June 19, 2014

Do More 24: Marathon Day of Giving to Local Nonprofits on June 19

Do More 24™ is a local movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies and people committed to making a difference. Through focused online giving from midnight on June 19 to midnight June 20, Do More 24 will provide the opportunity for people to determine which issues matter most to them, then channeling their funding towards tackling those problems.

There will be live updates, special cash awards for nonprofits and nonprofit-hosted events. Do More 24, launched by United Way of the National Capital Area in June 2013, raised more than $1.3 million from that drive to support local nonprofits through 15,223 donations made by 11,000 donors.

County Earns “Best in Category” Award from National Association of Counties for ePermits Apply Online Program

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has announced that Montgomery County has received a “Best of Category” 2014 Achievement Award in ­­­­­­­­County Administration Management for its ePermits Apply Online Program.

The Department of Permitting Services’ ePermits Apply Online Program earned “Best in Category” status, according to NACo, due to its “exceptional results and unique innovations.”

NACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties. The award will be presented in July at NACo’s 2014 Annual Conference in Orleans Parish, LA.

See more about the award-winning program.

Permitting Services Changes Yield Results: Residential, Non-Residential Constructions Rise

Changes in the County’s Department of Permitting Services have significantly improved service to customers, large and small, eliminating and reducing some fees and expanding on-line permits and e-plans – saving time, money and the environment.

Over just the past four years, the number of residential units constructed has skyrocketed over 250 percent and the value of non-residential construction has doubled.

See facts and figures on the improvements in a presentation by the Department of Permitting Services to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

Get more information about the process on DPS’ Streamlining the Development Process site.

Public Libraries Partner with KID Museum to Create County’s First “MakerSpace” for Children, Families

Young maker Vanya Gorbachev, a student at Parkland Middle School, explains the workings of a 3D printer to (from left) County Councilmember Mark Elrich, County Executive Ike Leggett and museum supporter Carol Trawick representing the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation.
A three-year agreement just announced between Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and the new Kids International Discovery Museum (KID Museum) will bring a nationally recognized model of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and arts programming for children and families to the region.

To be housed on the lower level of Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, the “MakerSpace” will offer opportunities for local children and families to explore what they can make using a wide range of materials, tools and technologies.

The 7,500 square-foot space will feature a digital media lab that integrates electronics, textiles and recycled materials, and 21st-century tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters. Trained staff, plus resident artists, scientists and inventors, will facilitate projects and exploration in both “open make” drop-in sessions and more structured workshops.

Activities will be geared toward elementary and middle school children, ages six to 14, and special programs are under development for school field trips and programs aligned with school curricula.

Live Coverage of County Primary Election Returns on Local Cable

Primary Election Night 2014 coverage will be simulcast by:
  • County Cable Montgomery (CCM: Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon)
  • Montgomery Community Media (Channel 21 on Comcast, RCN and Verizon)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools Television (MCPS TV: Channel 34 on Comcast; Channel 89 on RCN; Channel 36 on Verizon)
  • Montgomery College TV (MCTV: Channel 10 on Comcast, RCN and Verizon)
  • Rockville 11 (Rockville 11: Channel 11 on Comcast, RCN and Verizon)
  • Takoma Park City TV (Takoma City TV: Channel 13 on Comcast; Channel 13 on RCN; Channel 28 on Verizon)
The results will focus on election results in races for County Executive, the County Council and the County delegation to the State House of Delegates and the State Senate. Results also will be included in the primaries for Montgomery Board of Education, Governor, state attorney general and for the three Congressional districts that represent Montgomery County.

Internet streaming video coverage of the broadcast will be available through the County website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ccm.

The polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. on June 24. Election night television coverage will begin at 8 p.m. and will continue through 11 p.m. Results of early voting — held from June 12 to 19 — are expected to be available before 8:30 p.m. After the show ends at 11 p.m., results will continue to be updated and broadcast on CCM. The results will run overnight and into the morning hours, with a.m. updates.

