April 22, 2016
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, April 28. View the full agenda for that meeting here.
April 28 Work Session on Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Will Address Affordable Housing Recommendations

The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a work session for the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan on Thursday, April 28 at the Planning Department headquarters (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD). Discussion will focus on affordable housing recommendations for Downtown Bethesda, followed by property owner zoning requests that were submitted after the public hearing  was held last year. The goal of the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan is to preserve existing, market-rate affordable housing, provide a mix of housing options and increase the number of moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs) in exchange for development incentives. The Plan identifies sites where density can be transferred in exchange for a rental agreement to retain 30 percent of housing units as affordable for 20 years. Renters eligible for affordable housing must earn 65 percent or less of area median income or about $70,000 for a four-person household. Learn more here.
Planning Department Announces Calendar of May 2016 Events

The Montgomery County Planning Department is pleased to announce its May 2016 calendar of community meetings, work sessions  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. See the full list here.
Wings of Fancy April 27th
September 25th 10am-4pm daily

Brookside Gardens is happy to announce the return of its premier Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit. The seasonal display features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.

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.   
Taking Stress Management to the Next Level: Montgomery County Planning Department Releases an Online Roadmap for Bicycle Stress

The Montgomery County Planning Department has created a digital map showing the amount of stress that people experience when bicycling in Montgomery County.

View the Montgomery County Planning Department Bicycle Stress Map.

The purpose of the map is to understand impediments to bicycling and to identify and prioritize the changes that are needed to create a low-stress bicycling environment for the 50 percent of people who say they would be interested in bicycling, but do not currently bicycle because they are concerned for their safety. Learn more here.
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 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.
Landscape Architects Now Able to Earn Continuing Education Credits by Attending Planning Department Programs

The Montgomery County Planning Department is now an approved provider under the Landscape Architects Continuing Education System (LA CES). Continuing education is required in 37 states for landscape architects seeking to renew their professional licenses.

Landscape architects can now attend programs organized by the Planning Department and earn professional development hours (PHDs). Their first opportunity is to attend the 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. 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.
Earth Day Festival
April 24th 12pm-4pm

Celebrate Earth Day with Montgomery Parks! Enjoy FREE family-friendly activities, "green" craft fair, plant sale, food vendors and live music. Join us at Brookside Gardens and Brookside Nature Center where you will discover how small changes in your everyday habits can make a big impact on improving the environment and our local community.  Learn more here.
Raptor Festival
May 1st 12pm-4pm

You see them in the sky! You seem them in the trees! Now see Maryland's premier birds of prey up close at Meadowside Nature Center's Raptor Festival.

This FREE event is will feature live music, face painting, more games, crafts...and of course our resident raptors!

Stop by May 1st, anytime from 12pm-4pm and see these magnificent creatures up-close.

For more info, click here
Attend The 2016 Affordable Housing Conference on May 16

The 2016 Affordable Housing Conference Summit will explore the links between housing, transit and jobs. Affordable housing, transportation and employment are critical components of the foundation for a viable and strong economy. What, where and how we preserve, build and maintain affordable housing in Montgomery County must reflect the evolving needs and resources of our existing and future neighborhoods, county-wide. Learn more here.
Rodolfo Machado of Boston Firm Honored with 2015 Design Excellence Award Will Present Work at Silver Spring Civic Building on May 25

The Montgomery County Planning Department held its first annual Design Excellence Award competition in 2015 and honored the top winner, the Silver Spring Civic Building, at a design celebration last October.

The architect who designed the building is now scheduled to talk about his work on this and other projects on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The public presentation by Rodolfo Machado, FAIA, of the Boston-based architecture firm Machado Silvetti will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Spring Room of the award-winning Silver Spring Civic Building. Learn more here.
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 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:
  • NEW: Trail work, south of Wheaton Regional Park to replace a bridge connecting the Northwest Branch Trail to the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail is in progress. Trail users should exercise caution around work zone. 
  • NOTICEParklawn Local Park - Trail improvements to the Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail are scheduled to begin this winter at Veirs Mill Road connector onto trail.
  • 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.
Watch: Plan-It Montgomery April 2016

In this edition of Plan-It Montgomery, we'll go on a tour of Kensington with the Planning Board, give you the highlights of our recent Winter Speakers Series and present the latest on the Bicycle Master Plan! Watch here.
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.