May 6, 2016
Planning Board Agenda
Attend or watch the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, May 12. View the full agenda for that meeting 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 for more details on projects and plans. See the full list here.
Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves Westbard Sector Plan at May 3 Meeting

The Montgomery County Planning Department participated in the County Council's work session on the Westbard Sector Plan on Tuesday, May 3 and the Council voted 9 to 0 to approve the Sector Plan.

"This is a great step forward in ensuring a greener, more sustainable Westbard," says Planning Director Gwen Wright. "The plan provides a blueprint for restoring the Willett Branch stream and providing more affordable housing, parks and a revitalized shopping center in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood." Learn more here.
Planning Department Participates in County Bicycle Events in May and June

The Montgomery County Planning Department is participating in several local cycling events this spring as staff continues to develop the Countywide Bicycle Master Plan.

On Saturday, May 7, the Bicycle Master Plan team will join Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and community residents on a bike ride from 1 to 2 p.m. around Olney, Maryland. The bicycle tour, which will depart promptly at 1 p.m. from the Olney Library (3500 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD), is open to the public, but several on-road segments may be uncomfortable for less experienced riders. Consult the Montgomery County Bicycle Stress Map for details. Following the tour, a discussion about the Bicycle Master Plan will be held at the Olney Bagel Bakery (3490 Olney Laytonsville Road) from 2 to 3 p.m.

On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Planning Department staff will lead the Planning Board in a review of the proposed Metropolitan Branch Trail. The date for this Planning Board discussion is tentative and may be changed. When the date is confirmed, the session will be posted on the Planning Board website.

See the full list of events here.

Family Archaeology Day
Saturday, May 7th  10 am - 3 pm

$10 per person | $20 family at the event
Needwood Mansion opens its doors to the public for a day of investigating archaeology. Visitors are invited to see and experience what archaeologists do. Watch archaeologists at work on the Needwood Excavation and try your hand at a simulated excavation, while the younger set digs in mock excavation pits. 

For more info, click here.
Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment Worksession #1

The first worksession for the 2016 Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, May 12.  The Planning Board will review the public hearing testimony, preliminary staff responses and discuss possible changes to recommendations based on public testimony. Please check for the time posted on the agenda closer to meeting date as the agenda is subject to revisions.
Flocks and Farms
Sunday, May 22nd  1pm - 4pm

Take a break from the urban life and connect with nature at Black Hill Visitor Center's Flocks and Farms Festival.  On May 22nd from 1pm-4pm, enjoy FREE hands-on activities, games, lectures, crafts and fun with the entire family!  The Flocks and Farms Festival celebrates the conservation efforts of the Maryland Bluebird Society and Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve and learn how small changes make big impacts on our local wildlife. 
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
Carroll Ave Bridge Over 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. Use caution around work areas and continue to share roadways. For more info.
Emerald Ash Borer in Montgomery Parks

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.
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! 
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
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 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.
Watch: Montgomery County Planning Board Tours King Farm and Crown Farm
The Montgomery County Planning Board recently went on a tour of King Farm and Crown Farm to learn how other jurisdictions are planning. Watch here.