- Our Community
- Green Bowie
Spring Stream and Community CleanupSpring is in the air, and we all know that is traditionally cleanup time. Join us on Saturday, April 1 from 9am to noon at local streams around Bowie to remove trash and debris before it reaches the Patuxent River. Read on...
Sustainability Grants for BusinessesDo you own or know a small or local business in Bowie who is looking to make improvements to their sustainability efforts and reduce their carbon footprint? The City's Sustainability Grant Program may be just the help that's needed. Read on...
Green Bowie is the umbrella term used to describe all of the City's environmental initiatives. Green Bowie helps the City government, residents, businesses and more to become greener, cleaner, and more sustainable. Everyone can be involved in one way or another, whether it be:
- Installing a rain barrel on your property
- Purchasing/using a compost bin
- Volunteering with the Green Team for gardening efforts and invasive plant removal
- Replacing older (less energy efficient) light bulbs with LEDs
- Choosing not to use single-use plastic products
- Driving an electric vehicle
- Or using natural products that do not contain harsh chemicals
These are all actions that will define the future of Green Bowie. Please browse our webpages from the left-hand menu to find more Green Tips relating to things like recycling, lawn care, trees, energy efficiency and much more. And to learn more about our City goals please view our Sustainability Plan.
- Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award Recipient- 2018, 2022
- Certified Community-Sustainable Maryland Certified - 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022
- National Wildlife Federation Certified Community Wildlife Habitat since 2016
- Maryland Smart Energy Community Award Winner - 2015
- Keep Prince George's Beautiful Waste Diversion and Recycling Award- 2020
Subscribe to the monthly Green Bowie E-newsletter!
You will stay up-to-date on the status of Green Bowie programs, volunteer opportunities, and fun City events. Use the box below to sign up.
View an archive of past editions of the Green Bowie E-newsletter!
Get Involved with a City Committee
The City of Bowie received a grant through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Grant Program to provide our City with the resources to create our very own, municipal level, Adopt-A-Road program. This program empowers community members to help with cleanups and allows staff to continue educating residents on the impacts of litter to our environment, all for a better, greener Bowie.
Adopting A Road:
There are a host of roads in Bowie available for adoption and adopting is easy:
- If interested, the first step is to reach out to the Transportation Planner at Mjones@cityofbowie.org to discuss available roads and cleanup schedules.
- The interested party will agree to conduct cleanups at a minimum of twice yearly and up to four times per year. All cleanup materials are provided to the group, at no cost, by the City of Bowie. Any business or community organization is welcome to get involved.
- Volunteers must be 18 years of age OR 15 years of age and accompanied by a designated adult/parent for supervision of the minor during the activity. This is for the safety and security of all involved.
- The point of contact from the group must also fill out all corresponding paperwork, provided to you by the Sustainability Planner, which will state information such as: the agreed upon adoptable road, the dates/times of cleanups, the names of all participants, and the amount of bags collected
- The point of contact will also have each of the (up to) 10 volunteers fill out a waiver form at the beginning of the activity.
- The point of contact will pickup the cleanup kit and drop it back off to City Hall within 3 days of the cleanup date.
- Each term is for 2 years. The Transportation Planner will reach out every two years to see if the party is interested in continuing, so long as all expectations and qualifications have been met.
In exchange for the cleanup activity and maintenance of the road, the business or group name will be placed on an official City of Bowie Adopt-A-Road sign on the road (See below). They will also be named here on the Adopt-A-Road page.
|Evergreen Parkway||IBBNB, Inc.|
|Northview||Bowie Hockey Club|
|Heritage Blvd||Bowie Environmental Advisory Committee|
|Superior Lane||Bowie Methodist Churches|
|Gallant Fox Way||Dr. Denise, DDS|
|Health Center Drive||Build A Better Bowie|
|Pointer Ridge Drive||Build A Better Bowie|
|Mitchellville (from Route 197 to Harbour Way)||Green Team Executive Committee|
|Harbour Way||Niyama Yogi Traveler|
|Easthaven Lane||Pending adoption|
|Mt. Oak (from Mitchellville to Church Road)||Grateful Charities|
|Old Collington Road||Niyama Yogi Traveler|
|Grenville Lane||Ladies of Bowie|
|Gothic Lane||Bowie Lions Club|
|Gullivers Trail||Bowie Lions Club|
Each Kit Includes:
- Large Husky toter which houses cleanup supplies and conveniently rolls
- 10 safety vests
- 10 nitrile gloves
- 10 trash grabbers
- Plenty of orange (highly visible) trash bags
- Road Work Ahead sign to set up in the shoulder
The group will be responsible for setting up the Road Work sign, which has instructions attached. After the cleanup the trash bags must be left in a visible and accessible area that does not block traffic or public use of the space.
