February 12, 2015
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, February 18. View the full agenda for that meeting here.
Celebrate Black History Month with Montgomery Parks  

The month of February is dedicated to highlighting the stories, struggles, and successes of African Americans. Often Black History Month is treated as a stand-alone month in which to simply research and write a book report. We suggest Black History Month can serve as an introduction to a life-long lesson in culture, community, and connections. Click here for a list of events.

Parks Opens Four New Athletic Fields 

The athletic fields at Northwest Branch Recreational Park will be open this spring and available to permit. There are four fields which must be permitted for use:  three full size rectangles and one adult size baseball, as well as one smaller practice rectangle. For more information on permitting these fields please click here or call 240-777-2716.

Planning Department Announces Calendar of February 2016 Events

The Montgomery County Planning Department is pleased to announce its February 2016 calendar of community meetings, work session and public events. These events offer opportunities for the Planning Board and Planning Department staff to discuss policies and engage with the public. Review the full list of events below and go online to www.montgomeryplanning.org for more details on projects and plans. View the full list here
Suburban Bicycle Planning Will Be Discussed at Winter Speakers Series Event on February 16 at Planning Department

The Montgomery County Planning Department is hosting the second event in its 2016 Winter Speaker Series with a presentation by Jennifer Toole, president of the Silver Spring-based Toole Design Group. Free and open to the public, the event will be held on Tuesday, February 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).

Toole will discuss the need to provide high-quality bikeways, now evident in cities, for suburban areas where the demand for safe bicycle conditions is growing. "Due to higher speeds on suburban roads, there is a great need for separation between bicyclists and adjacent motor vehicle traffic," says Toole. "There is also a greater need to address issues at intersections, driveways and property entrances in the suburbs." Learn more here.
Updates to Subdivision Staging Policy Being Discussed at Planning Board and Community Meetings

The Montgomery County Planning Department is in the process of updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council later this year. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and roads, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth.

On Tuesday, January 12, a community meeting was held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Planning Department auditorium (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD) to discuss current school tests and school facility funding as they relate to the staging of future subdivision development.

The approximately 40 participants provided comments on four topics related to school facilities: school facility funding, options for new schools, calculation of the annual school test and school adequacy policies. They voiced concern about overcrowding at the elementary school level and how the school impact tax is calculated. Learn more here.
February is Maple Sugaring Month at Brookside Nature Center

We have added more Maple Sugaring sessions due to popular demand. Join us to watch the whole maple sugaring process from start to finish.  put the new session dates and a link to where to sign up.

Watch the whole maple sugaring process from start to finish. See sap drip from trees and taste it. Watch us boil it down into sweet maple syrup, then sample a tasty treat. Join in the fun and activities and learn something new at this family-friendly program! Space is limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $6/person. Register here
Celebrate Waterfowl at Black Hill Visitor Center on February 13

Bring the whole family for a day filled with free activities, demonstrations, and exhibits to celebrate the wondrous water birds that call Little Seneca Lake home during the winter. Stop by the Waterfowl Festival at Black Hill Visitor Center on Saturday, February 13 from Noon -- 4:00 p.m. Try your hand at carving a decoy. Make a bird bonnet to look like a hooded merganser or a bufflehead. Join guided birding excursions to catch a glimpse of marine ducks, swans and maybe even the Black Hill eagles! For more info, click here.
New: Public Hearing: Countywide Trails Plan Amendment: March 3, 2016

The public is invited to testify at a March 3 public hearing on the Public Hearing Draft of the Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment. Comments may also be submitted online and by email. More information is available at www.ParkPlanning.org.
Community Meeting on Long Branch-Wayne Local Park Renovations: RESCHEDULED MARCH 8, 2016

Park staff has rescheduled the Long Branch-Wayne Local Community Meeting to March 8, 2016 at Oak View Elementary School.  The public is encouraged to attend and provide input to improve the park. More details are available here.
Emerald Ash Borer in Montgomery Parks

A non-native invasive beetle in Montgomery County is wreaking havoc on ash trees, many which are located in stream valleys on parkland. Learn more on the department's plan to address the issue here.
Accessibility Improvements Continue

