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Parks

May 27 15

Montgomery Parks Celebrates First Park in the County Certified for Sustainability; Park to be Dedicated to Former Parks Director Mary Bradford

by Melissa Chotiner

Park opening celebration will take place Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. 
2001 Evans Parkway, Silver Spring, MD 20902

 SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a celebration on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park.

WHAT:          Community celebration and ribbon cutting including family-friendly activities and tours of the park

WHEN:          Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

*Rain date: Sunday, June 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. To check status of event in inclement weather please call: 301-765-8787 and listen for Sligo area

WHERE:        Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park, 2001 Evans Parkway, Silver Spring, MD 20902

 WHY:             Celebrate Montgomery Parks’ newest park and first one to be certified for sustainability practices.

Stream-After-5 22- New Bridge & FloodplainPlatground-After

Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park is Montgomery Parks’ newest park and the first pilot project in the county certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) Rating System and was awarded a three-star rating for sustainable site design, construction and maintenance. Sustainable landscapes significantly enhance the environment by:

  • Reducing water demand,
  • Filtering and reducing stormwater runoff,
  • Providing wildlife habitat,
  • Reducing energy consumption,
  • Improving air quality and human health and
  • Increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.

The park will be dedicated to Mary Bradford, former Director of Montgomery Parks. It was during Director Bradford’s tenure that the park was conceived and developed.

 

“Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park represents a significant achievement for Montgomery Parks, showcasing our mission of environmental stewardship while also fostering a special place for people to relax and recreate,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “It is with great pride that we dedicate this new park to former director Mary Bradford.”

The park has many unique features in addition to the environmental components, including interactive public artwork, connections to regional bikeway and public transit systems, an iconic pedestrian bridge and a paved wheel area that serves as an echo center for kids to play and explore their voices.

About Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park
Evans Parkway Neighborhood Park is 7.3 acres located in Silver Spring, Maryland. It features an informal playfield, open lawn areas, a playground, paved wheel area that serves as an echo center, two tennis courts, two half basketball courts, a picnic area and shade structure, loop walking trails, an iconic pedestrian bridge, contemplative seating areas, interactive public artwork, interpretive displays, connections to regional bikeway and public transit systems, natural meadow areas and shady woodland areas.

 

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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May 20 15

Montgomery Parks 2015 Memorial Day Operating Schedule

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a variety of activities the public can enjoy during the Memorial Day weekend including:

  • Private Gardens Tour through Brookside Gardens
  • Free Guided Hikes at the Underground Railroad at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and Oakley Cabin African American Museum
  • Spring Photo Walk at Meadowside Nature Center
  • Outdoor Classroom Explore-a-Thon @ Black Hill Visitors Center

Please visit www.montgomeryparks.org/calendar/ for more details.

In addition, several seasonal facilities will open for full-time use starting Memorial Day weekend including:

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

Closed Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25:

  • Cabin John Ice Rink
  • Wheaton Ice Rink
  • Brookside Nature Center

Closed Monday, May 25:

  • Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center at Cabin John Regional Park
  • Wheaton Indoor Tennis Center
  • Locust Grove Nature Center
  • Meadowside Nature Center
  • All recreational and regional athletic fields located in Montgomery Parks
  • Park permits office

 

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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.

 

May 18 15

Montgomery Parks Issues Request for Proposals to Find a Tenant for the Historic Darby Store

by Melissa Chotiner

Pre-bid meeting (for people who were unable to attend first meeting) will take place Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9 a.m., RSVP required by June 3.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a tenant for the Darby Store, located in the Beallsville Historic District at 19801 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, MD 20839. Montgomery Parks is seeking a tenant to reinvigorate the building while keeping in mind its historic character.

