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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 Brookside Gardens’ and 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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Jan 28 16

Montgomery Parks Celebrates Black History Month with Educational Events During the Last Weekend of February 2016

by Melissa Chotiner

Guided tours of local historical sites and a spoken word poetry event are among the inspirational events taking place at Josiah Henson Park. 

 

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will celebrate Black History Month during the last weekend in February with free, educational events that highlight the stories, struggles and successes of African Americans.  Events take place February 27 and 28, 2016 at Josiah Henson Park and include free guided tours of the park, the screening of a PBS documentary about the park and the annual spoken word poetry event, “Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom.”

 

“Black History Month is an important vehicle for understanding the past so that people can appreciate the extraordinary contributions of the county’s African Americans,” said Shirl Spicer, Museum Manager for Montgomery Parks. “We encourage people of all ages to join us at these events which bring the past to life and serve as an introduction to life-long learning in culture and community.”

 

Josiah Henson Park is a historic resource of international significance based on its association with Reverend Henson, whose 1849 autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

 

Following is the schedule of events taking place over the weekend:

Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28, 2016, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • “A Walk in Father Henson’s Footsteps,” free guided tours retracing Reverend Josiah Henson’s life from enslavement to escape on the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. Participants will learn about his extraordinary life—the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • Hourly screenings, from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. of the PBS Time Team America documentary, The Search for Josiah Henson,” which reveals new discoveries about the plantation resulting from a three-day intensive archaeological dig.

 

Saturday, February 27, 2016, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.:

  • “Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom,” an annual spoken word poetry event will feature original poetry, songs and other artistic expressions from people of all ages. It will be followed by light refreshments

 

Josiah Henson Park is located a short walk from the White Flint Metro (red) line, and parking for these events is available at the Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852 (about 1.5 blocks away). In the event of severe weather, please call 301-650-4373 in advance to confirm the park will be open.

 

Group & School Tours

Montgomery Parks also offers Group & School Tours for the public at Josiah Henson Park, as well as the Underground Railroad Experience Trail and Oakley Cabin. Tours are conducted by specially trained docents who bring history alive. Tour date requests may be submitted online or through email at HistoryTours@MontgomeryParks.org or by phone at 301-650-4373.

 

Volunteer Opportunities:

For more information on these upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, visit www.HistoryInTheParks.org or contact M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks Program Manager, Lisa MacLeman at 301-650-4373 or via email: Lisa.MacLeman@MontgomeryParks.org.

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission 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

 

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Jan 20 16

Montgomery Parks Names Best Hills for Sledding in Parks!

by Melissa Chotiner

 

Department also launches super snowman-making contest via social media.

SILVER SPRING, MD –As the D.C. metro region hunkers down for what is expected to be the first major snow event of the season, Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is releasing its list of the best sledding hills for kids and adults to enjoy. You’re never too old for sledding!

Approved locations for sledding in Montgomery Parks include:

  • Agricultural History Farm (hill is by Bluebird Garden at the lower parking lot near the Activity Center)
  • Avenel Local Park
  • Ayrlawn Local Park
  • Damascus Recreational Park (hillside near tennis court parking lot on Kings Valley Road)
  • Hillmead Neighborhood Park
  • Long Branch-Wayne Local Park (off of University Blvd.)
  • Norwood Local Park
  • Pilgrim Hills Local Park
  • Pinecrest Local Park
  • Sligo Creek Golf Course
  • South Germantown Recreational Park (hill behind Field F and hillside between Mooseum and TennisPlex)
  • Stratton Local Park
  • Tilden Woods Local Park
  • Woodacres Local Park

“We want to make sure that our parks are available for recreation no matter what the weather is like,” said Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, the governing body for county parks. “If we’re going to get hit with a big snowstorm, at least the kids should be able to take advantage of the opportunity for some great sledding. I also encourage everyone to get out and make some snow men (and snow women), snow angels, and even snowballs – as long as they are thrown responsibly, of course.”

