Frederick County

Welcome to Frederick County's home page, we're glad you stopped by!

Here at Extension, we work hard to pass along to you research based information that will help you in your everyday life.  We do this through a variety of venues like educational programs, events, field days, seminars and camps.  Our program areas include:

Agriculture and Food Systems
Family and Consumer Sciences
Home Gardening
4-H Youth Development

Our Ag Agents assist farmers and landowners by providing technical assistance and educational programs to offer the latest best management practices to improve profitability and minimize environmental impacts on the county's natural resources.  

FCS Educators provide youth, individuals and families with the information and skills to make informed decisions about their health, finances, food, healthy homes, and overall well-being.  These programs are provided in schools, libraries, senior centers, faith-based organizations, in partnership with other agencies, and many other settings.  

Our Horticulture Educator directly assists county residents and businesses with home and garden questions and provides education to the community on various topics related to horticulture.  She also provides and coordinates training for the Master Gardener volunteers who significantly increase the reach of these educational opportunities to the community.

Frederick County has a large and active 4-H Youth Development Program with 24 active clubs, more than 600 youth members and over 180 volunteers spread throughout the county.  Through participation in projects, clubs, camp, fair, competitions and volunteer activities, youth between the ages of 5 and 18 learn life skills such as citizenship, public speaking, leadership, record keeping, responsibility and teamwork -  skills that are valuable to them not only now but throughout their lives. 

Take a look at the program pages for more information.  
Got questions, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help you out!

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class.

What Does UME Do?

Creating Leadership & Professional Development Through Extension Internships

Applications are open for Summer 2024 'Creating Leadership & Professional Development Through Extension Internships'. Undergraduate students from certification programs, 4-year and 2-year institutions are invited to apply.

A Note From Our Area Extension Director

Upcoming Events

Interested in learning more from the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the University of Maryland Extension?  Check out our 'Calendar of Events', you can refine your search on the right hand side of the page. 

Calendar of Events

Recent News

Check out the latest news stories



Marylanders Online

At Marylanders Online, we believe that digital literacy is a must, not a choice. In today’s world, being able to navigate the digital world and knowing how to use technology is a necessity, while not everyone is given the privilege and ability to do so. On that note, the University of Maryland Extension (UME) in collaboration with the UMD College of Information Sciences initiated the Digital Literacy Project with a desire to bridge the digital divide among Marylanders.

Our mission is to bring digital inclusion to Maryland by providing quality resources and education that help improve digital literacy. This website will be a one-stop shop for that mission, open to anyone who wants a little guidance or self-guided learning opportunities.

Our Get Help page provides instructional materials for self-guided learners. Our Give Help page is perfect for educators or those who want to make a difference in their community by sharing their knowledge. Furthermore, the Get Connected page provides information and resources to help Marylanders stay connected to the digital world, such as connectivity programs and WiFi locations.

We believe that digital literacy is more than just a skill but a way to connect people and communities. Join us on our mission to get connected, stay connected, and enjoy being connected!

Contact Us

1-866-206-8467 (toll free)

Contact Request Form

Pond Management

Extension Resources

Pond maintenance does not require a permit; however, pond construction, repair, or modifications will likely require a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). For more information, visit MDE's Dam Safety Permits web page, or call their office at 410-537-3538.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They may have information regarding the size of a pond, its age, data on when the pond was built and its specification at that time, materials on renovating it, and local contractors who may provide construction/renovation services. They are often able to calculate size by using aerial survey records. The Frederick County NRCS Office can be reached at 301-695-2803. [If you search 'ponds' on their website several web pages are available to view].

Penn State University - this web page videos, articles, guides, and publications.

Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension - this web page contains links to a vast library of Extension publications on a range of pond topics, including basic design principles, water quality, and fish stocking and management.

Texas A&M Aquaplant - this web page is specifically designed for identification and control of nuisance aquatic plants. Once identified, the site provides suggested control options. The section for chemical control includes ratings for approved herbicides and links to manufacturer's labels. Please note that, while the website often suggests the use of grass carp as a biological option, these are NOT LEGAL in Maryland and their importation can result in a violation of the federal Lacey Act.

Well Water and Septic Systems

Whether you’ve grown up with private drinking water and waste disposal systems, or are new to these devices, there is a lot to learn about maintaining your equipment and ensuring safe drinking water.

