“Knowledge generates interest, and interest generates compassion.”
― Douglas W. Tallamy

Despite the terrible rain conditions that were predicted for Sunday, December 10, 2023, the Oakland Mills Interfaith (OMI) Center’s Green Team, in collaboration with LiveGreenHoward of Howard County and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, hosted an impactful event featuring renowned ecologist and author, Dr. Doug Tallamy. Braving the challenging weather conditions, about 250 enthusiastic attendees gathered to hear Dr. Tallamy's inspiring talk on "Nature's Best Hope" and the crucial role individuals and congregations can play in fostering sustainable landscapes.

Dr. Tallamy's message resonated strongly with the audience, emphasizing the importance of incorporating native plants into landscapes to combat habitat loss, enhance biodiversity, and support local food webs. He provided valuable insights into simple gardening practices that can serve as beacons of hope for wildlife survival. Dr. Doug Tallamy's call to action continues to resonate as attendees reflect on ways to integrate native plants into their landscapes. For those who missed the event, Tallamy recommended using the National Wildlife Federation's Native Plant Finder to discover high-impact native species, suggesting people in our region use the zip code 17340 that closely aligns with our growing conditions. See notes on a ensuing "conversation" about cultivars vs straight species HERE.

Attendees, many of whom came from other “graduates” of IPC’s Faithful Green Leaders Training, were not only treated to a thought-provoking presentation but also had the opportunity to have Dr. Tallamy sign copies of his books, adding a special touch to the event. The author's call to action has already sparked conversations and initiatives among community members eager to make a positive impact on the environment.

In the opening remarks, Tim Lattimar, the new Administrator of Howard County’s Office of Community Sustainability, recognized the success of the event and the role of the partnership of IPC and the OMI Green Team and congratulated them for their efforts in bringing Dr. Tallamy's message to the community. The event also highlighted the OMI Green Team's receipt of the Howard County Plastics Reduction and Environmental Protection (PREP) grant, funded by the County’s plastic bag fee. This grant supports local nonprofits in implementing initiatives that contribute to positive environmental change in Howard County. We join in congratulating the following congregations and their Green Team Leaders for all their hard work to bring this successful event to fruition:

The spectacular turnout and community enthusiasm demonstrated a shared commitment to environmental causes and have motivated organizers to continue promoting sustainability and a greener future. The event's success serves as a testament to the community's dedication to being faithful stewards of sacred waters, as IPC and the Oakland Mills Interfaith Green Team lead the way in creating positive change in Howard County and beyond.

If you are interested in joining these Creation Care efforts and don't know where to start, contact your IPC regional outreach coordinator and we will provide you with support:

Bonnie Sorak
Director of Outreach
(Baltimore City; Baltimore, Howard, Harford, and Anne Arundel Counties)

Mike Hudson
Outreach Coordinator
(Lancaster County, PA)

Mollie Rudow
Outreach Coordinator (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester, Caroline, and Talbot Counties)
Sarah Redden
Outreach Coordinator
(Prince George's, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties; DMV)