 

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Montgomery Parks is also launching a snowman-making contest via social media. To enter participants simply build a snowman, take a photo and share it on Facebook or Twitter with the #MoCoSnowman hashtag. Deadline for entries is Monday, Jan. 25 at noon. Prizes include four-pack of “Come Play in the Parks” passes (which provide discounted and/or free entry to many of Montgomery Parks’ facilities). The grand prize winner will receive two passes to the Go Ape ropes course located in Rock Creek Regional Park (Go Ape opens in March). A panel of parks staff will judge the entries and announce the winners on Tuesday morning, Jan. 26.

Montgomery Parks Winter Weather Operating Procedures and Delay /Closure Announcements

Montgomery Parks snow command team is preparing for this week’s anticipated storm; staff are readying snow plows to clear parkways, sidewalks and parking lots. Information on conditions will be posted at www.MontgomeryParks.org/weather. Staff also clear a portion of the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) managed by Montgomery Parks from the corner of Bethesda Ave. to the six-mile marker on the trail. Updates on CCT trail conditions will be posted on the Montgomery Parks weather page as well as Facebook and Twitter via #CCTsnow.

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

Accessibility
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission encourages the involvement and participation of all individuals in the community, including those with disabilities, in the planning and review processes.  In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M?NCPPC) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities.  M?NCPPC works to make its facilities and materials accessible and to hold public meetings in locations that are, likewise, accessible. M?NCPPC will generally provide, upon request, appropriate aids and services and make reasonable modifications to policies and programs for qualified persons with disabilities (e.g., large print materials, listening devices, sign language interpretation, etc.).  For assistance with such requests, please contact the M-NCPPC Montgomery County Commissioners’ Office, at least a week in advance, at (301) 495-4600 or at mcp-chair@mncppc-mc.org .  Maryland residents can also use the free Maryland Relay Service for assistance with calls to or from hearing or speech-impaired persons; for information, go to www.mdrelay.org/ or call (866) 269-9006.

 

 

 

Jan 19 16

Community Meeting for Rock Spring Master Plan on January 28 Will Address Parks and Open Spaces, and Transportation Policies

by Bridget Schwiesow

Rock Spring Logo rev 2

Staff from Montgomery Planning and Montgomery Parks Departments will address potential open spaces, transportation metrics and connectivity as part of the planning effort in the Rock Spring area of North Bethesda

SILVER SPRING, MDThe Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will discuss the Rock Spring Master Plan. at a community meeting Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD).

Montgomery Parks’ staff will present information at the start of the meeting about parks and open spaces possible amenities, opportunity areas and roles of County agencies and developers related to these topics.

The second half of the meeting will be dedicated to a discussion about transportation and connectivity. Staff from the Planning Department will present information on transportation policies, land use and transportation modeling, and review connectivity issues identified at previous community meetings.

Learn more about the Rock Spring Master Plan.

Background on Rock Spring
Once considered a premier office location, Rock Spring has been particularly hard hit by the current downturn in the office market.  Single-use business parks without access to transit, like Rock Spring, are struggling with the highest office vacancies. The current office vacancy rate in Rock Spring is 23.7 percent, higher than the County’s overall vacancy rate of 15 percent. Within the context of changing preferences of employers and their workforces for transit-served locations with a dynamic mix of uses, this planning effort will explore ways to reimagine Rock Spring.

The 1992 North Bethesda/Garrett Park Sector Plan recommended some mixed-use zoning in the Rock Spring area, and one residential development of 386 multi-family units has been completed and a new 168-unit townhouse project is under construction. Much of the property in Rock Spring was converted to the Employment Office (EOF) zone when the new County Zoning Ordinance became effective on October 30, 2014. The Rock Spring Master Plan effort will involve a more detailed and nuanced assessment of the area’s zoning.

In addition, the 1992 Sector Plan recommended the North Bethesda Transitway to connect the White Flint area with Montgomery Mall via Old Georgetown Road and Rock Spring Drive. The Transitway is included in the approved 2013 Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan (CTCFMP) and provides a framework for re-evaluating Rock Spring.

