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Parks

Jun 13 16

Montgomery Parks Hosts July 4th Celebration “Germantown Glory” with Live Music and Fireworks

by Melissa Chotiner

Plus Parks Happenings and Operating Schedule for Independence Day Weekend

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is the place for all of your July 4th weekend activities.  There’s the Splash Playground & Mini Golf at South Germantown Recreational Park (10am-6pm), Boating at Black Hill Regional Park (6:30am-6:30pm) and Miniature Trains at Cabin John Regional Park and/  or Wheaton Regional Park, which also has the Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel, (10am-6pm) to fill your days.

End your holiday weekend with live music and fireworks at “Germantown Glory,” Montgomery County’s July 4th celebration, at South Germantown Recreational Park. Festivities kick-off at 7pm with the sounds of Quiet Fire Soul Show. Fireworks are slated to begin at 9:15pm.  Bring a picnic dinner or purchase food from one of the many food trucks which will be located throughout the park. Parking lots open at 7pm and Park Police will direct traffic. Gates to the lots will close once full and remain closed until the conclusion of the fireworks.  Glass receptacles or alcohol is not permitted into the park and visitors are urged to properly dispose of all trash. Rain date for fireworks is July 5th.

All Montgomery Park facilities, parks and programs will follow standard operating hours with the following exceptions:

  • Parkside Headquarters offices are closed on Monday, July 4th.
  • Park Permits Office is closed on Monday, July 4th.
  • There is no camp session on Monday, July 4th. All new camp sessions starting that week will start on Tuesday, July 5th.
  • No classes at Cabin John Ice Rink and Wheaton Ice Arena on either July 3rd or July 4th.
  • Cabin John Ice Rink, Wheaton Ice Arena, Pauline Betz Addie and Wheaton Indoor Tennis Centers will be closed on Monday, July 4th.

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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.

Jun 10 16

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Invites Public Input on Updates to Park Rules and Regulations

by Melissa Chotiner

Oral, written and online comments to be accepted through July 1, 2016.  

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks and Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Departments, which are part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission are inviting the public to provide input on proposed revisions to the Commission’s Park Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations were last updated in March 2001, and are being revised to better reflect today’s use of the parks, facilities and amenities.

A public meeting about the proposed changes will take place at 7 p.m. on July 7 at:

Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center
7120 Contee Road
Laurel, Maryland 20707

A draft of the new rules and regulations is currently available at www.mncppc.org. The public may provide comments and questions at the meeting, or via email at commentonparkrules@mncppc.org, or by mail to:

M-NCPPC
c/o Rules and Regulations Review Committee
6611 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 200
Riverdale, MD 20737

The public input period will end at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2016.  Public input will be considered before the Commission enacts new rules and regulations.

“We are updating the rules and regulations to provide greater flexibility in defining the many ways the public can access our parks, facilities and amenities,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “This approach strikes an important balance so that we can make appropriate site-specific decisions.”

Ronnie Gathers, Director of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, said, “Park rules and regulations are put in place to maintain safe and enjoyable recreation experiences in all of our parks and facilities. We are committed to the fair and equitable use of our parks and recreation facilities by all residents and visitors.”

A sampling of the activities covered by the rules and regulations includes:

  • Commercial activities in parks
  • Unpermitted regular use of athletic fields
  • Hours of operation for trails

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Montgomery Parks and the Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County are departments of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land and later to operate parks and recreation systems. 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; it is a six-time National Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in parks and recreation management and programming.

The Department of Parks and Recreation operates and programs 28,000 acres of park land and more than 100 recreation facilities in Prince George’s County. For more information, visit www.pgparks.com. Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. For more information, visit www.MontgomeryParks.org

M-NCPPC encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

 

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Jun 7 16

Montgomery Parks Hosts Grand Opening of Rehabilitated Historic Woodlawn Stone Barn for a Visitor Center and Cultural Destination

by Melissa Chotiner

Public is invited to the free celebration on June 11, 2016 for tours of the barn and carriage house as well as food, live music and activities.