Darby Store current photoA mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at Owens Local Park Activity Building, 19900 Beallsville Road, Beallsville, MD, 20932.  This is the second meeting intended for interested parties who were not able to attend the first meeting. Attendees must RSVP by June 3 to Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org or Julie.Mueller@MontgomeryParks.org

M-NCPPC is looking for a tenant who will have creative ideas for this special building that may include but are not limited to:

  • Handicraft, music, book, gift, art, variety store
  • Antiques, furniture or furnishings shop
  • Garden supply, hardware center
  • Charitable / philanthropic institution, museum
  • Office space

Parks staff will discuss the RFP process, outline conditions for use of the historic site and answer questions. The Darby Store will be open directly following the meeting for interested parties to inspect. All potential tenants must attend the pre-bid meeting.

Interested parties may download the Darby Store Leasing RFP (#P35-127) or by contacting Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org. The application deadline is July 7, 2015.

About the Darby Store
Located at the intersection of Routes 28 and 109 in the Beallsville, MD Historic District, this beautiful rehabilitated country store offers a generous 3,500+ square feet of combined retail, office and storage space. It also includes a new parking lot, HVAC, plumbing and electric systems, and an ADA accessible front entrance. The property is zoned Neighborhood Retail (NR).

Centrally located in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve, the Darby Store is less than a mile from Woodstock Equestrian Special Park, and easily accessible from Bethesda, Poolesville, Frederick and Sugarloaf Mountain. This area boasts many local businesses such as wineries, pick-your-own farms, artist studios, and hiking trails. The store sits at the intersection of two Rural Rustic Roads that are a favorite recreational route for tourist exploration and cyclists.

M-NCPPC has been working hard to bring new life to this quaint store. Its rehabilitation will be completed by the end of June 2015.

For questions about the RFP or to obtain a copy, please contact Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org. For general information about the Darby Store and the proposal please contact Julie Mueller at Julie.Mueller@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-4390.

 

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

 

 

Accessibility

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Contact us a minimum of five business days in advance of the program start date or public meeting date to request a disability accommodation. CONTACT INFO HERE.

 

 

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May 15 15

Montgomery Parks to Host Community Meeting on Activating Three Kensington Historic Buildings

by Melissa Chotiner

Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington.

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a community meeting to discuss ideas to activate and enhance three Kensington Historic Buildings; Warner Circle, Kensington Cabin and Noyes Library. Information about the meeting is below; as well as available online at www.ParksCulturalResources.org and on Facebook and Twitter via #HistoricKensingto

Kensington Historic Buildings Community Meeting

DATE:             Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TIME:              7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

LOCATION:     St. Paul’s United Methodist Church,  10401 Armory Avenue,  Kensington, MD 20895

 

The public may submit ideas online at www.ParksCulturalResources.org. For additional information or questions related to the meeting please contact Julie Mueller by email at Julie.Mueller@montgomeryparks.org or by phone at 301-650-4390.

 

At the upcoming meeting, parks staff will share results from the public input analysis that was collected at an introductory workshop in January and discuss progress to date. Some of the ideas that are being considered for the activation of these sites include a summer concert series and a reading garden.

 

About the Kensington Historic Buildings:
The three unique historic buildings include Warner Circle, Kensington Cabin and Noyes Library.

 

House 2357Warner Circle is a 4.5 acre park with green space and mature trees. Located in the heart of the Kensington historic district, the park features the late 19th century home and carriage house of Kensington’s founder, Brainard Warner. The home was later converted to a nursing home in the 50s, which has since closed. Parks staff is in the process of rehabilitating both buildings and exploring potential future uses.

 

Kensington Cabin was built in the 1930s as a New Deal, Civil Works Administration project. The cabin is included in the Maryland Historical Trust inventory. It served as a community hub and recreation center until it closed in 1991. Montgomery Parks is now working with meKensington Cabinmbers of the Kensington community to re-activate the building with programming.

 

 

 

 

 

Noyes Library for Young Children was established in 1893 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Library System. It is the oldest public library building in the Washington D.C. area and one of the few that is dedicated to children. The one-room library offers books and programs specifically for early childhood.