Challenges confronting the Rock Spring planners include:

-Reinventing an auto-centric suburban office park.

-Identifying opportunities for improved connectivity.

-Examining places for public use spaces and amenities.

-Introducing residential and retail uses into predominately non-residential development to create a mixed use environment.

-Identifying sustainable environmental measures.

-Analyzing the impact of potential new residential development on the area’s public schools.

-Evaluating infrastructure needs for the area.

For more information about the Rock Spring Master Plan, contact the lead planner:

Andrea Gilles, tel. 301.495.4541, email Andrea.Gilles@montgomeryplanning.org

Jan 15 16

Montgomery Parks Programming and Operating Hours for Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend

by Melissa Chotiner

Most park facilities are open; families can enjoy a host of weekend activities—many are free or affordably priced, including multiple park and stream cleanups for MLK Jr. Day of Service

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a vast array of programming this MLK Jr. holiday weekend suitable for people of all ages, abilities and at locations across the county. A sampling of programming is below, followed by operating hours for park facilities. A complete list of Montgomery Parks’ programs is available online at www.ActiveMontgomery.org and in the Montgomery County Guide also available online at www.MontgomeryParks.org/guide.

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Programs and Activities

Montgomery Parks is hosting park and stream cleanups at parks across the county. All are approved for student service learning hours. For more details and to participate at a cleanup, visit www.ParksVolunteers.org

Both of Montgomery Parks’ ice arenas: Wheaton Ice Arena and Cabin John Ice are open all weekend offering numerous public skating sessions. Both of Montgomery Parks’ tennis centers: Wheaton Indoor Tennis and Paul Betz Addie Tennis Center are open all weekend with available spot time courts.

A sampling of fun programming over the weekend includes:

Saturday, January 16, 2016
Winter Birding Black Hill at Black Hill Visitor Center
8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
$10; Sign up at www.ActiveMontgomery.com
(enter 9223 into the search bar to register)

Easy Basketry at Brookside Nature Center
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
$12; Sign up at www.ActiveMontgomery.com
(enter 10151 into the search bar to register)

Sunday, January 17, 2016
Harpists at Black Hill Visitor Center
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Free; no registration required.

MLK Jr. Holiday Weekend Operating Hours:

Closed on January 18, 2016

All Nature Centers:

  • Black Hill Nature Center
  • Brookside Nature Center
  • Locust Grove Nature Center
  • Meadowside Nature Center


Brookside Gardens

  • All buildings (gardens open sunrise to sunset)

Parks Permit Office and Athletic Fields
All other park facilities are following standard operating hours.

 

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

Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 418 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. 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

 

Jan 8 16

Planning Board Member Norman Dreyfuss Honored with Awards for Business Advocacy and Community Service Leadership

by Bridget Schwiesow

New Commissioner Norman Dreyfuss swearing in Photograph taken by Francine Bethea 2010

Awards from the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce and Jewish Social Service Agency recognize the valuable contributions of Dreyfuss to Montgomery County

Silver Spring, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, and the Montgomery County Department of Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, are pleased to announce that Planning Board member Norman Dreyfuss is being honored with two prestigious awards from local organizations.

The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce recognized Dreyfuss with its Ron Resh Business Advocate Award at its annual Legislative Outlook Breakfast on January 8, 2016. The award honors an individual whose advocacy serves to ensure that the BCC community is regarded as the pre-eminent place to do business.

This annual award is named for the late Ron Resh, who served as president of the Montgomery County and Rockville Chambers of Commerce, and advocated for the Purple Line and lower business taxes as a public affairs consultant for the Greater BCC Chamber. Past winners of the Resh award include Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and County Councilmember Phil Andrews.

In addition, the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is honoring Dreyfuss with its Joseph Ottenstein Award, which recognizes excellent community service leadership. Dreyfuss will accept the award on April 17, 2016 at an evening event hosted by the agency at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

The award, named for a past president of the JSSA, recognizes outstanding community leadership in the field of “Social Service – Human Service,” a slogan coined by Ottenstein. Past winners of this award include the late sports team owner Abe Pollin, philanthropists Arlene and Robert Kogod, and diplomat and attorney Stuart Eizenstat.