Read more in the news release.

Mobile System 7 Moves to Maryland, Receives $400,000 Investment from State, County

The Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), the equity investment arm of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), has invested $300,000 in Mobile System 7 following the cybersecurity firm’s move to Bethesda from Virginia.

Joining the MVF-led financing was the Department of Economic Development, which invested $100,000, and private investment groups. The MVF investment was made with funds raised by InvestMaryland,

Mobile System 7 is an enterprise security company led by former Intelligence Community professionals. The company's product, Interlock, protects enterprise data from unauthorized access and malicious attacks.

The MVF is a regionally recognized leader in seed and early-stage investing and a national model for state-supported investment programs. The fund invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences companies in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.

See more in the news release.

Tax Credits for Improved Accessibility in Homes Available July 1 under New Law

County residents are reminded that the “Design for Life Montgomery” legislation goes into effect July 1. The new law provides tax credits to builders and homeowners for including features in new and existing residential housing that improve accessibility for persons of all ages, including seniors and those with disabilities. With this new law, the entire stock of more accessible single-family homes, apartments and condominiums in the County will increase, creating a more inclusive community.

The new law will provide:
  • a property tax credit for an accessibility feature installed on an existing residence; 
  • a property tax credit for meeting a Level I or Level II accessibility standard on a new single-family residence; 
  • an impact tax credit against the Development Impact Tax for Public School Improvements for meeting a Level I accessibility standard in single-family attached and detached homes; and 
  • tax credits to builders and homeowners for including Level I visit-ability (up to $3,600) and Level II live-ability (up to $10,000) accessibility features in new and existing residential housing. The law also requires that developers and realtors disclose to the buyer of a new home – before the buyer signs the contract to purchase a new single-family residential property -- that property tax credits for accessibility are available.
For more information about the Design for Life Montgomery program, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/designforlifemontgomery, or call Betsy Luecking in the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Aging and Disability Services, at 240-777-1256 or Reggie Jetter in the Department of Permitting Services, 240-777-6275.

Read the news release.

Literacy Council Hosts Information Sessions for Potential Volunteers

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County will hold information sessions for volunteers interested in helping adults learn to read, write, or speak English on Thursday, June 26 at 10:30 a.m. at the Rockville Memorial Library, 21 Maryland Ave.

Sessions are also scheduled at the library on Tuesday, July 1 and Wednesday, August 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Once volunteers have completed the information session, they can select a two-part training session that fits their schedules. No foreign language skills are necessary. Tutors work one-on-one or with small groups, and typically meet with students in libraries or community centers at mutually convenient times. For complete details, call 301-610-0030, email info@literacycouncilmcmd.org, or visit www.literacycouncilmcmd.org.

County to Hold Lottery for Farmer’s Market Coupons for Low-Income Seniors

A limited number of free farmer’s market coupon books worth $30 will be distributed by lottery to low-income seniors in the County on Wednesday, July 2 at 10:30 a.m. at six sites throughout the County.

The coupon books are available to Montgomery County residents age 60 years and older whose income is less than $21,590 (family of one).

The coupons may be used at farmer’s markets in Montgomery County and participating markets in the District of Columbia until November 30, 2014.

Each eligible senior can register for the lottery between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at the six sites. Selection for the lottery will begin at 10:30 a.m. at each site.

The coupon books lottery will be held at:
  • Elizabeth House, 1400 Fenwick La., Silver Spring
  • Gaithersburg Senior Center, 80A Bureau Dr. 
  • Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton 
  • Long Branch Community Center, 8700 Piney Branch Rd., Silver Spring
  • Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr. and
  • Waverly House, 4521 East West Hwy., Bethesda
For more information, call 240-777-3810.

Final Fixes to Silver Spring Transit Center Underway

The County is moving ahead with agreed-upon fixes to the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Final work began earlier this month with completion scheduled for the end of 2014.

See more information on the project.