 

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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Apr 13 15

Montgomery Parks Issues Request for Proposals to Find a Tenant for the Historic Darby Store

by Melissa Chotiner

Mandatory pre-bid meeting will take place Tuesday, April 21 at 10 a.m.

 

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has just issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a tenant for the Darby Store, located in the Beallsville Historic District at 19801 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, MD 20839. Montgomery Parks is seeking a tenant to reinvigorate the building while keeping in mind its historic character.

 

A mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting will take place on April 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at Owens Local Park Activity Building, 19900 Beallsville Road, Beallsville, MD, 20932.  Parks staff will discuss the RFP process, outline conditions for use of the historic site and answer questions. The Darby Store will be open directly following the meeting for interested parties to inspect. All potential tenants must attend the pre-bid meeting.

 

Interested parties may download the Darby Store Leasing RFP (#P35-127). The application deadline is June 8, 2015.

darby.store.front

About the Darby Store
The Darby Store is significant as one of the few existing examples of a rural, vernacular general store in Montgomery County. The Darby Store was important to the community as it supplied area farmers and residents for over 50 years selling a variety of goods, feed, and groceries.

 

For questions about the RFP or to obtain a copy, please contact Jana.Harris@MNCPPC.org. For general information about the Darby Store and the proposal please contact Julie Mueller at Julie.Mueller@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-4390.

 

 

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

 

 

Accessibility

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Contact us a minimum of five business days in advance of the program start date or public meeting date to request a disability accommodation. CONTACT INFO HERE.

 

 

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Apr 13 15

Montgomery Parks Hosts Free Family Festival to Celebrate Better-Than-Ever Black Hill Visitor Center

by Melissa Chotiner

Ribbon cutting and celebration to take place April 18, 2015, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. featuring tons of fun, educational activities, games and more.

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) invites the public to a free family-friendly festival at the Black Hill Visitor Center on April 18 from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. The Black Hill Visitor Center is located in Black Hill Regional Park, 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841. The event celebrates a variety additions and updates made to the center including:

FullSizeRender

  • A new Kids Corner featuring natural and recycled toys, puppets, children’s books, bio-facts (real animal skins, bones, etc.), art materials, board games, puzzles and more! The corner activities will change with the seasons.

 

  • Revamped displays including the center’s new milk snake, Woodstock

 

  • The first Earth Bench in Maryland made from old plastic bottles, plastic bags, harvested invasive plants and other natural materials found in our park, then made beautiful with a glass mosaic mural.

 

In addition to the new amenities at the visitor center, a new water trail – the first in Montgomery County will open to the public at the event. A naturalist will lead participants in kayaks and/or canoes on tours of the trail which explores the Cabin Branch section of Little Seneca Lake.

 

The event begins at noon. There will be ongoing games and activities taking place in the Outdoor classroom as well as the following scheduled activities:

 

1:00 p.m.                      Ribbon cutting

 

 

1:00-2:00 p.m.            Wild Encounters with Elmore Brown*: See and touch live frogs, toads, lizards and snakes from all over the world!

 

 

1:30-2:30 p.m.            Natural Yogis: Frog and the Great Metamorphosis*: Free nature-themed yoga class with Child Light instructor Lanie Lile for 2-5 year olds and their parent/s.

 

2-3pm                         Naturalist-led Water Trail Tour: Free canoe and kayak rentals while supplies last. Please sign up inside the Visitor Center, and meet at the kayak shack.First-come, first-served.  

 

*Advance registration required for these activities.  For more information, please visit our website.

 

For more information about the Black Hill Nature Programs please visit www.BlackHillNature.org or call 301-528-3492.


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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Apr 7 15

Montgomery Parks History in the Parks Season Opens April 10 – 12, 2015 with a Host of Free, Educational Activities and Tours

by Melissa Chotiner

Season opening kicks off Friday, April 10, with Special Guided Night Hike of the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor.

