Learn how you too can be ‘Bay-Wise’
Special to the Whig
The Bay-Wise Committee of the Cecil County Master Gardeners expects a productive year after a flurry of activity in 2015.
Three more yards were certified as meeting the standards set up by the University of Maryland Extension office. The Bay-Wise Program encourages conservation through thoughtful consideration of the landscape’s effect on water quality.
Evaluated by Judy Duffy, Sandy Phillips, Pat Oceanic and Kathie Jarmon, my lot in Chesapeake City met enough of the criteria to earn recognition last fall. As the first house in the historic district on the south side canal, and the site of a new garden-themed store, the sign should generate some much needed attention to the cause.
The Cecil County Master Gardeners have been studying and promoting Bay-friendly landscape design and yard maintenance for several years. Their goal is to encourage people to review the Bay-Wise Maryland Yardstick to see whether they can adopt any of the best practices at their home.
For each of the following categories, there are a number of actions that score “inches” towards certification: storm water runoff mitigation, wildlife support, waterfront protection, mowing and watering wisely, integrated pest management, care with yard waste and mulch, fertilization and planting priorities. If 36 of the “inches” are earned, the yard is certified as a BayWise garden and receives a sign to denote its status.
Any time the committee can encourage good stewardship through thoughtful gardening practices, the program has served our community. Our committee would love to talk with you about ways to improve your landscape and garden prac- tices. Whether people learn just one way they can take positive action or review the entire list and accomplish as many tasks as possible, it all benefits the goal of protecting our environment for future generations of gardeners.
Often, people get intimidated by the big list and the things they can’t accomplish. We’d like people to give themselves credit for what they’re doing right, and see how many things they could tweak to reach the goal of becoming BayWise certified. I still have a few things that are in progress, but I scored enough to qualify, and now that my sign is up I will have the opportunity to create conversations with my neighbors and customers.
Other yards certified in 2015 include those of Master Gardener’s Judy Duffy in North East and Beth Douglass in Bonney Shores, Elkton.
Additional certifications in the area include: Master Gardener Brian Tome in Elkton, Master Gardener Christy Michaud in Chesapeake Isles, Master Gardener Jen Fox in Elkton, Master Gardener Olive Daniel in Elkton, Master Gardener Maxine Lynch in Charlestown, Andy Vaughn in Chesapeake City, David Segermark in Earleville and Parke John in North East.
Organizations that have at- tained Bay-Wise certification include: Bainbridge Elementary School, Bay View Elementary School, Elkton High School, North Bay Adventure in Elk Neck and Grove Point Girl Scout Camp.
If you have a chance, stop by to check one out!
To learn more about my garden, visit anewleafcc. com and scroll to the base for links to the Cecil County Master Gardener’s program and Bay-Wise Yard Certification.
If you would like to have the Master Gardener’s present this topic for your organization or get your yard evaluated for BayWise certification, contact the Cecil County Extension Office at 410-996-5280.
Each week, a Cecil County Master Gardener will write in to share their gardening experiences or answer a gardening question. To submit questions to the Master Gardener, send them to cecilmastergardener@ gmail.com.
Master Gardener and Bay-Wise Committee Member Judy Duffy poses with her new sign in her freshly-certified yard.