June 12, 2014

No Place Like Home on the Fourth; County to Host Two Fireworks Displays

Montgomery County will again host two Independence Day fireworks displays on July 4 -- Germantown Glory at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the South Germantown Recreational Park, 18041 Central Park Circle, Germantown (Boyds) and Mid-County Sparkles at Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Rd., Kensington. Both fireworks displays will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Low lawn chairs, blankets and coolers are welcome at both events. Food vendors will be on site. No alcoholic beverages are permitted. The rain date for fireworks only is July 5.

The Germantown Glory celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. with a concert by InGratitude: A Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire.

Mid-County Sparkles activities begin at 7:30 p.m. with a concert by The Fabulous Bel Airs. Because there will be handicapped parking only onsite (no other onsite parking will be available at the school or at adjacent properties), shuttle buses will pick up passengers, beginning at 6:15 p.m., at the Westfield Wheaton Metro Parking Garage adjacent to the JC Penney Department Store. Overflow parking will be available in the south parking lot by Penney’s. No shuttle service will be available on the 5th.

Sign language interpreter services and other auxiliary aids or services will be provided upon request with as much advance notice as possible, preferably at least three (3) full business days before the event. To request special accommodations, contact a Therapeutic Recreation specialist at 240-777-6870 or email rec.mainstream@montgomerycountymd.gov.

For more information, call 240-777-6821 or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec. Or check County Calendar (Germantown Glory | Mid-County Sparkles) for more information. Download flyer in pdf format.

Early Voting Sites, Schedules

Registered voters in the County who want to get a jump on Primary Election Day can take advantage of the Early Voting Centers that will be open from now until June 19 at nine locations around the County. All sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Early voters will cast their ballots on the same equipment used on Election Day.

For additional questions on the centers, call 240-777-VOTE (8683).

Fore more information about voting, call 240-777-8625 or visit the Board of Elections website.

The Board of Elections has a mobile website that can be accessed from mobile devices. The web address is http://m.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections/index.html.

Using the site, residents can easily access election related information, including looking up voter registration information, finding polling places, and viewing Frequently Asked Questions. Residents can also look up an Early Voting Center, see how long the current wait time is and obtain directions (via public transportation, driving or walking) to the center.

Bus Stop Improvement Program Enhances Safety, Accessibility at Nearly 3,000 Stops

An eight-year bus stop improvement program has enhanced Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility and pedestrian safety at 2,879 bus stops.

A survey of the County’s 5,400 stops identified 3,400 that needed some type of improvement.

Bus stop improvements have included construction of:
  • 1,246 ramps at 813 intersections; 
  • 79,240 square feet of sidewalk leading to bus stops; 
  • 161,647 square feet of five-by-eight-foot concrete pads at 2,400 bus stops; and 
  • 408 “knee walls” at sloped sites to prevent wheelchairs from rolling onto dangerous terrain and to provide seating for waiting passengers. 
In addition to ensuring ADA compliance, bus stop upgrades also reduce the distance to crosswalks, provide pedestrian refuge islands, establish connections to existing sidewalks, address slope issues and improve drainage.

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) continues efforts to improve the remaining 500 bus stops. Upgrading these stops is more complex, because many are on roads not originally built to accommodate pedestrians. MCDOT is also improving about 600 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) stops and 900 stops shared between Metro and Ride On in Montgomery County.

Get more information from the news release.

Job Growth in County Up More than Five Percent for Last Three Years; More than 32,000 Jobs Added

The Department of Economic Development has announced that employment in the County increased by 32,530 jobs over the past three years – from 629,592 in 2010 to 662,121 jobs in 2013, a 5.2 percent increase.

Montgomery County job growth leads Fairfax County (3.7 percent) and Washington, DC (2.9 percent) over the same period, according to EMSI, which counts all jobs in Montgomery County, including the County residents who are self-employed.

