I recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate program staff, Bre’Anna Brooks and Janina Jones. This program provides homeowners, businesses, and others, the opportunity to receive a reimbursement for installing practices that reduce polluted runoff and keep our rivers clean. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with Prince George’s County on their program.
Bre’Anna Brooks (right in the picture) is a Program Coordinator with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and manages the Rain Check Rebate program.
Janina Jones (left in the picture) joined the Chesapeake Bay Trust as a summer intern and supports the Rain Check Rebate program. She is a native of Prince George’s County and currently attends Coastal Carolina University.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Bre’Anna: I am originally from Colorado. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies. After I graduated, I served in the AmeriCorps where I conducted large-scale invasive species removal projects and worked at the accredited Denver Zoo as a camp instructor. In 2016, I moved to Maryland and shortly thereafter, joined the Chesapeake Bay Trust. I was driven to the area due to an interest in making a positive impact on restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. At the Trust, I currently manage programs that engage communities in projects to restore our waterways, beautify our communities, and increase awareness about important environmental topics. I also lead the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and am broadly involved in Diversity, Equity and, Inclusion efforts in the Chesapeake Bay region. I am also certified as a Maryland Master Naturalist.
Janina: I have lived the majority of my life in Prince George’s County. I currently attend Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and am pursing a B.S. in Marine Science. I plan to attend graduate school and hope to tackle the issue of microplastics found in our waters.
What is your favorite story or project from the Rain Check Rebate program?
Bre’Anna: The stories that stand out are the ones in which residents say, “My project is making a difference!” This difference may be in terms of improving their community through beautification, in the functionality of a project that improves drainage, or in the larger context of keeping local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay clean.
What do you love most about the Rain Check Rebate program?
Bre’Anna: This program allows us to provide on-site, technical assistance to interested individuals who are unsure which practices make the most sense for their situation. I love that we can provide expertise on the practices (e.g. rain gardens and permeable pavement) to applicants in an understandable way.
Janina: I love that the program helps homeowners not only beautify their property, but also educate them about how their daily lives impact their environment.
Can you tell us a fun or interesting fact about you?
Bre’Anna: During my undergraduate studies, I spent a semester in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. I swam with the Galápagos penguin and sea lion and hiked the Sierra Negra volcano! It was the experience of a lifetime!
Janina: I am fluent in both English and German.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Bre’Anna: The Rain Check Rebate Program is such a delight to coordinate because of the community interaction. I am fortunate to work with local residents, business owners, and nonprofits to help advance the goals of the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment. This includes improving the quality of life for its communities by promoting green solutions to stormwater runoff.
Janina: I am excited to be a part of the Chesapeake Bay Trust team for the summer. I look forward to providing more assistance to the Rain Check Rebate program.
Thank you Bre’Anna and Janina for sharing with us today!
To learn more about the Rain Check Rebate program and how you can participate, click here.