UPDATE: Accessibility Improvement work is scheduled at Olney Manor Recreational Park, Potomac Community Neighborhood Park,Pleasant View Local Park, Damascus Recreational Park, and Ayrlawn Local Park. For more information on these and other accessibility projects please visit: Accessibility Information for Montgomery Parks webpage.
Winter Festivals in Montgomery Parks 

Check out www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals for a list of major events happening in late November through February.
Public Input Needed on Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan Update

Montgomery Parks is updating the Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan and is soliciting input from the public. To find out more about the plan and how you can share your ideas please visit www.ParkPlanning.org
Park Projects:
  • Quince Orchard Valley Neighborhood Park:  WSSC work is scheduled to begin this January as part of the WSSC Sewer Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. Work will also include the removal of the tennis court and hard surface path and allow reforestation to the area. Please use caution around work areas.
  • Falls Road Local Park: The parking lot entrance at Falls Road Local Park will be intermittently closed through need date as scheduled construction continues to improve traffic patterns and ADA access. Alternate parking will be limited to Falls Chapel Way during closure. Click here for more information on the park project.
  • Olney Family Neighborhood Park: Work is underway to improve access to hard surface trails from Treadway Road. The project is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2016.
  • UPDATEKemp Mill Urban Park: The park is closed for renovations to improve overall access, update the pond and expand the playground. Renovations are expected to be completed by spring 2017. Click here  for more information..
  • Sligo Creek Parkway: The parking lot on Sligo Creek Parkway south of Wayne Avenue is closed through the spring of 2016 for WSSC work. For more info on WSSC projects in the park, please click here.
  • Ellsworth Urban Park:  Park improvements are underway to construct a new dog park in Silver Spring.  Parts of the park will be inaccessible to the public as work includes improved storm water management and better access to park. Click here for more info.
  • Waters Landing Local Park: The playground is closed while renovations are underway. Work will include storm water management and improved access to park facilities. Click here for more info.
  • Plumgar Local Park: Playground is closed as part of the Playground Renovation Program. Work is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2016.
Trail Work in Parks
Bikers and Runners should use caution as improvements are taking place on several trails in Montgomery Parks:
  • NEW: Wheaton Regional Park - Pine Lake trail work will start this winter season to improve access and storm water management. Watch for detours posted around designated work areas.
  • NOTICE: Work is scheduled over the next few weeks along the Capital Crescent Trail at the DC Line. Trail users should use caution around work zones.
  • Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail work is underway to coordinate the removal of high risk trees and limbs including Emerald Ash Borer infested trees along the Rock Creek Hiker- Biker Trails on Beach Drive.  For more information on tree inspection and maintenance, click here
  • Black Hill Trail Connector Project is underway to build a new shared-use natural surface six-mile trail along the western side of Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park. Numerous construction phases will take place over the course of the next year until the trail is complete.
  • The pedestrian bridge at the Ten Mile Creek tributary to Little Seneca Lake in Black Hill Regional Park will be closed until spring 2016.
  • Work continues on the Rock Creek trail in Rock Creek Regional Park around Baltimore Road and Norbeck Road. Trails will be partially closed for bridge work, stream work and the repaving of the trail leading to bridge. A detour will be posted when trail repaving begins.
  • Rock Creek Trail Signs are being installed to improve wayfinding on the trail and adjacent neighborhood trail connectors leading to main trail of the 14 mile Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail.
  • NEW: Little Bennett Regional Park The bridge on the Beaver Valley Trail is impassible due to recent flooding. The bridge will not be accessible until repairs can be made.
For more information on Montgomery Parks Trails please visit www.MontgomeryTrails.org.
View Montgomery Parks Program GUIDES Online
Click here to see all the various programs, classes and events Montgomery Parks has to offer you and your family. Browse the eGuide from your computer or cell via at Montgomery Parks eGuides.
Watch: 2016 Winter Speakers Series Session 1: Putting the Transition Back in Transit
Nat Bottigheimer of Fehr & Peers DC stopped by the Montgomery County Planning Department to tell us what it means to put the transition back in transit. Watch the full recap here.