Thank you to all sponsors of the Keep Maryland Beautiful, Clean Up Green Up Grant Program:
If you live in the incorporated limits of the City of Bowie, you can purchase a compost bin, pictured below, for $20 at City Hall. We accept cash or check. You do not need to reserve one, simply come to City Hall during business hours and pick up your bin (limit 2 per home). The front desk staff will guide you. All sales are final. The bins are bigger than you think so we recommend bringing a truck, van, or SUV. If you need assistance please call ahead. Check out our "How To" guide here.
If you're not sure if you are in the incorporated limits of the City, visit our address verification tool.
To begin, choose a 4’x4’x4’ grass or soil area in your yard that is easily accessible put your compost bin. A good compost pile will consist of 2/3 “browns” and 1/3 “greens.” “Greens” are high in nitrogen and are typically soft and wet. They include kitchen scraps (veggie and fruit), coffee grounds, tea bags, fresh leaves, grass clippings, and weeds (not invasive or nuisance, e.g., Poison Ivy, English Ivy, Multiflora Rose, etc.). “Browns” are high in carbon and are usually dry. They include paper products (napkins, paper towels, and non-glossy newspaper), dried leaves and flowers, and bedding from small pets such as hamsters.
What Not To Compost
- Chemically-treated wood products/waste
- Dairy products
- Diseased plants or leaves
- Disposable diapers
- Fatty food waste (no grease)
- Fish or fish bones
- Human or dog/cat waste
- Meat and meat scraps
- Peanut butter
- Plants that have gone to seed
Temperature, moisture, and oxygen are three very important components of composting. Compost should feel warm to the touch except in cold winter months. Composting materials should feel moist but not soggy. If compost feels dry, add more green materials. If compost feels soggy, add more brown materials. Also, ensure that enough oxygen reaches the center of the pile by mixing or turning it regularly. During the summer, the more turning that occurs, the faster the process will occur.
Prevent Odor and Animals
Your compost pile will not produce odor or attract animals as long as you place only appropriate "green" and "brown" materials in it, and you turn compost regularly. The City bins have ventilation built in to prevent this from occurring.
Using Finished Compost
Compost is ready for use when it looks dark and crumbly and none of the starting ingredients are visible. Work it into the top 6 to 9 inches of the yard or garden as a soil amendment/conditioner or apply it as mulch.
Want to lessen your carbon foot print, but aren't necessarily ready to purchase an electric vehicle or to partake in solar? One easy way to help the environment is by using electric lawn care tools. Many brands now have complete suites of yard tools including mowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers, with interchangeable batteries that can be used in all pieces of equipment.
- If you purchase an electric mower, you will be eligible for a $50 rebate.
- You're also eligible for $50 rebate if you purchase a mulching or manual mower.
- Each subsequent tool purchased will be eligible for a $25 rebate (one time each).
- Alternatively, if you purchase all four items, the mower, hedge trimmers, weed whacker, and leaf blower, you may receive a $150 rebate.
- Items must be purchased after July 1, 2022.
Obtaining A Rebate
To obtain your cash rebate, bring proof of city residency* and the receipt to the Finance Department at City Hall, 15901 Fred Robinson Way. If the receipt does not specify the mower type please also bring a manual or other documentation for the mower.
Finance Department hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. Limitations to these rebates are described above in the "What's Eligible" section. If you have questions please call 301-809-3044.
*Only residents who live within the municipal limits of the City of Bowie are eligible for these rebates. To see if your address is within the City of Bowie visit our address lookup page.
According to the Bay Journal, running a typical gas-powered lawn mower for one hour releases the same amount of emissions (air pollution) as driving about 300 miles in your car. Electric lawn care tools are beneficial because they:
- Reduce emissions by not burning oil for use
- Reduce oil/gas usage significantly (assuming oil is used to power electric in your home)
- Do not create an environment where an oil spill may happen
- Save money by not having to purchase fuel
Bowie homeowners have the opportunity to save money and improve the comfort and safety of their homes by completing a BGE Home Performance with Energy Star home energy audit ($100 value) at no cost through a City-sponsored program. This program is limited to the first 50 City of Bowie homeowners who submit an application each fiscal year.
To participate in the program, please complete the application which can be found here. You will be contacted first by the City Sustainability Planner about how to proceed and then within a few days, one of our BGE-approved contractors (American Home Performance or Elysian Energy) will contact you to schedule the audit.
Learn about ventilation, insulation, moisture control and options you can take to improve the air quality and energy efficiency of your home. Watch an interactive video full of energy efficiency tips, hosted by Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® here.
If you have any questions about the program, contact the Sustainability Planner via email.
