Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

SchoolPool May Be Available for Your School

SchoolPool makes carpooling kids to school easier; reduces road pollution

With the school year starting, the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland and Commuter Connections is offering SchoolPool, a new, free service connecting parents of children who attend the same school who are interested in sharing driving duties. SchoolPool can match parents who want to form bicycling and walking groups to school for their children.

SchoolPool only shares parents' contact information to protect children's safety. Once parents are registered, they can call or email other parents participating in the service.

"The SchoolPool program was designed to help alleviate some of the traffic congestion in and around schools, and make it easier for parents to get their children to and from school," said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections.

While many families rely on their public school systems' bus networks, other students, including those that attend private schools, can benefit from SchoolPool. So far, nearly a dozen schools from Frederick County to St. Mary's County , are registered with the service. Commuter Connections encourages additional Southern Maryland schools to participate. For more information, visit

Smallwood Drive West School Zone Lights to be Removed

School zones signs to be replaced

The Department of Public Works will remove the flashing lights on Smallwood Drive West at Wade Elementary School. The flashing lights on Smallwood Drive West will be replaced with larger signs that post the school zone reduced limit of 25 mph for the hours of 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. This change is expected to occur on or about Sept. 3.

All existing school zone signs are being replaced with more visible signs in front of schools on county roads. This is an ongoing effort to be completed in the next 10 months.

For more information, contact Ms. Donna Daugherty at 301-645-0596 or Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Reforestation Grants Available for Charles County Forestry Projects

Sept. 13 is deadline to apply

Charles County Government is partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to provide funds for forestry planting projects. The Charles County Forestry Grant Program supports cost-effective reforestation projects, increases the tree canopy in Charles County, creates forest habitat, and improves water quality in the county's local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Charles County Forestry Grant Program is available for reforestation and afforestation projects one-half acre or larger in size on individual private, commercial private, community-owned, school sites, and nonprofit property. Projects on federal and state land, and projects to protect already forested land, cannot be considered under this funding source. Land must be currently protected under a long-term agreement or other protection vehicle. The deadline to submit an application isFriday, Sept. 13, 2013. The grant application can be found online at:

For more information regarding this program, contact the program's grant manager, Ms. Jana Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust, at 410-974-2941, ext. 100; or visit the website at

For information regarding Charles County forest conservation, contact Ms. Aimee Dailey at 301-645-0721,, or Ms. Erica Hahn at 301-645-0688,

Find Trips and Activities for Youth and Seniors in the Fall GUIDE

Available online Sept. 4

The Charles County Department of Community Services Fall edition of The Guide will be available Sept. 4 online at The GUIDE is a convenient resource listing current activities offered by the Department of Community Services. The GUIDE features classes, trips, and activities for everyone from toddlers to seniors, including leisure classes, swim lessons, sports programs, school-based recreation center programs and registration details.

Printed copies of the GUIDE are available at local community centers, indoor pools, Elite Gymnastics and Recreation Center, and the Department of Community Services office in Port Tobacco. Online registration is available for most programs at

For more information on other events and opportunities offered by the Dept. of Community Services, visit or call 301-934-9305 or 301-870-3388. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept. 7

The Charles County Department of Public Works would like to remind citizens that the next household hazardous waste collection for this year will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7. The household hazardous waste collection site is located in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works building, located at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Radio Station Road in La Plata. Collection hours are 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Items accepted free of charge include: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, batteries, expired prescription drugs, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.

Unacceptable materials include bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids) and ammunition. Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites. Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified. This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, or sawdust to the liquid latex paint to aid in drying it out.

Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December. Upcoming 2013 collection dates are: Sep. 7, Oct. 5, Nov. 2, and Dec. 7.

For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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