Past Programs

Neighborhood Green Reforestation Project

In 2012, the Neighborhood Green Reforestation Project worked with residents in Frederick and Carroll County to plant more than 51 acres of tree and shrub seedlings on residential properties between Spring 2013 and Spring 2014. Many of these seedlings were planted along degraded streams where they were most needed to help prevent further erosion and pollution by dirt and sediment. Over 2 years, partnering foresters from the Maryland Forest Service performed 113 site visits to help landowners create personalized site plans for potential planting projects. More than $100,000 in grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation supported the actual planting effort.

Expanded Neighborhood Green

The expanded Neighborhood Green program helped landowners control stormwater runoff on their on their properties and reduce pollutants from entering our local waterways by installing best management practices such as Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, Conservation landscaping, and Tree Plantings. The program targeted areas in the Peter Pan Run Watershed, the Potomac Direct Watershed and the Upper Monocacy Brook Trout watersheds (Myersville, Thurmont, northwest Frederick), and was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Maryland Forest Service.

Refrigerator Exchange Program

This program provided new, no-cost, Energy Star refrigerators to low- and moderate-income households. The Refrigerator Exchange Program (REP), a special initiative of Frederick County‘s Green Homes Challenge, provided eligible customers with a free, brand new, energy efficient, ENERGY STAR® rated refrigerator in exchange for a qualified less efficient model manufactured in or before 2001. The REP operated until August 15, 2014 and was funded through grants from the Maryland Energy Administration.

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (ECBG) was awarded to OSER in the amount of $659,800  which funded the efforts for:

  • The development of a Frederick County Energy and Green Building Program
  • The installation of a solar thermal pre-heating system at the Adult Detention Center
  • Energy audits for county buildings
  • Retrofits to lighting and mechanical equipment at the Courthouse
  • The Pinecliff Park A-Frame project
  • Highway truck sheds
  • A greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and;
  • A community-based home energy audit project


Frederick County inputs its building energy use into the EPA Portfolio Manager with one building, the Frederick County Health Department, having achieved the ENERGY STAR status. Frederick County’s traffic signals have also reached ENERGY STAR status.

Solarize Frederick County

Solarize Frederick County, a special pilot project of the Renewable Star Challenge, aimed to increase solar electric and solar hot water system installations in Frederick County though volume purchasing, incentive grants, and a streamlined process that simplified decision making and reduced installation time. The project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Climate Showcase Communities Program.

Solar Co-Op

In 2016 and 2017, Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources (OSER) and Maryland Solar United Neighbors (MD-SUN), a state project of the Community Power Network, teamed up to create the Frederick County Solar Co-op. The Co-op closed to new members on May 31, 2017 but thanks to the coordinating and implementation efforts of MD-SUN, 169 households learned about the benefits and options for installing solar photovoltaic panels (PV). Thirty households took advantage of the approximate 20 percent discount available through our bulk-purchasing co-op. Together, these households installed 272 kW of solar power capacity, which will generate 340,093 kWh of electricity per year, and eliminating 239 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions!

Sustainable Action Plan (SAP) for County Operations

The Sustainable Action Plan (SAP) provided a coordinated, five-year strategy for the integration of sustainable practices into Frederick County Government’s operations and decision-making processes. A 32-member team of Frederick County government employees produced the SAP and focused on the following key areas:

  • Leading by example
  • Conserving energy and reducing emissions
  • Implementing green building practices
  • Making green purchasing decisions
  • Protecting green infrastructures
  • Recycling and reducing waste
  • Choosing transportation alternatives