About Norman Dreyfuss:
Norman Dreyfuss was appointed to the Planning Board in February 2010 and reappointed to a four-year term in 2015. Dreyfuss is executive vice president of IDI MD, the developer of Leisure World and other developments throughout the Washington, D.C. region. He has worked in all aspects of community development and co-chairs the county’s annual Affordable Housing Conference. He formerly served as commissioner on the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission. A resident of Potomac, Dreyfuss holds a law degree from American University and degrees in mechanical engineering and fine arts from Rutgers University.

Dec 21 15

Montgomery Parks Approves Additional Park Sites for Deer Management Program

by Melissa Chotiner

Deer management operations will take place at Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 1 and Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 beginning January 10, 2016.

 

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announces the expansion of its deer management operations for winter 2016. The expanded program includes the following park sites:

  • Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 1 in Darnestown, MD between Esworthy Road and Turkey Foot Road
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 in Kensington, MD between Stoneybrook Dr. and Connecticut Ave

 

Park Police-based Sharpshooting will take place from January 10 – February 28, 2016, from 6 p.m. through 6 a.m. when the parks are closed to the public; and recur annually as necessary. Information about the operations will be posted on signs throughout the park, on the Montgomery Parks’ homepage, ParksDeerManagement.org  and communicated via Park Police patrols. All deer harvested through the effort will be donated for consumption at local soup kitchens.

 

The parks, located in Darnestown/Travilah and Kensington have been selected to address damage caused by an increasing population of deer, including deer-related automobile accidents, damage to natural resources, and increased potential of communicable diseases. The decision to add these parks to the deer management operations was made after review of citizen complaints and input, and with strong support from the community.

 

The new park sites are additions to the 40 other parks in the Montgomery Parks’ system selected for deer population management through managed hunts and police-based sharpshooting during the fall 2015 – winter 2016 season. Dates and locations remaining for 2015 – 2016 deer population management operations including Lottery-based Managed Deer Hunting, Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting, Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting, Archery Managed Deer Hunting (Pilot Program) and Park Police-based Sharpshooting Operations are listed below.

 

Archery Managed Deer Hunting Pilot Program

[No Park Closure – parks remain open to normal use]

 

  • Great Seneca Stream Valley Park Unit 1 (Germantown)
  • Watts Branch Stream Valley Park Units 1 & 2 (Potomac)

 

 

Lottery-Based and Cooperative Managed Deer Hunting Programs

[Parks Closed from Sunrise – Sunset]

 

January

2 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

8 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

9 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

15 – Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

15 – Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)

15 – Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)

16 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

22 – Woodstock Equestrian Park (Beallsville)

29 – Black Hill Regional Park: 10 Mile Creek Segment (Boyds)

29 – Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds)

29 – Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds)

30 – Hoyles Mill Conservation Park (Boyds)

 

Tenant-based Managed Deer Hunting Program

[Park is closed to public access year-round]

 

  • Goshen Recreation Park (Goshen)

 

Park Police-Based Sharpshooting Program

[Parks Closed from 6:00PM – 6:00AM daily, January 10 – February 28]

 

  • Agricultural History Farm Park (Derwood – including attached segments of Rock Creek Stream Valley Units 15 & 16)
  • Black Hill Regional Park [Day Use Area] (Boyds)
  • Cabin John Regional Park (Bethesda)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park (Silver Spring)
  • Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 1 (Darnestown/Travilah)*
  • Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)
  • North Branch Stream Valley Park Units 2 & 3 (Norbeck)
  • North Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 4 (Olney)
  • Northwest Branch Recreation Park (Aspen Hill – including Layhill Local Park in Wheaton)
  • Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Norwood)
  • Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)
  • Paint Branch Stream Valley Park Units 5 & 6 (Silver Spring – including Pilgrim Hill Local Park, Valley Mill Special Park, Tamarack Neighborhood Park and Paint Branch Neighborhood Park)
  • Red Door Store Historical Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)
  • Rock Creek Regional Park (Rockville)
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 (Chevy Chase)
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 2 [expansion into area north of I-495] (Kensington)*
  • Rock Creek Stream Valley Park Unit 7 (Aspen Hill)
  • Sligo Creek Golf Course (Silver Spring)
  • Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
  • Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park (Sandy Spring)

 

The Deer Management Program began in 1996, following recommendations from the Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group (DMWG), and in response to citizen concerns about the increasingly adverse impacts of the burgeoning deer population on local neighborhoods.