Extension Wells, Septic Systems and Water Quality

Extension Water Quality YouTube videos

Frederick County Government Well and Septic

MD Department of the Environment - Water Quality Laboratories Certified in MD

Tick Information

Assistant Professor Jennifer Mullinax, a wildlife ecologist in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, is leading studies in Maryland to reduce tick-borne illnesses. She breaks down what ticks are, where they live, the risks they pose and how we can best protect ourselves.

What is a tick?
It is an arachnid, not a true insect, essentially a parasite that has to feed on a host to transition from one life cycle (larva, nymph, adult) to the next.

Where do they live?
They love brushy, scrubby stuff. Think of an overgrown edge of a trail, a power line right-of-way or a yard that backs up against natural areas—all of those are often full of ticks. The heaviest hotspot for ticks that spread Lyme disease is in the Northeast, but different types of ticks live across the United States, and their range is expanding.

How do ticks infect humans?
They don’t jump, they don’t fly, they don’t drop off of things. They climb up a bush or tall grass, wave their little arms and wait for something to brush by, then they latch onto you.

Typically, they’re not born with diseases. It’s when they feed on an animal like a deer or mouse that they pick it up. Then, when humans get bitten, we become infected.

What diseases do they carry?
Blacklegged ticks spread Lyme disease, which is a huge issue. If it’s caught early, you can take antibiotics, but if not, it can become a chronic disease, with severe joint pain, inflammation, headaches and more. They can also spread anaplasmosis, which causes fever, chills and muscle aches. Lone star ticks, which have a white spot on their backs, can carry the Alpha-gal molecule, which sets off a red meat allergy.

We expect to see more tick-borne diseases with climate change, as more places become hot and humid. We’re not having the freezes we used to that would knock back tick populations.

What can people do to avoid getting these diseases?
It’s shocking, but you have no idea they’re on you—they’re so light. So the first thing I would say is you need real bug spray: permethrin. Not citronella, none of those herb-y things. Spray it on your clothing and shoes outside, let it dry, then wear it.

Choose long pants and close-toed shoes. My students tuck their pants into their socks, and some even use duct tape around their ankles, to make sure there are no gaps for the ticks to crawl into.

Do diligent tick checks. My kids play in the woods every day, and during tick season, from May to October, we do a full body check every night. That means naked, in the mirror, looking at every crevice: between your legs, under your arms, behind your ears, etc. The tick needs about 24 hours to do a full blood exchange, so if you get them off quickly—I aim for less than 12 hours—you can feel confident it hasn’t had time to give you anything.

How can people protect their yards?
You can create a three- to four-foot mulch barrier between your property and any woods or brush, to limit the green surface area ticks can crawl across and brushy vegetation. You can also fence your property to keep deer out.

If you’re in a really tick-y area, get tick tubes. You can buy them premade from any home improvement store, or you can make them with cotton balls soaked in permethrin placed inside toilet paper rolls. Spread them around your property, so the mice take them back to their nests and repel ticks. They both have short lifespans, so if you do this for a couple of years, you can really reduce the prevalence of these diseases.

Find out more - Ticks in Marylandthis web page has a link to the Maryland Department of Health with information about Lyme Disease.

Maryland Department of Health - Tick ID through the University of MD; this is only for ID and not to test for Lyme Disease.

The University of Rhode Island has labs listed for Tick ID and Lyme Disease testing.


Wearing repellants and eliminating standing water to reduce mosquito breeding sites in your yard are two of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself from mosquito bites. In some communities, spraying for mosquitoes may be done to control large populations and/or mosquito-borne diseases.  Find out more - Controlling Mosquitos



Maryland Department of Agriculture keeps a list of beekeepers who are interested in removing honey bees swarms, yellow jackets and hornet nests.  Call our office for contact information of a beekeeper in your area.

For information about bees and wasps go to: Home and Garden Information Center - Outdoor Insects

Extension Advisory Council

The purpose of the Extension Advisory Council is-

  • To serve in an advisory capacity to the County Extension faculty
    • Developing the overall County Extension program
    • Identifying problem areas that Extension could address
    • Establishing program priorities
  • To maintain adequate fiscal internal control procedures to handle any direct county funds and/or local groups and organizations involvement in and with Maryland Extension programs
  • To assist with informing clientele, support groups and the general public about Extension programs, activities and accomplishments
  • To assist with building support for Extension programs

Members of the EAC consists of representation from the county who will contribute to the program development of the UME county initiatives.