Did you know that about 20% of what you throw away in your trash is food waste? And did you know that this food waste can easily be turned into compost? Food scraps, meat, and bones can ALL be processes at the Prince George's County Organics Facility to create compost, a soil-like product that is super nutritious for growing plants and vegetables.
Interested or need more information to make a decision? Please contact the Sustainability Planner at 301-809-3044.
What are the benefits of food waste composting?
- Diverts waste from landfill: On average, participants collect about 6 pounds of food waste per week. With about 250 participants, the potential savings is up to 1,500 pounds of food scraps each week.
- Reduces greenhouse gases: Food scraps in landfills emit methane (a potent and harmful greenhouse gas) as they decompose.
- Creates nutrient rich compost called LeafGro that is sold locally in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties.
- Saves money: It costs less money per ton to send food scraps to the Organics Composting Facility than to the landfill.
What bags can I use?
Only specified compostable bags can be used for food waste collection. Plastic grocery bags are not allowed for food waste collection.
You will be provided with 60 compostable liners to use for starters. If you would like to purchase more or try a different brand; many retailers including Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s carry these bags. For a complete list of accepted bags, please visit this link:
Where to Purchase Compostable Bags.
How often will the curbside bin be emptied?
The curbside caddy will be emptied once a week on Wednesday. Please have your 6-gallon bin outside by 7 a.m. on Wednesday, but no earlier than 5 p.m. on Tuesday. To avoid odors, you should empty your kitchen caddy into your curbside bin every few days.
Will my bin smell or attract pests?
The curbside bins are equipped with a lock to keep pests out and eliminate odors. To avoid a strong odor, add a few paper products on the bottom of the bin to absorb moisture or coffee grounds to neutralize odors. Be sure to place all waste materials in compostable bags and routinely empty kitchen caddy every few days.
Where does our collected food waste go?
Collected food waste will be taken to the Prince George's County Organics Composting Facility, which is expanding! Once completed, the expanded facility will be the largest yard trim and food waste composter on the East Coast. The County’s Organics Composting Facility is the only one in the State to accept residential, commercial and institutional food scraps and is the first in the County to pilot a food scrap composting program using the GORE® technology. The Facility produces a nutrient-rich soil compost product known as LeafGro and LeafGro GOLD.
The urban tree canopy (UTC) is the layer of tree leaves and branches seen from above. The benefits of individual trees and overall higher UTC range from energy conservation and increased home values to cleaner air and water. Because City Council set a goal of 45% tree canopy coverage, and residential land has the highest potential for increasing UTC, the City has a new turn-key tree planting program called Plant One Tree on Us (POTOU).
An overview of the process is as follows:
- Email the Watershed Manager to verify availability and eligibility
- complete the online reservation form you will get in a reply, choose the type of tree
- choose a location and contact Miss Utility to ensure no utility issues
- sign and return the homeowner agreement send to you by the Watershed Manager (please let us know if you need a hard copy mailed to your home). This must be done within 2 weeks
- closer to the time of the planting, staff will drop a small orange marking flag at your house. The flag will need to be placed in the ground exactly where you want the tree planted and provide safe access to the yard for the contractor
*Previous recipients of a tree through this program are not currently eligible*
Choosing Your New Tree
While deciding on a tree, remember the Right Tree Right Place process: consider certain characteristics of your preferred tree at maturity (e.g., roots, height, canopy spread, etc.) in order to choose the best location. The goal is to minimize the potential for conflicts between the tree or its roots and adjacent structures such as driveways, underground infrastructure and power lines.
The City has created a tree selection chart with the basics about trees available through POTOU, and the Arbor Day Foundation and BGE have information on their websites to help guide you through these considerations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How big is the tree? The tree will be a minimum of 1.5 inch caliper (the diameter measured about a foot above ground). Depending on the species, the height of the tree would be somewhere in the four to eight foot range.
- Can the tree be planted in the spot where another tree was? While this is technically feasible in some cases, it is not allowed under this program. POTOU is intended to increase tree canopy across the city so survivability is crucial. This is best achieved in a new location. Please choose a location at least ten feet away from a recently (less than one year) dead/removed tree and 15 feet away from any other tree.
- Can the tree be planted in my backyard? Yes, the tree can be planted anywhere you want it on your property. If you are looking for a tree in the right-of-way (within about 11 feet of the paved road edge), please contact the Community Forester to see if that's possible.
- When will my tree be planted? Planting takes place in the fall and winter. The earliest trees will be planted is mid-October.
- Will the contractor cut down a tree to place the new one there? No. This program is meant to increase tree canopy. If the tree is dead and needs to be removed, please contact a tree removal company of your choosing. Your POTOU tree can be planted at least ten feet away.