Montgomery County Recreation Earns NACo Achievement Awards

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has recognized two of Montgomery County Recreation’s (MCR) innovative programs with 2019 Achievement Awards. The award-winning MCR programs are Senior Planet Montgomery and the Summer Leadership Challenge. According to a press release: “These awards highlight the strength and diversity of our programming for youth and seniors at Montgomery County Recreation,” said MCR Director Robin Riley. “I am proud of our creative and hardworking staff’s work that resulted in this…

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The County Program: Local Duties, Local Powers

State preemption of local laws, in particular those laws seeking to advance health, environment, and community preservation aims, is a national issue. This article is the first in a series exploring local government powers, their preemption, and implications for Maryland. What Makes Maryland #Countystrong? As compared with other states in the US, Maryland’s county governments have a relatively large role in the delivery of public services. This is in part because Maryland, unlike other states,…

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Counties Converse on Land Conservation at MET Conference

County elected officials and professional staff turned out to discussed the importance of land conservation at an annual conference hosted by the Maryland Environmental Trust. The Maryland Land Conservation Conference & Symposium focused on land preservation from agricultural, environmental, historical, and recreational perspectives. The second day of the Conference focused entirely on the role of counties in land preservation efforts. The Conference was held on May 16 and 17 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthincum…

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Howard County Hosts 27th Annual Wine in the Woods

The Howard County Recreation and Parks Department hosted its annual "Wine in the Woods" festival in Symphony Woods at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia on May 18 and 19. The festival, now in its 27th year, highlighted Maryland wineries as well as local crafts and food. The festival attracted thousands of people from across the state. This year's event included over 20 wineries (including Winecream), 10 restaurants, 12 specialty food vendors, 30 artisan and craft…

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Program Open Space Repayment Funding on Hold

When local Program Open Space (POS) distributions are made this July, they will not include $8.5 million in repayments for local POS cuts from prior budget years. The Maryland General Assembly has placed restrictions on the release of the repayment funding from the Dedicated Purpose Account and Governor Larry Hogan has not yet decided whether he will release the repayment funding under the imposed restrictions. The full normal local POS funding for FY 2020, totaling…

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Maryland Recreation & Parks Association Names New President
Holly Harden (courtesy of Howard County Government)
Maryland Recreation & Parks Association Names New President

Holly Harden, Recreation Services Supervisor for the Department of Recreation & Parks sworn in as President of the Maryland Recreation & Parks Association Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week announced Holly Harden, Recreation Services Supervisor for the County’s Department of Recreation & Parks, was elected President of the Maryland Recreation & Parks Association (MRPA). Holly was formally sworn in during the Awards & Installation Banquet at the MRPA Annual Conference. According to a press…

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2019 End of Session Wrap-Up: Parks & Recreation

This post summarizes the status of various parks and recreation bills that MACo took a position on during the 2019 Regular Session. County government parks and recreation department provide a range of public recreation programs for all segments of the population and maintain a large network of open spaces throughout Maryland. MACo's advocacy seeks to support the efforts of county parks and recreation, by urging state and federal funding support and defending local determination of…

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Chesapeake Bay Gets Its Annual “Fiscal” Checkup

A far-reaching legislative analysis reviews both fiscal and policy issues related to the Chesapeake Bay Each year, among its many agency-by-agency budget analyses, the Department of Legislative Services has presented a review of the Chesapeake Bay. Bay programs stretch across multiple agencies, as well as local governments, and the report is a tidy spot for deep information on the status of Bay programs - both monetary- and results-oriented. The federally-mandated Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)…

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From Rehabilitation to Recreation – St. Mary’s Increases Scholarship Funds

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County approved a transfer of $44,000 into the scholarship fund for county kids to participate in Recreation and Parks Programs. The money is from the remaining funds from the St. Mary's County Juvenile Drug Court program. The program is shutting down after 14 years, due to low enrollment. Currently, only two students are enrolled. This is a wonderful gift for the youth of St. Mary’s County. It will allow some…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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