County Presents Information on SCALE Project at White House for SmartAmerica Challenge

County Executive Ike Leggett led the Montgomery County “team” that made a presentation about the County’s SCALE project to senior White House staff and policy advisors and industry executives.
The County shared information on its project entitled “SCALE: Safe Community Alert Network,” a collaborative partnership with the County involving researchers from UC-Irvine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with multiple vendors including IBM, the French-based low-bandwidth provider Sigfox, and Twilio, a cloud communication firm.

Using low-cost advanced sensor and receiving technology, the pilot network project demonstrates deployment of a public sector automated safety alert and community awareness network that protects vulnerable populations. Working with the Montgomery County Housing Partnership (an affordable housing developer in the County), SCALE has deployed a variety of connected sensors in a Rockville apartment building that will detect different environmental distress factors (e.g., smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, hazardous gas), transmit the data to a cloud service, and, if a problem is detected, dispatch emergency response services.

Councilmember Hans Riemer’s discussions with Montgomery County technology leaders led him to ask the County to participate in the SmartAmerica Challenge.

On June 11, the County made a public presentation of the SCALE project at the SmartAmerica Challenge Exposition at the Washington D.C. Convention Center.

What Makes Montgomery Tick? Look Inside New Magazine

The Department of Economic Development has published a magazine filled with useful data and information on “everything” Montgomery County.

Produced in conjunction with Journal Communications, the publication provides more than 60 pages of articles and advertisements showcasing local economic development information - from arts and culture, business climate and education to healthcare, quality of life and transportation.

Human Trafficking Task Force Created to Raise Awareness of Issue; Find Ways to Help Victims

A new Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force has been named by County Executive Ike Leggett to explore possible new County legislation to combat human trafficking and raise awareness of the forms human trafficking takes in the County.

Chaired by County Commission for Women (CFW) member Bobbe Mintz, the task force will also review ways to improve services provided by the County to  trafficking victims.

After consulting with the police department, CFW sent a written request to the County Executive to recommend the establishment of a task force to study the issue of human trafficking in the County. “We believe the public is largely unaware that human trafficking and its tragic consequences exist right here in Montgomery County,” said Mintz, speaking on behalf of the commission. “One of the first goals of this task force is to shine a light on this serious problem.”

Read more in news release.

Watch news conference video.

Ground Broken for Major Interchange on Georgia Ave. at Randolph Rd.

Officials participating in the interchange ceremony were (from left):  Delegate Sheila Hixson, MCDOT Director Art Holmes, Senator Jennie Forehand, Councilmember Nancy Navarro, Delegate Sam Arora, Councilmember Phil Andrews, Senator Roger Manno, Transportation Secretary James Smith, Jr., Councilmember Nancy Floreen, County Executive Ike Leggett, Councilmember George Leventhal, Delegate Ben Kramer, Senator Rich Madaleno, SHA District Engineer Brian Young, SHA Administrator Melinda Peters, Councilmember Hans Riemer and Suzanne Lofhjelm representing Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Many state and local officials were on hand to break ground on the major road project that will replace the signalized intersection at MD Route 97 (Georgia Ave.) and Randolph Rd. with an interchange that will allow through traffic to go under Georgia Ave. New turn lanes and ramps will provide turning movements.

The project involves constructing a new interchange to replace the existing MD 97 (Georgia Ave.) / Randolph Rd. intersection by lowering Randolph Rd, nearly 25 feet. The project also includes adding one additional through lane along Georgia Ave. for a total of three through lanes in each direction. Additional improvements include extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail on the west side of Georgia Ave. an additional 900 feet past Randolph Rd. to Mason St. and adding new sidewalks.

The $44.4 million project should be complete in winter 2016, weather permitting.

Read news release.

Officials Break Ground for Mixed-Income High Rise for Seniors in Silver Spring

A new mixed-income, high-rise apartment building for active seniors aged 62 and over, called The Bonifant at Silver Spring, is one step closer to reality following a groundbreaking ceremony attended by local officials and housing advocates.

