Montgomery Set to Unveil State-of-the-Art Library, Community Rec Center

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro will preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center on Sunday, September 8th at 2 p.m. The $70.9 million project and 92,000-square foot building is the first combined complex of its kind in Montgomery County, which will include a library, community recreation center, Friends of the Library used bookstore, park, underground parking garage and redesigned roadway. The…

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Getting Educated on Natural Grass & Synthetic Turf at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

County parks and recreation officials offered their perspectives on natural grass, synthetic turf, and heat policies at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference during the “Play Ball: What You Need to Know About Natural and Synthetic Turf” panel on August 15. The panelists responded to five prepared questions. The questions included: How does your county incorporate natural grass and synthetic turf fields into your athletic and recreational programs? What are the advantages and drawbacks of natural…

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It’s Not All About Getting High

Drones can do all sorts of things. In the words of one of today’s panelists on the MACo Summer Conference panel, The Underappreciated Upsides of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, a drone program is much like a cannabis business -- it’s not all about getting high. The six panelists from various county government agencies, state government, and the private sector shared many applications for county use, including: Surveying Construction monitoring Media, sharing county news with residents Communications and public…

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Should My Turf Fields Be Natural or Synthetic? Learn About Both at #MACoCon

Are you looking to install or update your athletic fields? Not sure whether natural or synthetic turf is best for you? If so, make an informed choice by getting up-to-date on natural and synthetic turf fields and heat policies at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Play Ball! What You Need to Know About Natural and Synthetic Turf Description Your residents expect athletic fields and playground areas as part of the public services you provide. Done…

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Does Your County Have a Land Use, Environment, or Recreation Problem? UMD’s PALS Program May Be Able to Help

The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) program continues to assist counties and municipalities across Maryland to solve a variety of large and small sustainability challenges. PALS can work with local governments on land use, transportation, environmental, economic development, and human resources issues. A few past PALS projects have included turf management, succession planning, and stormwater management projects. PALS is a low-cost assistance program that leverages University of Maryland (UMD) graduate and undergraduate students to produce “real world”…

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Get out There and Enjoy Your Parks! Sincerely, Maryland’s Counties

Counties celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month with special deals, programs, and new takes on area parks. Road trip season is upon us, Mountain Maryland, Allegany County's tourism twitter page, announces. And it is true. July marks the season of vacations, staycations, and very hot days in Maryland. County parks and recreation departments offer a variety of educational, cultural, environmental and outdoors programming throughout Maryland. Many provide activities that the whole family may enjoy. Some…

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Charles County’s “Ghost Fleet” Now a National Marine Sanctuary
Mallows Bay Ghost Fleet (Source: Charles County Government)
Charles County’s “Ghost Fleet” Now a National Marine Sanctuary

A Charles County press release (2019-07-08) announced that the County, the State of Maryland, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have designated a national marine sanctuary to protect the remains of a "ghost fleet" of more than 100 abandoned World War I vessels. The Mallow Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary will be located in the Potomac River between Charles County and Stafford County, Virginia, about 40 miles south of Washington, DC. Mallows Bay…

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Hogan Stays Silent on Release of FY 2020 Restricted Funding

A Baltimore Sun article (2019-07-02) reported that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has not yet decided to release millions of dollars in funding that was fenced-off for conditional usage by the General Assembly. The standoff includes some funding for county governments for school construction and Program Open Space (POS). As previously reported on Conduit Street, the disputed funding includes $127 million for school construction, $8.5 million in local POS funding, $4 million for testing rape kits, and $3 million…

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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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