 

barnSILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is hosting a grand opening to mark the rehabilitation of the historic Woodlawn Stone Barn at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park in Sandy Spring. The free event takes place Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 12 – 4 p.m., and will feature tours as well as activities, food and live music.

 

The rehabilitated barn and adjacent carriage house will now be open to the public as a visitor center. Both buildings feature exhibits showcasing aspects of Montgomery County’s history including the Underground Railroad, the Quaker experience, free Black communities in Montgomery County and the barn as a feature of the county’s agricultural landscape. The work has been done with minimal impact to the barn’s existing features to maintain the historic integrity of the building.

 

The project was funded with $2 million from the Maryland State Highway Administration (an Intercounty Connector Stewardship Project); $300,000 from State Bond Bills; $50,000 from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland, and significant support from the Montgomery County Council through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

 

The work involved a careful restoration of the 1832 barn’s unique stone and timber construction and the installation of a dynamic audiovisual program. Voices and filmed imagery of Quakers, enslaved and free persons who lived and toiled on or near the property are projected onto interior stone walls creating a unique visitor experience. The carriage house will serve as the ticket office with introductory exhibits, retail and restrooms. The Underground Railroad Experience Trail that starts on the property will become unified with the entire Woodlawn Visitor Center experience.?

 

“The Woodlawn Stone Barn is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is a wonderful centerpiece in the bucolic setting of the historic Woodlawn Manor property and an incredible piece of local history.” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “We look forward to having a place to tell important stories of this agricultural section of the county.  Thanks to the work of staff, designers, contractors, and members of the community who have helped bring this project to fruition, and thanks to all parties who have provided funding support. The project already won a 2015 Historic Preservation award from Montgomery Preservation Inc. for restoration of the barn and renovation of the site for educational use. We are thrilled to open this beautiful property to the public.”

 

Montgomery Parks intends to work closely with Montgomery County public schools and other nearby school jurisdictions to make the Woodlawn Stone Barn Visitor Center a great place for school field trips.

 

“We have an important opportunity to share the rich history of this area,” said Shirl Spicer, Museum Manager for Montgomery Parks. “It’s exciting to incorporate many different elements in this project–from the rehabilitation of the existing structure to multimedia exhibits—to bring these stories to life, and teach people what it was like nearly 200 years ago right here in Montgomery County.”

 

 

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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Jun 2 16

Montgomery Parks Will Remove Up to 300 Non-migratory Canada Geese in June 2016 to Reduce Safety Issues and Damage to Parks

by Melissa Chotiner

Geese will be humanely euthanized, processed and donated to the Maryland Food Bank.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is launching a geese removal project at two park sites, Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park and Rock Creek Regional Park. The project will take place this June and up to 300 geese will be removed and humanely euthanized.  The animals will then be processed for human consumption and the meat donated to the Maryland Food Bank.

 

“These geese are year-round residents and create multiple issues for park users and staff. The excessive feces they leave, up to one pound daily, is not only unsightly but causes unsanitary conditions around bodies of water, docks, pathways, athletic fields and lawn areas,” said Dave Petersen, Natural Resources Specialist for Montgomery Parks.

 

Other negative impacts from the geese include turf damage, shoreline erosion, aggressive and potentially dangerous behavior during nesting season, and public safety hazards on roads.

 

The Department of Parks has already implemented a number of measures to reduce negative impacts from geese, including a ban on feeding them, habitat manipulation, exclusion fencing, egg-oiling / addling and repelling devices. While these methods have proven beneficial at some park locations, they have not been sufficient to alleviate the impacts at Martin Luther King, Jr., Recreational Park and Rock Creek Regional Park.
The geese removal is being conducted by a federally permitted wildlife contractor in cooperation with Montgomery Parks’ Natural Resources Stewardship staff.  Similar removal efforts have been conducted on both public and private land throughout the region.

