From Staff Reports
BALTIMORE — The Maryland State Highway Administration has donated more than 5,000 linear feet, or approximately $6,000 worth of aluminum from old road signs to the Department of Natural Resources to build a complex of greenhouses, a native tree nursery and a 5,000 gallon water storage unit in Frostburg.
Additionally, SHA crews helped with excavating land where the greenhouses now stand on the Frostburg State University campus.
“The contribution of material has been invaluable to this project. Reusing old signs has saved the project considerable resources,” said Paul Kazyak, DNR program manager for Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund Water Quality Monitoring.
“This partnership exemplifies the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Melinda B. Peters, SHA administrator. “We are excited to continue to use old materials for new, greener concepts that help communities learn to grow life-supporting food and reduce carbon released into the environment that would have occurred if the signs were sent to a scrapyard for remelting.”
Supporting Frostburg State University’s Frostburg Grows Program, the donated material is being used to build a five-acre complex of greenhouses, including a shade house and a composting facility. The facility will be a valuable community resource, providing job training and serving as a research center to optimize growing methods for food production and native plants for reforestation, permaculture and traditional Appalachian cultural uses.
Partners for the project include DNR, Frostburg University, George’s Creek Watershed Association and the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Additionally, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers awarded a $300,000 grant to the program spring 2012.