The project, a joint venture between Montgomery Housing Partnership and The Donohoe Companies, is part of a larger mixed-use site that includes the new Silver Spring Library.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for The Bonifant at Silver Spring, a mixed-income apartment building for seniors in Downtown Silver Spring, next to the new Silver Spring Library.  Participating in the groundbreaking were (l to r): Montgomery Housing Partnership's (MHP) Vice President of Real Estate Development Artie Harris; Department of Housing and Community Affairs Director Rick Nelson; Councilmember Nancy Floreen;  MHP resident Laura Hinton; MHP President Robert Goldman; County Executive Ike Leggett; President of Donohoe Development Pete Gartlan; State Delegate Sheila Hixson; Deputy Director, MD Department of Housing and Community Development Clarence Snuggs; State Senator Jamie Raskin; and Project Manager for The Bonifant Stephanie Roodman.  

PGA Tour Returns to Congressional CC: Quicken Loans National Tournament

The Quicken Loans National Tournament will be held at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, June 23 through 29.

Many County departments and agencies have been working on pre-tournament arrangements and logistics with representatives from the PGA TOUR and Tiger Woods Foundation to help spectators get to and from the tournament and to enjoy the overall experience.

See news release for details on parking, passes, transit options, etc.

Council Hosts Public Hearing on Wheaton Redevelopment

The Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, on Expedited Bill 33-14 that will help the Wheaton Redevelopment Program move ahead. The program would authorize the planning, design and construction of the planned office building, public parking garage and a town square on the site of Parking Lot 13 and the Mid-County Regional Services Center in the Kensington-Wheaton Policy Area (Project No. 150401).

The hearing will be held in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville.

Sign up to testify by calling 240-777-7803. To obtain copies of the bill, call 240-777-7910 or go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council

The hearing will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM -- Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon) and can be viewed via streaming through the County website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council.

Public Paper Shredding/Recycling Event at Montgomery College Rockville June 21

Residents can shred and recycle personal confidential papers free of charge at the NBC4-Allstate Community Shred event scheduled for Saturday, June 21 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus. The event will be held – rain or shine -- in Parking Lot #13 at the intersection of Route 355 (Hungerford Dr.) and Mannakee St. Cars must be in line by 11 a.m.

Residents may bring up to five cardboard boxes and/or paper bags of personal papers for shredding. All paper will be shredded on-site. In the interest of safety and traffic flow, residents must remain in their vehicles at all times and will not be able to observe their papers being shredded.

See the flyer (pdf) for details about what can and cannot be brought for shredding

County Files Brief against Pepco’s Latest Rate Increase Request

Montgomery County has filed its initial brief with the Maryland Public Service Commission in Case No. 9336, in opposition to Pepco’s most recent rate increase request.

The utility has requested a distribution rate increase of $37.4 million, an approximately 2.8% increase for the typical residential customer total bill. The County has concluded that Pepco has a revenue surplus, or excess earnings, and that the rates should be reduced by $1.5 million.

Pepco has also requested an increase in their Rate of Return to 7.92%. The County supports a 7.31% Rate of Return.

Due in part to past aggressive County opposition, $50 million in PEPCO increase requests were rejected by the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2013.

See a copy of the County’s brief.

Heritage Days Weekend 2014: Bigger than Ever and Still Free

Local history and culture, outdoor recreation, family activities, music, food … and fun for every age are all a part of the 17th Annual Heritage Days to be held June 28 and 29 at 40 sites around Montgomery County, from noon to 4 p.m.each day.

Programs and activities with appeal to visitors of all ages will include distinctive musical performances; re-enactments; games, crafts and other activities for children; refreshments; and history. The event is sponsored by the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery).

Get details on Heritage Days Weekend online or call 301-515-0753.

Board of Public Works Funds Five More Down County Bikeshare Stations

The State Board of Public Works (BPW) recently approved $250,000 to purchase and construct five new Capital Bikeshare Down County stations to augment the County’s existing 49-station system.

Two more stations will be added upon arrival of the additional station equipment. The five new stations are expected to be installed in spring 2016. The County will fund the bikes and operating expenses.

