CONTACT: Mary Catherine Cochran firstname.lastname@example.org
PATAPSCO HERITAGE AREA — AUGUST 20, 2016 — The Patapsco Heritage Greenway (PHG) Board of Directors announces that Elizabeth (Betsy) McMillion, current Environmental Program Director and long time volunteer, is retiring.
Betsy joined the Patapsco Heritage Greenway in 2004, as event coordinator for the Garlic Mustard Challenge and A Winter’s Feast programs. In 2005, she created and managed the organization’s environmental stewardship program. Since 2006, and the implementation of PHG’s Stream Watch Program, Betsy has managed over 16,000 volunteers in stewardship activities including stream cleanups, tree plantings, and invasive species removal. Over the last ten years Betsy’s program has removed 450 tons of trash from the Patapsco watershed, planted over 600 trees and removed more than 14 tons of invasive plants such as garlic mustard, English ivy and Japanese stiltgrass. In addition to volunteering thousands of hours for the organization, Betsy served as PHG’s first Director.
Betsy worked with Baltimore County to develop and implement 3 Small Watershed Action Plan(s) (SWAP), participated in the Howard County Watershed Improvement Network and led countless workshops for residents on stormwater remediation topics including classes on rain barrels and rain garden installation.
Under her leadership, the Patapsco Heritage Greenway developed both the Stream Team who leads other volunteers during restoration events and the Stream Watch program, which trains volunteers how to monitor, evaluate and report watershed issues. After the devastating flood on July 30 of this year, Patapsco Stream Watchers mobilized immediately to locate and report sewer leaks and other flood hazards.
Betsy is perhaps best recognized as the early innovator for creating volunteer-based stream watch education programs and her program has long been considered the gold standard in the state of Maryland.
“It has been a pleasure working with so many of the PHG volunteers, staff and board members and making a difference in the Patapsco Valley. I have seen PHG grow and am proud to have been a part of their many accomplishments to preserve and protect the valley. I have made many good friends and will miss working with them,” Betsy said. “The next chapter of my life will focus on finishing a book on Patapsco Valley State Park and teaching classes at CCBC.”
“Betsy has been an incredible asset to our organization,” said John Slater, Past PHG President. “She has improved the Patapsco watershed and created programs that will continue into the future. It is quite a legacy.” “Betsy’s enthusiasm attracted and retained volunteers,” added PHG President, Grace Kubofcik.
Patapsco Heritage Greenway will begin a search for a new program manager. During this transition period, programs will continue to run under the leadership of the Environmental Program staff and the PHG’s Executive Director, Mary Catherine Cochran.