 

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) starts the History in the Parks season with opening weekend celebrations April 10 – 12, 2015. Special events and tours are scheduled all weekend long at several of the parks signature historic sites.

Montgomery magazine photo 2

Join trained “conductors” on Friday night, April 10 at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park for a special night hike on the Underground Experience Trail.

 

“We are always excited about Opening Weekend. It’s a great way to get an introduction to a life-long lesson in culture, community and connections,” said Shirl Spicer, Museum Manager for Montgomery Parks. “We hope that these events serve as a starting point to engage people in the important history that is accessible right here in Montgomery County.”

kingsley photo 2

Join Montgomery Parks on Sunday, April 12 from 1 – 4 at the season opening of Kingsley Schoolhouse, a late 19th century one-room school house in Little Bennett Regional Park.

 

The weekend events are part of Montgomery Parks’ History in the Parks programming and include:

  • Friday, April 10: Special Night Hike of the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor (7 PM | $5 pp)
  • Saturday, April 11: Tours and African Dance Workshop, “Celebration of African Rhythms through Dance & Song” (Starting at 12 PM | Free)
  • Sunday, April 12: Free events located at Josiah Henson Park, Harper Cabin, and Kingsley Schoolhouse

 

Historical education in Montgomery County continues to be an important vehicle for understanding the past to build the foundation for a future. With the facilities officially opening, county residents and visitors can explore their heritage throughout the seasons. Operating months are April through November. Please visit HistoryInTheParks.org to get event details and site information. Group/school tours or volunteer opportunities are also available.

 

 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

 

Apr 6 15

Montgomery Parks Brings Spring to Life with a Full Lineup of Special Events and Programs

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MD–Who’s ready for spring? Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has dozens of special events and programs planned in the parks and park facilities this spring for people of all ages and spanning various interests. A sampling is listed below; all spring offerings can be found in the Montgomery County Spring Guide to Recreation and Parks Programs at www.MontgomeryParks.org/guide and in print at select Parks and Recreation facilities, government buildings and libraries, while supplies last.  You can also find more information on spring festivals at www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals.

 

2015 SPRING EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

APRIL:

April 11 and 12*, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., *3:00 p.m. on Sunday
19th Annual Gas & Steam Engine Show
Agricultural History Farm Park
18400 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD 20855
Free admission and parking
www.FriendsoftheFarmPark.org

This two-day free family-friendly festival features gas engines, tractors, antique cars and trucks and stream tractors. Live country music, hay wagon rides a kiddie tractor pull and food and beverages for sale are all part of this crowd pleasing event!

 

April 18, 2015, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Black Hill Visitor Center Celebration and Ribbon Cutting
20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841
Some events require registration. Visit www.ParkPASS.org for details.
Free
www.BlackHillNature.org

Celebrate the recently renovated Black Hill Visitor Center – a certified Green Center – and home to the first Earth Bench on the east coast. The only water trail in the county has been revitalized on Little Seneca Lake. Event will feature free activities and take visitors on a tour of the new amenities.

 

April 23, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Amazing Amphibians
Locust Grove Nature Center at Cabin John Regional Park
7777 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817
$5
www.LocustGroveNature.org

Come learn all about our vanishing amphibians and why they need our help. Live tadpoles! Walk in a wetland and make your own toad abode. Ages 5 and up.

 

April 25, 2015, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Bug Bonanza
Brookside Nature Center
1400 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Free
www.BrooksideNature.org

Celebrate the spring emergence of bugs and see the new insect “hotel” for nesting insects. Attendees will help prepare the hotel with nesting materials, visit a honeybee hive, watch mason bees build their nests, and use our bug nets to catch a critter and see it up close.  Free. Program will be cancelled in the event of rain.

 

MAY:

Keeping an Eye on the Line LevelMay 2, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
History in the Parks: Family Archaeology Day
Needwood Mansion
6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD 20855
$8 per person / $15 per family
www.HistoryInTheParks.org

See and experience what parks archaeologists. 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.

