomons Civic Association and Solomons Business Association will host a presentation on plans for the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge at the Calvert Marine Museum on Wednesday, May 5, at 7 p.m. The Maryland State Highway Administration will present various proposed alternatives and be available for questions.

BOE meetings rescheduled

The Calvert County Board of Education has altered its meeting schedule for May and June. The new schedule is:

On May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and May 12 from 9 a.m. to noon, a workshop to complete Maryland Association of Boards of Education "master board" training at the Calvert Library Prince Frederick;

On May 17 at 4 p.m., approval of the FY2011 operating budget;

On May 20, rescheduled from May 13, a closed session at 9 a.m., a work session at noon and a business meeting at 2 p.m.;

On May 27, a closed session at 9 a.m. and a work session at 10 a.m.;

On June 17, a closed session at 9 a.m., a work session at noon and a business meeting at 2 p.m.

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the Brooks Administrative and Instructional Center on Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.

Special Olympics holds 5K

The seventh annual Special Olympics Calvert County Inspiration 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, May 15. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. in front of the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons and the run/walk will start at 10.

Participants may walk at their own pace through Solomons or compete in the 5K race, marked by the Calvert County Sheriff's Office. Water, coffee, juice and snacks will be provided and participants will be entered into a post-event prize drawing.

The race/walk is the primary fundraiser for Special Olympics Calvert County and all proceeds go towards providing athletic opportunities to intellectually challenged people in the community, according to a press release.

Funds are used to purchase equipment and uniforms, provide transportation to events and rent practice facilities. The program now offers nine sports — floor hockey, basketball, softball, aquatics, track, cheerleading, bocce, soccer and bowling — to 144 year-round competitors, according to the release.

There is no charge to participate, but those who pledge or donate at least $25 will receive an event T-shirt. Tax-deductible receipts can be provided for any gifts.

For more information on the event, including opportunities for corporate or personal donations, or the services provided by Calvert County Special Olympics, go to, e-mail Anne Harmon at, or call 410-535-2857.

Retire to your own business

The Calvert County Office on Aging is hosting "Be Your Own Boss After Retirement," a free business forum for prospective retiree business owners on Wednesday, May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Beach Senior Center.

For those wishing to become entrepreneurs and supplement retirement income, the event will feature information and insight from guest speakers, including a local attorney, local business owners, a representative from the Calvert County Department of Economic Development and a counselor with the Small Business Development Center.

A professional will speak about how he turned his hobby into a business and an entrepreneur whose first customer was also her former employer will also speak.

Other information will be available on tools and resources for startup businesses at little to no cost, marketing plans, sources of capital, managerial and technical advice and legal issues and requirements for businesses.

Participants may register for the event by calling the senior center at 410-257-2549 before May 5.

For more information on the office of aging, go to