For more information please visit www.parksnaturalresources.org

 

 

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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May 13 16

Montgomery Parks Announces There Will be No Parking Available at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park on May 15 Due to Large Event

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is informing the public that there will be no parking at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park on Sunday, May 15, due to a large hike taking place on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at the park.  Other visitors are welcome to visit Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park on May 15th but will need to enter the park on foot. No parking will be allowed on Ednor or Norwood Roads. The free Underground Railroad Experience Hike taking place on May 15th is sold out. Those registered will need to provide a ticket (on their smart phone or printed out) to attend. Parking for registered attendees will be available at James Hubert Blake High School (300 Norwood Road, Silver Spring, Maryland) where a shuttle will be provided for participants to access the park.

 

Self-guided hikes are offered year-round from dawn to dusk on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail, located at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park. The hikes commemorate the involvement of Montgomery County residents in the Underground Railroad and celebrate the Quaker heritage and traditions of Sandy Spring, MD. Montgomery Parks encourages people to visit Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park on another day for a hike on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail. For more information, visit www.HistoryInTheParks.org.

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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.

 

May 9 16

Montgomery Parks Happenings and Operating Schedule for 2016 Memorial Day Weekend

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD – Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, is a great time to explore and enjoy the many activities offered by Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. There’s something for everyone!

needwood lake0005

Check out Montgomery Park’s full calendar for all park activities and make a whole holiday weekend out of it! All Montgomery Park facilities, parks and programs will follow standard operating hours with the following exceptions:

  • Cabin John Ice Rink, Wheaton Ice Arena and Wheaton Sports Pavilion will be closed May 28th, May 29th and May 30th.
  • Pauline Betz Addie and Wheaton Indoor Tennis Centers will be closed on Monday, May 30th.
  • Montgomery Parks permits office will be closed on Monday, May 30th.

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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 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.

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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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Apr 11 16

Montgomery Parks Celebrates National Scrabble Day on April 13, 2015

by Melissa Chotiner

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Chair Casey Anderson Challenges Area Officials to a Game of Scrabble in the Parks.

Silver Spring, MD – Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is celebrating National Scrabble Day, Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by inviting people to play Scrabble in the parks. Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Chair Casey Anderson, an avid Scrabble player, will play against several area officials including Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer (At-Large), Senator Jamie Raskin (D-District 20) and Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-District 17).

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Scrabble was invented in 1933 by Alfred Mosher Butts—who was born on April 15. According to the Hasbro Scrabble website, there are over 100,000 words in the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. Over 6,500 new words were added to the dictionary last year, including “twerking,” “emoji,” and “hashtag.”

 

Montgomery Parks is hosting Scrabble games at three sites on Wednesday, April 15, including Woodside Urban Park and Fairview Urban Park both in Silver Spring and Elm Street Local Park in Bethesda. The event is part of Montgomery Parks earth month #ParkKind campaign encouraging park users to be kind to the earth, kind to themselves and kind to others by performing random acts of kindness in parks.

“I’m excited about playing Scrabble, but I’m even more interested in making sure everyone knows that we have so many ways to have fun in our parks every day of the year,” said Anderson. “I hope that when people see what we’re doing it will open their eyes to some of the possibilities we are making available by bringing more activities and features to our urban parks.”

 

WHO:           Montgomery County elected officials, leaders and members of the community are invited to play Scrabble in the parks in celebration of National Scrabble Day.

 

WHAT:          Join Casey Anderson, chair of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for a game of Scrabble on a life size Scrabble board with life size tiles at Woodside Urban Park (from 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) and Elm Street Local Park (from 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.). Scrabble games will also be held at Fairview Urban Park. As part of the celebration Montgomery Parks will give away Scrabble games at random to participants.

 

WHERE:       *Woodside Urban Park, 8800 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910
**Elm Street Urban Park, 4600 Elm Street, Bethesda, MD 20815
Fairview Urban Park, 8900 Fairview Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

WHEN:          Wednesday, April 13, 2016
*10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
**12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

 

WHY:             Celebrate National Scrabble Day while enjoying the outdoors in Montgomery Parks.

 

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