 

To learn more the Department’s Deer Management Program, visit www.ParksDeerManagement.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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Dec 15 15

Montgomery Parks Hosts Dozens of Volunteer Events Around the County for the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

by Melissa Chotiner

Volunteer service events take place January 16 – 18; all events are approved for Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours

SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) will host dozens of volunteer events the weekend of January 16, 17 and 18 in recognition of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Park and stream cleanups and removal of non-native invasive plants (Weed Warrior projects) will take place in parks around the county. Many of the volunteer service projects are open to the public and volunteers of all ages, including students who will be able to earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. Volunteers in Montgomery Parks will join thousands of people across the country honoring Dr. King’s legacy of service by making MLK Day a day on and not a day off.

black hill trail workday 12_13_15MLK Day of Service volunteer events are scheduled at parks in various communities including Bethesda, Silver Spring, Aspen Hill, and White Oak.  For more details on dates, times, locations and to sign up please visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/MLK or contact the Volunteer Services Office at 301-495-2504.

 

“Last year we had over 500 volunteers participate in events taking place during the MLK Jr. Day of Service weekend,” said Michael Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “We removed over 19,000 pounds of litter and debris and made a big dent in the invasive plants at several of our parks through these efforts. The hard work done for MLK Day and all year long by our dedicated volunteers is critical to keeping our parks clean and beautiful. This annual day of service is the perfect opportunity to thank them and encourage others to get involved.”

 

“After 10 years of organizing a litter clean-up in Sligo Creek and its watershed,” said Jennifer Chambers of Hiking Along, “there is no better way to serve my community, its parks and trails on MLK day than to remove many pounds of plastic and paraphernalia with a hundred or so of my Silver Spring friends and neighbors.”

 

To organize your own MLK Jr Day of Service volunteer event in Montgomery Parks please contact Henry Coppola at henry.coppola@montgomeryparks.org or 301-495-2476. For more information on volunteering in Montgomery Parks please visit ParksVolunteers.org.

(Volunteers are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and wear clothes that can get dirty and possibly wet and bring water to drink. All volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

 

About the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks throughout the County.  The Department of Parks is part 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 ranked as a national model of excellence in park and recreation management by other park systems and by the National Recreation and Parks Association.

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Dec 14 15

Celebrate the Winter Solstice, Visit an Extraordinary Holiday Light Show and Railway Exhibit and Much More in Montgomery Parks!

by Melissa Chotiner

Winter break camps are available for kids off from school.  

SILVER SPRING, MD – Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has tons of activities going on in parks and at facilities this holiday season. Take time to visit and enjoy these festive offerings—many of which are free and perfect family outings.

HOLIDAY EVENTS AND FESTIVALS:

Train & Conservatory 08 008FREE Garden Railway Exhibit: Sights, Sounds, Action! returns to Brookside Gardens South Conservatory this year. The exhibit, developed in partnership with the Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society features G-Scale model trains and trollies including detailed miniature models of iconic landmarks in the region such as Germantown’s famous Cider Barrel, the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park and the historic Red Door Store in Sandy Spring. Open through January 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily (Closed on December 25)


FREE Annual Winter Cheer exhibit
is also open at Brookside Gardens in the North Conservatory. Bold poinsettias, fireworks flowers, silver and blue plectranthus and white snapdragons are displayed throughout the exhibit among other colorful flowers. Open through January 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. (Closed on December 25)


holiday skating showFREE 2015 Winter Skating Show
feature the stars of Wheaton Ice Arena. Bring the family and friends to cheer for your favorite skaters. Friday, January 9, 4 – 6 p.m.


