Sunday, January 22, 2012

PARKS, REC and OPEN SPACE, TUESDAY Jan 24 for down county

What do YOU want for your Parks, Recreation Facilities and Open Space?
Come 5:30-8:30 January 24 (Downcounty) at 8787 Georgia Ave downtown Silver Spring,
(or Jan 25-Upcounty – 12900 Middlebrook Rd. Germantown)
Check out the recommendations for implementation (for example for use of artificial turf on sports fields) and give your own feedback and input on the 2012 Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan :

Parks and open spaces are essential to the high quality of life for Montgomery County residents. In the future, one of the greatest challenges will be to balance recreation facilities needed for the active lifestyles of a growing population with the stewardship of our park system’s sensitive environmental and cultural resources. The 2012 Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan update will be a guide to meeting this challenge
Upcoming Public MeetingsTwo public meetings are scheduled to obtain public input for future park and recreation needs and how they should be implemented. These meetings will use an Open House fromat allowing attendees to freely circulate among informational stations of their interest. . Please Contact the project coordinator with any questions you might have. Down-County MeetingTuesday January 24, 2012 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Montgomery Regional Office Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, MD
Meeting Notice Flyer - pdf, 330KB Up-County MeetingWednesday January 25, 2012 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
UpCounty Government Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd. Germantown, MD
Meeting Notice Flyer - pdf, 330KB Available for public review and commentary, the Draft Recommended Service Delivery Strategies ( pdf, 989KB). NOTE: If Montgomery County schools are closed that day due to inclement weather, the meeting will be rescheduled.

Project Overview
Montgomery County Parks, in coordination with Montgomery County Department of Recreation is preparing an update of the 2012 PROS Plan. Guiding the 2012 PROS Plan is the recently completed Vision 2030 Strategic Plan for Parks and Recreation in Montgomery County, MD (
The PROS Plan represents a refinement of the overall framework for parks and recreation contained in the County's 1964 General Plan for the Maryland-Washington Regional District within Montgomery and Prince George’s County and in existing park acquisition and development guidelines.
Required by the State of Maryland to maintain Program Open Space funding, The PROS Plan is updated every six years to keep pace with changing patterns of needs in our county. The plan also serves as the County’s Local Land Preservation and Recreation Plan.
The final plan will compare the park and recreation facility needs for different areas of the County so that decision makers have the information necessary to establish priorities as the County’s population grows in an era of high competition for limited resources. The plan will also include updated information on Recreation Needs, Natural Resource Conservation, Historic/Cultural Resource Preservation and Agricultural land Preservation.
Vision 2030 Strategic Plan) (June 2011). The overall strategies and specific recommendations for the delivery of the identification of facilities, lands, and services will come from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan along with the strategies for delivering recreational and stewardship facilities for long term sustainability. Purpose and Scope The primary purposes of the Plan update are to:provide guidance regarding recreation facility needs in the county for the next 10 years.recommend priorities for important natural and historic/cultural areas in Montgomery County that need to be preserved and interpreted.provide input to area and park master plans regarding the need for public parkland and recreation facilitieshelp establish park acquisition and development priorities in the six-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP)

How is the 2012 PROS Plan Update different from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan?
The Vision 2030 Strategic Plan is much broader in scope, focusing on priorities rather than on specific needs for land acquisition and facilities. It addresses all aspects of operating the Parks and Recreation system, such as programming, facility renovation and construction, maintenance, operations, policing, management and marketing. The Vision 2030 Strategic Plan also helps us understand where generally underserved areas of the County are. Together, these two documents will enable us to set clear priorities for acquisition, renovation, and development of our Park System, as well as guide our recommendations in Area and Park Master Plans and the Capital Improvements Program.
Vision 2030 Strategic Plan for Parks and Recreation in Montgomery County, MD
Plan Content
Recreation and Parks ChapterUpdated Parks Inventory2005 PROS Plan (pdf, 6.7MB) that includes: Methodologies for Setermining Needs 2005 PROS Plan (pdf, 6.7MB) supplemented by information from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan. Projection of Park and Recreation Facility Needs to the Year 2022o Local Use Facilitieso Community team area facilitieso Countywide facilitieso General needsImplementation for Land Acquisitions, Facility Construction and RehabilitationCalculation of How to meet the State Recreational Acreage GoalThe Role of Renovation and New Construction in Meeting Future NeedsNatural Resources Land Conservation Chapter This chapter will compare State and Local Goals for Natural Resources Land Conservation, progress since the 2005 PROS Plan (pdf, 6.7MB), and priority preservation areas as compared to State Green Print program properties.Historic/ Cultural Preservation ChapterThis chapter will consider preservation planning tools, progress since the 2005 PROS Plan (pdf, 6.7MB), and priority preservation areas.Agricultural Land Preservation ChapterThis optional Chapter may include a brief update on the progress of local programs since the 2005 PROS Plan (pdf, 6.7MB).The full work program for the 2012 PROS Plan update as approved by the Planning Board on February 24, 2011 can be viewed by clicking here.The methodologies will be similar to those used in the The Recreation Element is a major focus of the 2012 PROS Plan Update, which will be based on an updated inventory of parkland and facilities, and a demand analysis similar to the
Recreation and Parks Chapter
Natural Resources Land Conservation Chapter Historic/ Cultural Preservation ChapterHYPERLINK "" \l "agpres" Agricultural Land Preservation Chapter
which will significantly enhance the PROS Plan Update by its many recommendations and products. There are significant differences between the 2012 PROS Plan and the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan. The PROS Plan summarizes guiding policies. It also includes a park inventory and it estimates needs for neighborhood, community and countywide facilities, natural, historic/cultural and agricultural preservation and implementation.

