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Brookside Gardens

Apr 26 16

Montgomery Parks Announces 2016 Spring Festivals

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD—The warm weather is here and Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a series of special events and programs planned this spring in the parks and at park facilities for people of all ages and spanning various interests. A sampling of festivals is listed below. A complete list of all programs and events is available at www.MontgomeryParks.org/guide and more information about the festivals is available at www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals.

Danaus plexippus bot 1

 

Returning this year, is Brookside Gardens premiere “Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Show,” which is open from April 27 – September 25, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily. Entry is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 – 12. Visit www.BrooksideGardens.org for more details.

 2016 SPRING EVENTS

 MAY:

May 1, 2016, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Raptor Festival
Meadowside Nature Center at Rock Creek Regional Park
5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855
Free
www.MeadowsideNature.org

Photograph taken by Francine Bethea 2007

Photograph taken by Francine Bethea 2007

Experience the thrill of viewing some of Maryland’s premier predators live and up-close. Explore the world of owls, hawks and eagles through games, crafts and talks given by local experts. Tours of the new habitat gardens will be given. Free native plants to the first 200 families

 

May 7, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
History in the Parks: Family Archaeology Day
Needwood Mansion
6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD 20855
$10 per person / $20 per family
www.HistoryInTheParks.org

 

See and experience what parks archaeologists do. Event features a 19th century slave quarters dig exhibit, mansion tours, a simulated archaeology dig for children, storytelling, old-time games and crafts. Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day.

 

May 22, 2016, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Flocks and Farms Festival
Black Hill Nature Programs at Black Hill Regional Park
20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841
FREE
www.BlackHillNature.org

 

Join the Maryland Bluebird Society and Black Hill Nature Programs for a celebration of the conservation success stories of the Eastern Bluebird and Montgomery County’s very own Agricultural Reserve. Participants will learn how to help bluebirds and other cavity-nesters, while meeting farmers and organizations based in the Ag Reserve.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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Apr 25 16

The Butterflies are Back at Brookside Gardens

by Melissa Chotiner

Wings of Fancy Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit Returns April 27, 2016

 

SILVER SPRING, MD— Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announces that Brookside Gardens annual Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit will open April 27, 2016. Visitors to the seasonal display interact with hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world including North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can interact with native and exotic butterflies in an intimate environment to learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the role they play in establishing healthy ecosystems and how to ensure they thrive in residential gardens.

Danaus plexippus bot 1

The Wings of Fancy exhibit is run by knowledgeable staff and over 150 volunteers who help visitors learn what they can do to create environments that support the full butterfly lifecycle.

 

The Gardens provide an educational brochure, “Gardening for Butterflies,” full of tips for selecting the best plants to attract all stages of the butterfly lifecycle, from egg to adult. Visitors can see those garden ideas in action right outside the Conservatory in the newly certified Monarch Waystation Garden. For the kids, Brookside Gardens offers a summer camp, Butterfly Flutterby Fun, where they can learn more about these amazing pollinators, get a special behind-the-scenes tour, create butterfly crafts, and more. There are also dedicated morning hours on certain days each month for photographers to capture images before the exhibit opens to the public.

 

The display runs April 27 through September 25, 2016 and is open seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Cost is $8 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 3-12, and free for ages 0-2. Frequent visitor, family, and dual passes are available at the Brookside Gardens’ Visitors Center or at the Conservatory gift shops.

 

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About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org.

Apr 13 16

Montgomery Parks Celebrates Completion of Brookside Gardens Garden Gateway Project on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

by Melissa Chotiner

Media are invited to join Brookside Gardens’ staff to tour major renovations to the Gardens; volunteer planting and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place following tour.

 

Silver Spring, MD – Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is celebrating the completed Brookside Gardens’ Garden Gateway project – a transformation of the Gardens entrance which began in February 2014. A special ribbon cutting ceremony and volunteer planting will take place on April 22, 2016 at 9 a.m. at Brookside Gardens Visitors Center.