 

034May 3, 2015, 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

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 15, 2015, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Bats are Back Mini-Fest
Locust Grove Nature Center at Cabin John Regional Park
7777 Democracy Blvd. Bethesda, MD 20817
$5
www.LocustGroveNature.org

Welcome our vanishing bats back from winter hibernation and migration at this fun mini-festival featuring crafts, activities and a video; and explore cool technology used to eavesdrop on bats.  The evening will conclude with a hike to the meadow to watch bats fly and feast.

 

male bluebird feeding young - photo Bob StapfMay 17, 2015, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Bluebirds Forever Festival
Black Hill Visitor Center
20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841
Free
www.BlackHillNature.org

Celebrate the Eastern Bluebird with park naturalists, friends and volunteers of Black Hill Nature Programs and members of the Maryland Bluebird Society. The free event includes exhibits, demonstrations and children’s activities.

 

Free Garden Tours:

Enjoy free tours of Brookside Gardens in Wheaton and McCrillis Gardens in Bethesda. Tours are led by highly trained, knowledgeable guides and focus on the plants that make each garden unique. Registration is required. Visit Parkpass.org for details on registration.

Brookside Gardens Free Tours
1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Meet at the conservatory.
www.BrooksideGardens.org

Tours are offered on Saturdays, 4/23, 5/8, 5/23 and 6/6 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

McCrillis Gardens Free Tours
6910 Greentree Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
Meet at McCrillis House
www.McCrillisGardens.org

Tours are offered Sundays, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24 and 5/31 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

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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Apr 1 15

Montgomery Parks and Montgomery County Planning Department Present Newest Achievements and Future Projects to County Council

by Bridget Schwiesow

PowerPoint Cover Semi Annual Spring 2015

Streamlined development review process, housing and transportation tools, urban parks, athletic fields and more are highlighted in Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Report

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery Parks and Montgomery County Planning, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, presented the Departments’ Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Report to the Montgomery County Council on March 31, 2015. The 47-page report, available online for review, summarizes key projects and plans from the past six months and work that will be completed over the next six months.

Review the Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Report.

This progress report is the second to be submitted by Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson, who assumed his current position in July 2014. Anderson outlines several initiatives aimed at meeting County demand for housing and jobs in close proximity to retail and public transit, as well as the creation of recreational spaces and protection of natural resources.

The Planning Department’s initiatives for the next six months include:
-Streamlining the development review process to meet the 120-day, acceptance-to-approval time frame required by the new County Zoning Ordinance.
-Studying rental housing and transportation tools to improve the assessment of County infrastructure.
-Advancing the Design Excellence Initiative to improve the quality of new developments, buildings and public spaces in the County.
-Expanding community outreach and staff training efforts to increase community participation in the planning process.

The Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Report highlights recent efforts by Montgomery Parks to improve parks in dense areas of the County, including:
-Launching a program to activate urban parks in Silver Spring, White Flint and Germantown.
-Designing the County’s first urban dog park at Ellsworth Urban Park in Silver Spring.
-Developing new plans for improving and maintaining the County’s 290 athletic fields.

The report focuses on ongoing master planning efforts, including:
-The Bethesda Downtown Plan, which is building on the success of the area’s vibrant, walkable district. Scenarios for several areas were advanced through feedback from a wide range of stakeholders in Bethesda that was obtained through new outreach techniques. 

-The Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan, which is considering ways of preserving the village character of the area while upgrading transportation networks and residential neighborhoods. Innovative engagement efforts, including events aimed at business owners and families, helped guide the planning efforts.

-The Montgomery Village Master Plan is the first discrete master plan for the planned community of Montgomery Village. The plan’s initial strategies were approved by the Planning Board in December 2014. Planners have worked on innovative community outreach efforts through the MV Matters series that focused on how best to rezone the entire Village since the Town Sector zone is no longer available.