MNCPPC, Department of Parks, Montgomery County and the Department of Recreation have just completed the
Public OutreachA great deal of the input for the 2012 PROS Plan update is based on outreach from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, including the statistically valid 2010 mail survey, public meetings, summits, and focus groups. Additional proposed outreach includes:Obtaining input from recreation and park advisory boardsHolding selected focus group meetings on draft proposalsHolding public meetings on draft proposals Down County MeetingUp County Meeting
Another important portion of this Chapter is the calculation of how the County meets the State Recreational Acreage Goal.

The plan will also look at implementation for meeting needs for land acquisition, facility development and rehabilitation priorities for the short term-(2010-2016) mid-term- (2017-2021) and long range (2022 and beyond).
- Passive Recreation, Community Gardens, Cricket, Volleyball, nature education, ice rinks, Indoor Tennis, Adventure sports, etc.
- recreation centers and aquatic facilities operated by the Recreation Department, natural areas, historic/cultural areas, natural and hard surface trails, picnic shelters, skate parks, and dog parks.
–diamond and rectangular fields; and most needed additional
- playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts;
The most challenging aspect of the plan update will be the projection of::
Currently scheduled public meetings

Calendar and Meeting NotesThe Plan schedule and presentation materials are listed on the calendar below. You may also want to review all outreach from the
Vision 2030 Strategic Plan including, Surveys, public meeting notes, and focus group notes.

Wednesday January 25, 2012- 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
UpCounty Government Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd. Germantown, MD

Tuesday January 24, 2012 – 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Montgomery Regional Office Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, MD



February 24 Work Program approved by Planning Board and submitted to State
Planning Board Agenda
item #5 - Staff memo (pdf)
M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
FallFocus group meetings held where needed 
FallDevelop Draft Plan Preliminary Recommendations 
JanuaryCountywide Recreation Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting 
January 24Down-county Public Meeting on Preliminary Plan Recommendations
meeting notice flyer (pdf, 330KB)
- Draft
Recommended Service Delivery Strategies - pdf, 989KB
M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

Sediment Problem observed in the Paint Branch

At 3 pm on 1-21-12, a serious sediment problem was observed in the main stem of the Paint Branch at Fairland Road. The second part of the video shows the main stem of the Paint Branch at Briggs Chaney Road, which is upstream of Fairland Rd., and shows the stream is running clear. So, the problem must originate downstream of Briggs Chaney Rd.

Bob Ferraro

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stakeholders’ Meeting Wed., Feb 22, 7-9 PM

Eyes of Paint Branch Stakeholders’ Meeting!

Eyes of Paint Branch is a local conservation group dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring the Paint Branch and its watershed. Paint Branch is best known as the home of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area’s only long-term self-sustaining wild trout population, but it also hosts an incredible biological diversity and some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area. Paint Branch is one of the main tributaries of the Anacostia watershed, which flows into the Potomac River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Our group was founded in 1994 and has an excellent reputation and a significant following.

There remains much to do to protect our unique watershed. As a first step we’re planning a stakeholders’ meeting for the evening of Wednesday, February 22. We’ll feature a presentation with lots of high-quality pictures from around the watershed to highlight the uniqueness and beauty of the Paint Branch streams, wetlands, and forests. Come hear about our future activities, such as tree plantings, stream walks, newsletters, and web site updates. We’ll also solicit input from the community on what you would like to do and what issues you want addressed.