 

The $5 million Garden Gateway project uses sustainable design to improve the entrance, parking and access to Brookside Gardens. Improvements resulting from this project include:

original artwork_

A renewed entrance at the intersection of Glenallan Avenue and Heurich Road, with a
safer, dedicated pedestrian walkway

Original artwork

A new boardwalk and parking garden with additional parking spaces

New landscape areas including a magnolia grove and many new plant collections

A courtyard for safe drop-off and pick-up of passengers at the Visitors Center

A new overlook for the Aquatic Garden (north of the Visitors Center)

The new south terrace (outside the Visitors Center Atrium) — a tranquil spot for conversation, plus small classes and events

A water garden featuring a design to treat stormwater runoff.

 

 

WHAT:                      Brookside Gardens’ Garden Gateway Project Tour and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

 

WHO:                         Brookside Gardens staff, Montgomery County elected officials, students from Glenallan Elementary School and members of the community will celebrate the final stages of completion of the project. 

Media will be given a tour of the new sustainable design and enhancements, and provided an overview of spring and summer programs including the popular Wings of Fancy Live Caterpillar and Butterfly Exhibit.

 

WHEN:                      Friday, April 22, 2016 (rain or shine)
9:00 a.m.: Garden Gateway Tour and Volunteer planting
11:00 a.m.: Ribbon-cutting ceremony

 

WHERE:                   Brookside Gardens Visitors Center
1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton MD 20902

 

PLEASE RSVP:        Please RSVP to: Melissa.Chotiner@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-2866.

 

 

About Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

About Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park.  The Garden features numerous distinct landscape areas, including the Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Two conservatories showcase changing seasonal displays for year-round enjoyment. A horticultural reference library and gift shop are located in the Visitors Center. Admission to the Gardens is free.

 

 

 

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Feb 3 16

Brookside Gardens Hosts Annual Green Matters Symposium: A Garden Gateway on April 8, 2016

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MDBrookside Gardens, a facility of Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is hosting its annual Green Matters Symposium on Friday, April 8, 2016. This year’s conference leverages Brookside Gardens’ recent Garden Gateway project, a multi-phase makeover to improve the Gardens’ entrance, parking and access.

 

“This year’s event provides a thorough look at how to plan, design and build landscapes that are both beautiful and benefit the environment,” said David Vismara, Division Chief for Montgomery Parks Horticulture, Forestry Environmental Education division. “We are bringing together some of the top people in this field to share ideas about how to design and construct attainable, sustainable landscapes.”

 

Early bird registration has just opened for the full-day symposium, providing a $14 discount ($85 admission with the discount) for people who register before March 1. Admission will be $99 after that date. To register, visit www.ActiveMONTGOMERY.org and enter Course # 14881.

 

WHAT:           Brookside Gardens 13th Annual Green Matters Symposium

 

WHEN:           Friday, April 8, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:         Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD, 20902

 

WHY:             Learn about the importance of environmentally friendly landscapes from experts in the field of horticulture.

 

WHO:             Speakers for this year’s conference include:

 

Stephanie Oberle, Director of Brookside Gardens

Mary Pat Matheson, Director of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Gennadyi Gurman, Head of Interpretation at Queens Botanical Garden

Thomas Rainer, Landscape Architect and Author of “Planting in a Post-Wild World,”

Lori Arguelles, Executive Director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation

Conference attendees can take guided tours of the Garden Gateway project to learn from experts involved in the project. Self-guided tours will also be available. Attendees can also engage with local organizations devoted to environmentally friendly landscaping during the event.

 

Two hashtags—#GreenMatters and #BrooksideGreen—are being used for people to share information and correspond via Twitter about the event.

 

For more information visit www.BrooksideGreen.org

 

About Green Matters

Green Matters, an annual symposium organized by Brookside Gardens since 2004, concentrates on the intersection of horticulture and environmental issues. Environmental stewardship is a core value of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Brookside Gardens’ parent organization. As such, we strive to provide timely information and viable solutions to environmental challenges, because we feel strongly that green does matter.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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Nov 12 15

Holiday Magic Comes to Life at Garden of Lights Winter Wonderland

by Melissa Chotiner

 Brookside Gardens’ Family Favorite Holiday Display Celebrates 18th Anniversary

October 20GOL2010-2011 04715 – Silver Spring, MD – Beginning November 27, 2015, families can once again enjoy the beloved winter walk-through holiday light display at Brookside Gardens. This magical winter wonderland is illuminated by more than one million dazzling, colorful lights uniquely shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms featuring flowers, animals and other natural elements.

