An Environmental Restoration Workforce for the Future
by Lori Lilly, Howard EcoWorks
I lead an organization called Howard EcoWorks (EcoWorks) in Howard County, MD. We empower communities and diverse workforces to respect and restore our natural systems for future generations. For the first several years, we focused on one thing – building rain gardens. As our relationship with the County, our primary funder, grew, we started performing maintenance on the County’s stormwater and stream restoration practices. Our organization and its programs have been growing quickly and succeeding in many ways. However, I have also witnessed our County seat, Ellicott City, devastated by a series of freak, high intensity storm events. With each successive storm, my professional assumptions about how to restore a watershed, and my organization’s role in that, have changed.