Celebrate the Winter Solstice
with crafts, campfires, treats and more at four different events this season. All are $6 and suitable for adults and children (ages 3 and up with the exception of the Black Hill Night Hike which is suited for kids 8 and up). Get all the details at www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals

 Meadowside Nature Center’s Winter Solstice Campfire takes place on December 19, from 7 – 8 p.m.

Brookside Nature Center’s Winter Solstice Celebration of Light is December 20 from 1 – 5 p.m.

Locust Grove Nature Center’s Winter Solstice Celebration takes place on December 20 from 4 – 6 p.m.

Black Hill Nature Program’s Winter Solstice Night Hike takes place December 22 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

WINTER BREAK CAMPS:

Montgomery Parks has a selection of winter break camps to keep kids busy and having fun while they are home from school.

Locust Grove Nature Center Winter is a Blast! Winter break camp: December 28 – December 31; for kids 5 – 10. Campers explore and learn about winter in the great outdoors, make crafts with natural materials, follow animal tracks and enjoy a stream-side picnic.

Brookside Nature Centers Winter Break Camp: December 28 – 31; for kids ages 6 – 10. Campers discover nature in winter with crafts, and through hikes, exploring the woods for insects birds and mammals. They will also make lunch over an open fire.

Park Play Days at Cabin John Ice Rink and Wheaton Ice Arena: December 28 – 30; for kids at ages 6 – 12. Campers will take ice skating lessons, do arts & crafts and play fun team games and sports.

 

HOLIDAY OPERATING HOURS:

All facilities are closed on December 25. Below are operating hours for facilities with schedule changes during the winter holiday week.

Cabin John Ice Rink and Wheaton Ice Arena:

  • December 24: Closing at 3 p.m.
  • December 31: Closing at 3 p.m.
  • January 1, 2015: Opening late at 12 p.m.

Holiday rates are in effect for all public skating sessions. Both rinks will be offering holiday specials at the Pro Shops and Snack Bars. Visit www.CabinJohnIce.com and www.WheatonIceArena.com for more information.

Montgomery Parks Nature Centers

  • Black Hill Visitor Center will be closed however there will be scheduled programming indoors and outside. Visit www.BlackHillNature.org for more information.
  • Brookside Nature Center will be open on Monday, December 28, in addition to the regular operating hours. www.BrooksideNature.org
  • The Locust Grove Nature Center is open the weekends of December 26 – 27 and January 2- 3; Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m. The center is closed during the week; except for winter break campers. www.LocustGroveNature.org

All other facilities are following standard operating hours.

 

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

Nov 30 15

Emerald Ash Borer strikes Montgomery Parks trees

by Melissa Chotiner

Invasive bugs kill ash trees within 1 -3 years


SILVER SPRING, MD—
Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced today that a non-native invasive beetle from Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been detected in the county and is wreaking havoc on ash trees. The beetle feeds on the trees causing them to die within 1 – 3 years. While only an estimated 2 percent of the trees in Montgomery County are ash trees, they make up an estimated 20 percent of trees located in stream valleys on parkland.

 

“Montgomery Parks is the largest holder of ash trees in Montgomery County,” said Colter Burkes,  Senior Urban Forester. “The Emerald Ash Borer is an extremely destructive bug and we are expecting large quantities of standing dead trees in Montgomery Parks.”

 

Parks staff is developing a plan to address problems created by the Emerald Ash Borer. The plan will feature several phases including inventory and monitoring, removal and treatment and planting.  The Parks Department is seeking funding to address the issue over the next several years. Public support will also make a huge difference.

“We are asking park patrons to help by continuing to report dead, dying and hazardous trees to the Montgomery Park Service Center,” said David Vismara, Division Chief, Horticulture, Forestry Environmental Education Division of Montgomery Parks.

For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer please visit www.EmeraldAshBorerinfo.net

 

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission 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

 

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