 

Guests will have an opportunity to stroll from garden to garden enjoying visitor favorites including “Nessie” and a giant caterpillar, twinkling tree forms, flowers and dragonflies, and sparkling snowflakes overhead. This one-of-a-kind holiday event that’s perfect for couples, friends and families alike. The experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit inside the Conservatory to enjoy watching G-Scale model trains wind through a breathtaking seasonal landscape. End the evening by warming up inside the Visitors Center while sipping hot cocoa and listening to one of the exciting nightly musical performances.

 

“We are thrilled to once again welcome guests to our Garden of Lights display,” said Stephanie Oberle, Brookside Gardens Director. “We’re especially excited to welcome guests back to Brookside Gardens as the construction of our expanded parking lot wraps up. We hope to see new and repeat visitors at this year’s event, and look forward to sharing this special holiday tradition with them.”

 

“In addition to our incredibly popular light display, we also partner with the Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society to bring our South Conservatory to life with a miniature landscape and train exhibit. Visitors can enjoy the Conservatory Winter Display and Garden Railway Exhibit free of charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day beginning December 5th through January 3rd (closed December 25th).”

 

“Since its inception in 1997, Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights celebration has been a holiday favorite,” said Montgomery Parks Department Director Michael F. Riley. “We’ve welcomed 500,000 guests in the past 18 years, and we are looking forward to sharing the magic of the holidays with guests again this year.”

 

Garden of Lights At-A-Glance
Dates: November 27, 2015–January 3, 2016 (closed December 24 & 25)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5:30–9:30PM; Friday–Saturday: 5:30–10:00PM; New Year’s Eve: open until 9:00PM
Location: 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Cost: $25 per car/van (Monday-Thursday); $30 per car/van (Friday-Sunday)
$25 advanced tickets available beginning November 1, 2015
*Cash only at entrance

 

Conservatory Winter Display and Garden Railway Exhibit At-A-Glance
Dates: November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016 (closed December 25)
Hours: Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Cost: Free

To learn more, visit www.BrooksideGardens.org.

 

About Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

About Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County’s incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park.  The Garden features numerous distinct landscape areas, including the Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Two conservatories showcase changing seasonal displays for year-round enjoyment. A horticultural reference library and gift shop are located in the Visitors Center. Admission to the Gardens is free.

 

 

 

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Aug 3 15

Montgomery Parks Announces Fall Festival for 2015

by Melissa Chotiner

Brookside butterfly039SILVER SPRING, MD–Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is gearing up for a fall full of fun festivals, of varying interests and for people of all ages. The annual Wings of Fancy Live Caterpillar and Butterfly Show is in full swing at Brookside Gardens and planning is already underway for the annual Harvest Festival at the Agricultural History Farm Park.

 

Find a sampling of this fall’s lineup below listed in chronological order; a complete list is available at www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals or in the Montgomery County Fall Guide to Recreation and Parks Programs (available in print at select Parks and Recreation facilities, government buildings and libraries).

 

2015 FALL EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

September

  • September 13: Pawpaw Festival at Meadowside Nature Center
  • September 19:
    • Children’s Day 2015: Honey Harvest Festival at Brookside Gardens and Brookside Nature Center
    • Monarch Fiesta Day at Black Hill Nature Center

October

  • October 3: Harvest Festival at Agricultural History Farm Park
  • Weekends in October:
    • Eye-Spy Halloween Trains at Cabin John Miniature Train for ages 2-8
    • Haunted Trains at Wheaton Regional Park Miniature Train for ages 8 and up
  • October 30 – November 1: Emancipation Day Celebrations at Various Historical Sites

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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Jul 14 15

Montgomery Parks Celebrates Park and Recreation Month Offering Ten Easy Ways to Enjoy the County’s Parks

by Melissa Chotiner

Montgomery County Council and County Executive Isiah Leggett proclaim July Parks and Recreation Month

 

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is celebrating Park and Recreation month (as deemed by the National Recreation and Park Association) with ten easy and fun suggestions for getting out and enjoying the county’s parks. This morning Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Montgomery County Council issued a proclamation declaring that “…parks and recreation programs are an integral part of communities throughout this country including Montgomery County, MD.”

