Working for a More Sustainable Mount Rainier Maryland

Category: Events Page 1 of 2

Our New Native Plant Network

This past winter, the Mayor and Council passed legislation drafted by Councilman Chesek to create the Mount Rainier Native Plant Network. This is a new idea and probably easiest to explain by first talking a bit about biodiversity.

Biodiversity is the enormous variety of plants, bugs, bees, birds, bears, humans, and everything in between that makes our planet so wonderfully alive and habitable. The services provided by biodiversity, such as pollination, are crucial to our planet and human existence. Unfortunately, misguided human development is accelerating climate change and habitat loss, and our planet is losing biodiversity at increasingly alarming rates.

Our response to this threat will determine the kind of planet future generations get to enjoy. Our challenge is to take bold action and turn the tide on biodiversity loss, preventing a diminished future with a scarcity of wild animals, plants and pollinators. To address this crisis, leading environmental groups are campaigning to preserve 30% of the planet as nature preserves, but unfortunately, creating islands of biodiversity in our state and national parks is not enough. Incorporating native plants into the local landscape – yards, businesses and public spaces – and connecting biodiversity across the state is critical.

Here’s the idea. To restore biodiversity to our community, volunteers are setting up the Mount Rainier Native Plant Network. The volunteers will educate, encourage, and assist residents, apartment owners, businesses and our local governments with planting and documenting native plants on their properties.

How do I get involved? Anyone can sign up as a participating home or business or volunteer in the Mount Rainier Native Plant Network. As a participant you will plant or maintain native plants in your yard with the goal of having at least 25 different native plant species in your yard, or 10% of your yard planted with natives. This fall a volunteer will come by to verify and officially count you as a certified yard in the Mount Rainier Native Plant Network.

Are there incentives? Certified yards will receive a beautiful and artistic small yard sign (designed by our very own Torie Partridge) to show off their membership. Your certified yard will also be included on an online map, providing a virtual representation of the native plant ecosystem in our city.

Is help available? Yes! If you don’t know how to get started you can request a no-cost consultation from volunteers trained by the Prince George’s County Audubon Society Wildlife Habitat Program. Email Kathy Shollenberger ( to set up a time for a local volunteer to visit your property, and lend their expertise and guidance at helping you create a beautiful native landscape that is both better for the environment and often easier to maintain than a traditional grass lawn.

Additionally, native pollinator seeds and soil are being provided through the Anacostia Watershed Society’s Watershed Stewards Class for citizens who are volunteering to plant native yards this growing season. If you are interested, please email Dave Epley at Supplies are limited!

This is just the start. The Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter has the goal of creating a Native Plant Corridor across the state of Maryland. Mount Rainier can lead the way as a shining example.  With so much outside of our sphere of influence in the fight to save our planet, it is heartening to know that there is something we can start right here, right now, to help save our planet. 

Learn more. The Mount Rainier Native Plant Network will be holding a Zoom meeting on March 30th at 7pm to help kick off this movement. You can sign up at or email If you can’t make it but want to find out how you can join the Network and get involved, email Dave Epley or Kathy Shollenberger (contact above).

The Mount Rainier Green Team meets on the second Monday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Currently, our meetings are held virtually via Zoom. All interested citizens are invited to attend and can email us for the meeting connection information.

February 8th Meeting on Stormwater Management in Mt. Rainier

In 2017, Councilperson Chesek presented a short, medium, and long-term plan to address stormwater management. Since that time, the City has received $352,000 in grant funding to build bio-retention structures in some of our tree boxes and develop a stormwater master plan for the city.

Last year, many of us realized the gravity of this issue as we saw our homes or property damaged in a flash flood event. Those events, unfortunately, will only become more common as climate change causes greater water saturation in the air around us. As a result, it is important to have a plan in place to address our outdated stormwater management systems and better manage the increased storm falls we can expect to see.

Well, on Monday, February 8th at 7pm, the developers of the city’s master plan will present their initial findings at a Green Team meeting held over Zoom, and they want your feedback to incorporate into a final presentation before the Mayor and Council. If you would like to join that meeting to share your input, please email the Green Team at

Pictures from the Native Plant Talk with Linda DeGraf

Did you miss the native plant talk with artist, naturalist, and former resident of Mount Rainier Linda DeGraf?  Well we can’t go back and impart the great knowledge to you from the talk, but we can at least share some great pictures from the event.




Fundraiser for the Mount Rainier Community Garden

On Monday, March 18th stop by Franklin’s in Hyattsville and enjoy great food and drinks while supporting our friends at the Mount Rainier Community Garden!

All you have to do is drink, eat or shop at the restaurant, bar or General Store and let your server or the host know that you came to support the Community Garden. Franklin’s will donate a portion of your bill to the Garden–all day long!

For more information: Garden FundRaiser Happy Vegggies6

Cassette/VCR Tape Recycling Drive

Cassette Tape/VCR Tape Recycling

The Green Team is sponsoring a drive to recycle cassette and VCR tapes.  We have to do with a specialty recycler located out west called Green Disk.  While they accept a variety of items we will only be shipping media, namely cassette and VCR tapes.  If you would like to drop off you tapes for recycling email hlinak AT gmail DOT com and Joseph will provide you instructions for drop off.  The drive will end when we get a full box to ship.

So How Was That Solar Party?

We had a great turnout at the Solar Party at Joe’s on October 20th. We had three great talks, great food and beer, and a good time learning about solar.

If you missed the event or just want to share the talks with your friends here is the video:

And some pictures…

Pictures from the 2018 Fall Clean Up Green Up

Thanks to the 12 volunteers, including the 4 service learning hour students who came out on October 20th to remove invasives, weed, mulch and plant native bushes at the Mount Rainier South Park.

2018 Fall Clean Up Green Up – Mt Rainier South Park

The Mount Rainier Green Team will be hosting a Clean Up Green Up of the Mount Rainier South Park on 10/20 from 9-12.  We will be weeding the pollinator garden, planting some native bushes, mulching and picking up litter.

And We Need You To Help!

Clean Up, Green Up, is sponsored by Prince George’s County in collaboration with Keep Prince George’s County Beautiful, Prince George’s County Public Schools and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, demonstrates our shared commitment to keeping our communities appealing and attractive.

Register Now

2018 Fall Clean Sweep

This is tomorrow!

Come help your fellow Mounties beautify Mount Rainier. We’ll provide gloves, bags, maps, trash pickers, and to a random selection of participants prizes (a drop in class pass for Joe’s Movement Emporium)! Well meet at 9 AM on 9/29 at City Hall. Some supplies provided by PGC Dept of Environment through Clean Sweep program.

Mount Rainier Solar Party

The Green Team is gearing up for a Solar Party and you are invited. The Party will be on Thursday, October 18 from 7-9 PM at Joe’s Movement Emporium.

There were be several solar vendors there to explain what they do and how you can go solar. This event is not just for homeowners with no trees, some of the options are geared towards renters or shaded houses.

Some of the vendors scheduled are:

There will also be music, videos, and refreshments, including solar powered beer from Atlas Brewery.

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