April 1, 2016
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, April 7. View the full agenda for that meeting here.
Planning Department Announces Calendar of April 2016 Events

The Montgomery County Planning Department is pleased to announce its April 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.
Registration Opens for Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference Scheduled for May 4 through May 6

The Montgomery County Planning Department has opened registration for its conference, Makeover Montgomery 3: Balancing Change in America's Suburbs, to be held from Wednesday, May 4 through Friday, May 6, 2016 in College Park and Silver Spring, Md.

The Makeover Montgomery 3 conference is being organized through a partnership between the Montgomery County Planning Department and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland. The 2016 event follows similar conferences held in 2011 and 2014 by the Planning Department and University of Maryland.

Register now for the Makeover Montgomery 3 Conference. Learn more here.
Montgomery County Planning Department Announces its Second Annual Design Excellence Award Program

The Montgomery County Planning Department seeks to recognize exceptional work in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design through its second annual Design Excellence Award. Developers, property owners and their design teams are invited to submit built projects that contribute to improving the quality of physical environments throughout the County.

The call for entries opens on Thursday, May 12, 2016 and closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The selection of a winner will be made by an outside jury of accomplished professionals invited by the Planning Department. Learn more here.
NOTICE: Carroll Ave Bridge Over Sligo Creek and Sligo Creek Parkway To Be Closed

Major rehabilitation of the MD 195 (Carroll Avenue) Bridge over Sligo Creek and Sligo Creek Parkway is underway. The bridge will be closed and traffic detoured through the duration of the one-year project. Work will intermittently close Sligo Creek Parkway between 3/28 thru 4/8 from 9am-3pm daily.  Traffic will be detoured and encouraged to seek alternate routes. Caution should be exercised around work areas and vehicles should continue to share roadways with bicyclists. For more info.
History in the Parks Season Opening Celebrations

April 1-3 & 9. Free.
Montgomery Parks invites you to join in celebrating the 2016 History in the Parks season! Enjoy historic tours, children's programming and more at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, the Underground Railroad Experience Trail, Josiah Henson Park, Kingsley Schoolhouse and Oakley Cabin. We hope these events serve as an introduction to a life-long lesson in culture, community, and connections right here in Montgomery County. Visit HistoryintheParks.org for exact times and additional details. 
Community Meeting Will Be Held on April 12 to Discuss Transportation-related Changes to the County's Subdivision Staging Policy

The Montgomery County Planning Department is updating the Subdivision Staging Policy (formerly called Growth Policy) for review and approval by the County Council by November 15, 2016. The intent of the Subdivision Staging Policy is to ensure public facilities, particularly schools and transportation facilities, are adequate to meet the needs of new development and growth.

A community meeting focusing on key transportation elements of the policy update will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Montgomery County Planning Board auditorium in Silver Spring (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). Learn more here.
Montgomery Modern Book Wins Award from County Preservation Group

The Montgomery County Planning Department is pleased to announce that its book, Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, has been honored with a 2015 Montgomery County Award for Historic Preservation.  The award was presented by Montgomery Preservation Inc. for demonstrating excellence in heritage education at a ceremony at the Sandy Spring Museum on March 25, 2016.

The 250-page, well-illustrated book is written by Clare Lise Kelly, a preservation planner and an architectural historian with the Planning Department's Historic Preservation Office. The book includes an inventory of key buildings and communities, and biographical sketches of architects and developers. Learn more here.
Free Trees Are Available for Qualifying Property Owners in County's Urban Districts

The Montgomery County Planning Department is offering free trees to qualifying property owners in Montgomery County's urban districts. The Shades of Green program, which was launched in 2012 as a pilot program, is now expanding to all urban road code areas of the County in an effort to enhance the tree canopy cover within the most impervious areas of the county.

The Shades of Green program is financed through the Forest Conservation Fund, made up of contributions paid during the development process as compensation for tree loss. These fees are paid by developers when tree planting on their development sites is impractical. Learn more here.
Celebrate Earth Month with Montgomery Parks!

Looking for a way to give back during Earth Month? Check out Montgomery Parks' special Earth Month volunteer events happening throughout the month of April!  Earth Month volunteer opportunities will include Stream & Park Cleanups, Natural Surface Trail Work, and Weed Warrior Projects among others. Most volunteer opportunities are SSL-hour approved. Visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/EarthMonth to find Earth Month volunteer opportunities along with information on how to participate.
Green Matters Symposium: A Garden Gateway at Brookside Gardens

Interested in environmentally friendly landscapes? Want an up-close look at what it takes to plan, design and build landscapes that are both beautiful and benefit the environment? Join us on Friday, April 8th from 8:30AM - 4:00 PM at Brookside Gardens for the 13th Annual Green Matters Symposium.  We are bringing together some of the top landscape and public garden professionals to share ideas about how to create attainable, sustainable landscapes. Early bird registration is $85 before March 1; registration increases to $99 per person after that date. To register, enter Course #14881 here. To learn more about the conference, click here.

Celebrate National Scrabble Day with Montgomery Parks!

Stop by Elm Street Urban Park, Woodside Urban Park or Fairview Urban Park on Wednesday, April 13 anytime between 10AM to 4PM and challenge a co-worker, friend or fellow park user to a friendly game of Scrabble!  Visitors to Elm Street Urban Park may even see Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson challenge local Delegates, Council members and celebrities to a friendly game of Scrabble. See who comes out the Scrabble champion! 
Celebrate the Reopening of NORTH FOUR CORNERS LOCAL PARK!
Sunday, April 17, 2-4pm

Enjoy soccer fun and games, great live music, a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, giveaways, and more at this beautifully revitalized park in Silver Spring. PetConnect Rescue will be there, too, with adorable four-legged friends looking for forever homes. Come play in Montgomery Parks!

For more info, click here
Brookside Gardens- Garden Gateway Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Friday, April 22

Come see all the beautiful (and environmentally friendly) changes at Brookside Gardens, and help us celebrate the work completed on this major project. There's a redesigned main entrance, new Aquatic Overlook, new South Terrace just outside the Visitor Center, lovely new features like the Ginkgo Canopy and Fern Gate, a new parking garden, and much more.   
Spring Registration Open

Registration for Montgomery Parks' spring programs is now open! Visit our Community Corner to sign up for nature and garden programs, ice skating, tennis and more! 
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.

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

Accessibility Improvement work continues at Olney Manor Recreational ParkDamascus Recreational Park, and Ayrlawn Local Park. Work is scheduled to begin at Ridge Road Recreational Park, Ken Gar Local Park, Clear Spring Local Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park and Stratton Local Park this spring. For more information on these and other accessibility projects please visit: Accessibility Information for Montgomery Parks webpage.
Find an Athletic Field 

Did you know Montgomery Parks maintains close to 300 fields for public games, practices and walk-on play? Click here to find out more about our park athletic fields.
Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan Update

Attention Wheaton Regional Park fans! Montgomery Parks is in the process of updating the Master Plan for this park. Be sure to tell us what you think! Public input is encouraged throughout the planning process. 

Park Projects:
Trail Work in Parks
Bikers and Runners should use caution as improvements are taking place on several trails in Montgomery Parks:
  • NOTICE: Parklawn Local Park - Trail improvements to the Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail are scheduled to begin this winter at Veirs Mill Road connector onto trail.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Spring Festivals & Events in Montgomery Parks

Enjoy spring festivals and events in Montgomery Parks! Come enjoy open houses at our many facilities, special skates at our ice rinks, Earth Day events and volunteer opportunities around our parks, and events and festivals at our four nature centers and Brookside Gardens. Visit www.MontgomeryParks.org/festivals for upcoming events and information.
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.