 

This month marks 30 years that park systems around the United States have celebrated Parks and Recreation Month. However, a survey financed by the National Recreation and Park Association in May 2014 indicated that adults are not taking advantage of the recreation opportunities in their own backyards. Nearly 3 in 10 adults don’t spend time outside on a daily basis, according to the survey.

 

Brookside butterfly039

Parks and Recreation Month is a time to explore Montgomery Parks. A sampling of upcoming programs, events and festivals taking place this month include the Park’s Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit, a neighborhood cookout and picnic at Wall Park on July 21, and the third annual Little Bennett Great Outdoors Festival on July 25.

 

 

With 420 parks, Montgomery Parks has plenty of options for people to get outside and enjoy nature, recreate and get away from it all, including:

 

For additional ideas on how to enjoy parks, please visit www.MontgomeryParks.org and click on the “Things to Do” link on the left hand menu for a searchable data base of hundreds of offerings.

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

 

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Jun 3 15

Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy Exhibit Returns in July 2015

by Melissa Chotiner

Brookside butterfly039SILVER SPRING, MD— Brookside Gardens, a facility of Montgomery Parks, is happy to announce the return of its premier Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit. The seasonal display, starting July 1, features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.

 

Wings of Fancy not only provides a unique experience to interact with both native and exotic butterflies, but also important learning opportunities. Through inspiring interpretation and knowledgeable staff, visitors discover what they can do in their own lives, communities, and landscapes to create an environment that supports the full lifecycle of these colorful creatures. The Gardens provides an educational brochure, “Gardening for Butterflies,” full of tips for selecting the best plants to attract all stages of the butterfly lifecycle, from egg to adult. Visitors can see those garden ideas in action right outside the Conservatory in the newly certified Monarch Waystation Garden. For the kids, Brookside Gardens offers a summer camp, Butterfly Flutterby Fun, where they can learn more about these amazing pollinators, get a special behind-the-scenes tour, create butterfly crafts, and more.

 

The display runs July through October and is open seven days a week from 10 am to 4 pm. Cost is $8 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 3-12, and free for ages 0-2. Frequent visitor, family, and dual passes available at the Brookside Gardens’ Visitors Center or at the Conservatory gift shops.

 

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About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org.

Dec 19 14

Montgomery Parks Hosts 11th Annual Green Matters Symposium: Protecting Our Pollinators on February 27, 2015

by Melissa Chotiner

 flyer for FacebookSILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is hosting its annual Green Matters Symposium on the topic of Protecting Our Pollinators. Staff at Brookside Gardens, an award-winning public display garden in Montgomery Parks, organize the event each year. This year, experts will discuss the importance of pollinators to the Earth’s ecosystems at the full-day symposium on Friday, February 27, 2015 at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

 

Admission is $89 before January 16 and $99 after that date. To register, visit www.ParkPASS.org and enter Course #306499.

 

In addition to conference speaker sessions, educational demonstrations will be provided by three exhibitors featuring:

  • Honey tasting
  • Native bee habitat creation and
  • Bee keeping equipment.

 

Two hashtags—#GreenMatters and #BrooksideGreen—are being used for people to share information and correspond via Twitter about the event.

 

WHO:  Horticulturists, beekeepers, homeowners, teachers, college students, gardeners and anyone interested in learning more about the importance of protecting pollinators is encouraged to attend this educational symposium.

