Environmental Concerns

Environmental Clean-up Day 2000

This year’s partnership with the Prince George’s Comprehensive Community Cleanup Program was a success, a compliment to the voluntary active participation of our community, showcasing West Laurel’s preservation of and pride in its community. WLCA thanks Cub Scout Pack 1673 for its continued support.

The Comprehensive Cleanup kicked-off with a Household Hazardous Waste Cleanup netting a total of 770 cars with:

The Comprehensive Cleanup concluded with a Bulky Trash Cleanup netting 30 TONS! The Tree-Trimming segment, which began during the Comprehensive Cleanup, will conclude mid-October. Those wishing to discard bulky trash may call 301.952.7600 to schedule a pick-up. Leaf collection, which operates Fridays from April through January and does not require scheduling, collects leaves contained in trash bags placed curbside.

WLCA Environmental Committee Chair Justin W. Chappell will focus next year’s Environmental Cleanup on a regional partnership scheduled on a Saturday in April or May. Suggestions should be sent to Justin Chappell at 301.802.7720 or wiz@erols.com.


West Nile Virus

West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease never before reported in the Western hemisphere, has caused encephalitis in people in the New York City area. Birds are the natural hosts for this virus which can be transmitted from infected birds to humans and other animals through bites of infected mosquitoes.

USGS has issued Wildlife Health Alerts to state and federal natural resource agencies warning of the emergence of the West Nile virus in free ranging birds in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland. USGS has initiated a multi-state surveillance network to detect and monitor the movement of the virus in birds which can contract the disease from mosquitoes. (Text provided by USGS)

West Nile-like Virus in the United States
US Geologic Survey's West Nile Virus Page
Maryland Department of Agriculture, Mosquito Control
West Nile Virus Maps
Authorities trying to head off West Nile Virus - CNN
CBC Canada West Nile Virus Facts (loads of links)

European Gypsy Moth

The Gypsy Moth is a pest that arrived in the United States in 1869. It is a major defoliator of hardwoods in Northeastern United States. When it is a caterpillar is when it is most damaging. In 1989 the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service estimated that the Gypsy Moth had defoliated close to a million or more forested acres each year. West Laurel has had  several bad outbreaks in past years. Take a look at the following hotlinks to learn about this pest, how to recognize it and how to eradicate it. If you see any indication that Gypsy Moths are in your vicinity report your findings to John Dollen at dollenj@hotmail.com or 301-725-3202.

Gypsy Moth in North America
Gypsy Moth Control
Gypsy Moth Survey
Pest Alert, Gypsy Moth
The Gypsy Moth Server at Virginia Tech
Forest Insect & Disease Leaflet
Gypsy Moth Handbook
Gypsy Moth Slide Carousel


Dogwoods in more natural, understory settings are declining as well as those growing as ornamentals in full sun; young trees are failing as well as mature specimens. A fungus disease called dogwood anthracnose is responsible for the deterioration of these trees. Many folks in the West Laurel area have trees with this disease. The following hotlinks will help you identify the disease and give some guidance on how to control it.

Anthracnose of Flowering Dogwood
Fighting Destructive Dogwood Diseases
Maryland Dogwood Anthracnose
How to Identify and Control Dogwood Anthracnose


Other Environmental Hot Links

Maryland's Drought Emergency
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Air Quality Over Maryland
Maryland Department of the Environment
Recycling in Maryland
Maryland Conservation Council
Save Our Streams
Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation

Comments, suggestions, and submissions should be directed to
John Dollen at dollenj@hotmail.com or 301-725-3202

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