Usage of the County’s Bikeshare program nearly doubled from 1,630 in March to 3,182 in April, an increase of 95 percent. The total number of trips since the program began, in September 2013, through April 2014 is 11,533.

Get more information about Capital Bikeshare.

Read more about the BPW funding.

Sports Study Shows Total Gross Impact for Soccer Tournaments at SoccerPlex $20 Million+

A study was commissioned in 2012 by the Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) of Montgomery County, MD Inc. and the Maryland SoccerPlex to measure the economic activity associated with the SoccerPlex, specifically the 12 major tournaments held annually.

Surveys were conducted at three tournaments at the Maryland SoccerPlex between July and December, 2012. Objectives were to estimate the annual economic contribution of visitors at all 12 major tournaments  to determine the characteristics of visitors.

Highlights from the survey include:
  • Tournament visitors spent close to $13.9 million dollars while in the Montgomery County area on food, lodging, entertainment, local transportation and retail purchases. Tournament organizers spent another $1,476,372 locally. 
  • When considering the multiplier effect, the total gross economic impact of the 12 tournaments alone is $20,396,736. Adding in the facility’s annual operating expenses of $4.5 million, the overall impact is $24,896,736. 
The Sports Economic Impact Study was conducted by researchers at George Washington University.

Nominations Open for Human Rights Hall of Fame

The Office of Human Rights (OHR) is accepting nominations for its Eighth Human Rights Hall of Fame. Individuals – either living or deceased – whose ongoing work, service and contributions have positively impacted human and civil rights in the county may be nominated. See a list of previous inductees.

The deadline for nominations is August 22. Nomination forms are available online, or by calling the Office of Human Rights at 240-777-8456. .

A select number of nominees will be recommended for the Hall of Fame by a panel of community judges. The induction ceremony is planned for Sunday, October 12 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

Local Biotech Company Receives $1 Million Investment from State Program

Cellphire, a Rockville biotechnology company, has received a $1 million investment through the State’s InvestMaryland program, according to an announcement by Governor Martin O’Malley and The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The company is developing stabilized cellular products, including freeze-dried platelets that can be stored for years, for use in a range of advanced therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Last year, Cellphire received a contract worth up to $57 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research Defense Authority, a division of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The funding will be used to continue development of the company’s freeze-dried platelet product, Thrombosomes, and move it closer to winning Food and Drug Administration approval.

Read more about Cellphire and the investment program.

Three County Employers Honored for Hiring Older Workers

Three County employers were honored recently as the first recipients of the Experience Counts Awards for engaging innovative strategies to employ capable and talented older workers.

The National Institutes of Health, Sandy Spring Bank and Adventist HealthCare received the awards presented by Montgomery County, the Jewish Council for the Aging and the Workforce Investment Board at the 50+ Employment Expo held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

The trio was recognized for strategies such as flexible/alternative work options; employee assistance programs that include elder care referrals; seminars and lectures that presented intergenerational differences; and using training formats that accommodate learning styles of older workers.

The annual free expo allowed the nearly 3,100 attendees over age 50 to meet with employers and attend seminars, get resume reviews, and go to an Internet Café where job seekers received help in searching the Internet, creating LinkedIn profiles and applying for positions online.

The Experience Counts awards will be presented annually. To join the distribution list for the 2015 call for nominations, email EC-Awards.ded@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.

Brookside Gardens Selected as 2014 Maryland Green Center

Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, announces that Brookside Gardens has been certified as a 2014 Maryland Green Center by The Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE).

Maryland Green Centers are part of the Maryland Green School Program, a nationally recognized program that promotes environmental literacy, sustainability and best practices. Brookside Gardens’ certification was earned through a holistic, integrated approach to incorporating environmental education and practices with community stewardship.

Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre public display garden located within Wheaton Regional Park, supports environmental literacy through curriculum-based programs that have reached more than 3,000 students in the past two years.

Read the news release for more information about the Green Center selection.