 

WHAT: The Green Matters Symposium will bring together experts to discuss the topic of Protecting Our Pollinators. Speakers include:

 

  • Sam Droege, Head of the Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program at United States Geological Survey
  • Stanton A. Gill, Principal Agent & Regional Extension Specialist, the Nursery & Greenhouse Management at University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Alison Gillespie, Author of Hives in the City: Keeping Honeybees Alive in an Urban World
  • Timothy McMahon, President of the Montgomery County Beekeeper’s Association and an Eastern Apicultural Society Master Beekeeper
  • Ari Novy, Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden
  • Krissa Skogen, Conservation Scientist Manager, Conservation and Land Management Internship Program Chicago Botanic Garden

 

WHEN: Friday, February 27, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: 
Silver Spring Civic Building
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

WHY: Learn why we need pollinators to survive and what you can do to help protect them. An astonishing 80% of the world’s plant species require a pollinator to reproduce: plants that not only feed and shelter us, but are absolutely essential to the Earth’s ecosystems. This relationship between flora and fauna is being challenged on all sides by habitat loss, pesticides, invasive species, and more.

 

For more information visit www.BrooksideGreen.org

 

About Green Matters

Green Matters, an annual symposium organized by Brookside Gardens since 2004, concentrates attention on the intersection of horticulture and environmental issues. Environmental stewardship is a core value of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Brookside Gardens’ parent organization. As such, we strive to provide timely information and viable solutions to environmental challenges, because we feel strongly that green does matter.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. www.montgomeryparks.org

 

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Sep 11 14

Montgomery Parks Foundation Receives Million Dollar Gift to Construct a Greenhouse at Brookside Gardens

by Melissa Chotiner

The Montgomery Parks Foundation, an independent non-profit organization providing fundraising and support to Montgomery Parks has secured $1 million dollars from a private donor to help construct a new growing greenhouse at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.  The greenhouse is part of the multi-phase Master Plan adopted in 2005 that will enhance the many spectacular offerings at the popular public garden which opened in 1969.  Brookside Gardens is a facility within the Montgomery County Department of Parks and part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

 

The generous donor, Mrs. Joan O’Rourke, has been working with staff at Brookside Gardens and Debbie Rankin, Executive Director of the Montgomery Parks Foundation for several years to make this project a reality.  An avid supporter of the gardens for decades, Mrs. O’Rourke was the founding President of the still vital Friends of Brookside Gardens.  Her generosity is visible in many ways as she supports programs as a teacher and volunteer throughout the year.

 

The greenhouse is a $3,274,600 project and is also funded by $1,200,000 from the State of Maryland and $1,074,600 from Montgomery County through the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  Mrs. O’Rourke’s gift comprises almost 30% of the cost to construct the greenhouse.

 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled or grateful to receive this extraordinary donation,” says Joe Isaacs, President of the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery Parks Foundation.  “In less than four years of our own organizational revitalization, Mrs. O’Rourke’s kind gesture is an outstanding demonstration of support for our park system that has endured more than its share of budget cuts in recent years.”

 

“The support from our community for the award winning park system in Montgomery County has always been impressive,” said Mike Riley, Director of Parks.  “Mrs. O’Rourke’s gift highlights what can be accomplished if we work together for common goals.  We are so appreciative of this support from Mrs. O’Rourke.”

 

“Brookside Gardens is honored to be the recipient of such a generous gift.  The growing greenhouses support all aspects of our operations, including conservatory displays, the Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit, our landscapes and many educational programs.   It is a special donor indeed who recognizes the critical importance of well-designed and energy-efficient infrastructure to sustain the beautiful plants and gardens so loved by our community,” adds Stephanie Oberle, Director of Brookside Gardens.

 

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design build project will be released in September.  The contract will be awarded in November and the project is scheduled to begin shortly thereafter requiring about 18-24 months to complete.

 

 

About The Montgomery Parks Foundation

The Montgomery Parks Foundation is a 501c3 organization that champions Montgomery County Parks cultivating financial support and public engagement of county residents and businesses as members, donors, sponsors and advocates.  www.MontgomeryParksFoundation.org

 

About the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 35,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other park systems. www.MontgomeryParks.org