-The Westbard Sector Plan, which was advanced through weeklong public workshops in 2014. Planners are currently analyzing the potential impact of increased density in the Westbard area as the result of proposed commercial buildings and housing units, and will discuss the findings at a public meeting this spring.

In addition, the Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Report reveals major park projects now underway, including:
-Development of a comprehensive plan to provide a trail experience within three miles of every County resident by the year 2030.
-Construction of three new parks: Laytonia Recreational Park in Derwood, Greenbriar Local Park in Potomac and Germantown Town Center Urban Park.
-New history-based programming at historic and archeological sites, including the Agricultural History Farm Park.
-Expansion of the Community Gardens program, including new plots in Germantown.

Mar 31 15

Montgomery Parks Celebrates Arbor Day at Mill Creeke Town Elementary School

by Melissa Chotiner

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a special Arbor Day celebration for students at Mill Creek Towne Elementary in Gaithersburg. The event takes place April 2, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. for students in grades 3 – 5 and will feature a variety of hands-on activities culminating in a ceremonial tree planting on the school property by students and members of Montgomery Parks staff.

 

Other activities scheduled for the day provided by Montgomery Parks Arboriculture Section include:

 

  • Compost Cooks (Live Composting Demonstration):  Students will work together to mix raw compost ingredients via a recipe card and observe how the compost goes through the phases of being mixed and “cooked” to form a finished product.
  • Seedling Preparation and Giveaway:  Each student will prepare a bare root white oak seedling to take home and plant.  Students will wrap the seedlings in paper, soak them in water and place in a bag, and will receive instructions on how to plant and care for the seedling.
  • Canopy Exploration (Arborist Demonstration):  Montgomery Parks Arborist will discuss tree work and tools used in assessing and maintaining tree health and safety.   A Tree Climber will demonstrate climbing and pruning techniques.
  • Plant Health Care: Montgomery Parks Green Management Coordinator will facilitate an interactive discussion on insects and diseases that affect trees in Montgomery County.
  • How Trees Grow:  A Parks Urban Forester will discuss information on how tree rings are formed and how environmental factors can affect the size of the rings. Students will each get a “tree cookie” to decorate with their name at this station.

 

  • State Champion American Sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalisChampion Tree Station:  Montgomery County Forestry Board will be represented to discuss their Champion Tree Program.  Students will learn how trees are selected as champions based on tree type, size and other factors. Students will look at the size of the biggest tree in Maryland, a sycamore on Parkland and will recreate the tree circumference to gauge just how big the tree is.

 

 

 

  • Benefits of Trees:  Montgomery Parks Naturalist will provide a hands-on demonstration for students on the benefits of trees and how storm water affects them.
  • Tree identification walk:  Park Urban Forester will take students on a tour of the school’s trees to learn about identifying characteristics such as leaf or needle type, as well as, benefits to wildlife and uses of the tree as a product.

 

Montgomery Parks has an extensive tree care program and one of the highlights is getting out into the community to share our knowledge with students and help them fall in love with trees as we have. If you are interested in hosting a Montgomery Park’s Arbor Day event at your elementary school, please visit our webpage at http://www.montgomeryparks.org/trees

 

For the 15th year, Montgomery County has been recognized with the designation of Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to tree planting and tree care. Montgomery County met the four standards necessary to become a Tree City USA by having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

 

Montgomery Parks Arboriculture section provides a comprehensive tree care program that supports the protection, management and long-term health of trees and forests on parkland and provides a safer environment for park patrons, through the removal of high risk trees and limbs. The program also provides consultation for park renovation and development projects and preserves the most significant and highest valued parkland trees. In addition the Arboriculture section utilizes all green waste produced in the management of parkland to generate compost, soil conditioners and wood products. The Arboriculture section is part of the Montgomery Parks Horticulture, Forestry and Environmental Education Division supporting the acquisition, conservation, development, maintenance and management of parks.