Join us and see what Eyes of Paint Branch is all about!

EOPB Stakeholders’ Meeting
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Eastern Montgomery Regional Services Center

3300 Briggs Chaney Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904

Contacts:          David Dunmire, Community Action Chair, 301-989-0331
                        Roseanne Price, Communications Chair, 301-989-1606

(From the Silver Spring Metro, take the bus marked Z-11/Z13 Greencastle-Briggs Chaney or Z6 Tanglewood-West Farm.  From the Glenmont Metro Station, take the Ride-On #39 only during rush hour. For further information regarding transportation to the Center, please check .)

College Park Earth Day Project and Music Fest

Join us for an Earth Day Project and Music Fest which will take place on April 21 and 22 at Duvall Field in College Park.

On April 21 there's going to be an afternoon volunteer project followed by a concert in the evening. On April 22 there will be speakers, presentations, and live music, along with environmental and leadership organizations booths. The event is free and opened for anyone to attend, focusing on outreaching to teenagers and young adults and showing them how fun activism and community involvement can be. 

Eyes of Paint Branch will have a booth at the Earth Day Project and Music Fest. on April 22 from 12 - 5. Contact David at 301-989-0331 if you would like to help staff this booth.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Update to ICC Discharge of Sediment-Laden Stormwater into Paint Branch

Here are more pictures taken on January 8 that clearly show brown mud staining on the rocks below the outfall from the ICC stormwater management facility. This staining is several feet high, indicating a significant flow occurred. The Paint Branch is immediately downstream of these pictures. You can see the Paint Branch Main Stem in the background of the third picture. We submitted these pictures to DNR on January 9.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

EOPB finds sediment in ICC SWM discharge

Eyes of Paint Branch writes to report sediment-laden water coming out of the discharge pipe from a large stormwater management facility for the Inter-County Connector into the Paint Branch. Here is text of letter to Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and pictures are shown below:

We are writing to report a problem with the stormwater management system for the Inter-County Connector (ICC) in the Paint Branch watershed. The problem, in short, is that the stormwater discharge that is piped to the Main Stem is contaminated with fine sediment. We are contacting you because you know the Paint Branch well and also know the myriad of regulators and agencies involved with the ICC, and thus will know the appropriate contacts to expeditiously address this problem.

As you know, significant time, effort, and money have gone into defining and implementing stormwater controls for the ICC that would be appropriate for such a unique and highly valued cold water fishery. My understanding is that the stormwater from the eastern half of the ICC in the Good Hope sub-watershed is collected by linear sand filters and piped to a large underground storage and treatment facility beneath the western bank of the Gum Springs bridge. The discharge from this facility is piped underground parallel to the existing Corps of Engineers’ Gum Springs diversion pipe, and then discharged into the Main Stem.

This morning the water coming out of SHA’s discharge pipe was heavily laden with fine sediment. I returned later in the day with a camera to document this situation, and while the flow had slowed considerably the sediment was still evident, as shown in the attached photos. The pipe on the right side is the outflow from the existing Corps of Engineers’ Gum Springs Diversion Project, and is clearly not contaminated with sediment. The pipe on the left is theoutflow from the new SHA ICC stormwater facility from the Good Hope sub-watershed, and is obviously heavily laden with sediment.

The Maryland State Highway Administration has made much of the multiply redundant stormwater treatment mechanisms implemented in the Paint Branch for the ICC. Consequently this type of sediment-laden discharge suggests that something is wrong. Given this situation we ask for your help in seeing that the following questions are addressed:

  1. What is going to be done to determine the source of this sediment?
  2. What is going to be done to correct this problem?
  3. Was this problem caught by the existing monitoring protocols? If so, please provide the data. If not, what changes are going to be made to the monitoring process to ensure that this type of problem is caught in the future?
As a fisheries expert and one who knows the Paint Branch well, you understand that this type of sediment discharge could not come at a worse time, namely in the midst of the wild trout spawning and nursery period. Given the stress that the Paint Branch has been subjected to, this is the last thing that it needs now. Approval of the ICC was predicated on many environmental safeguards, including multiply redundant stormwater measures that go beyond the minimum requirements. Given the situation shown in the pictures, we need action and we it now.

We appreciate all that you do to preserve, protect and restore the streams of Maryland, and the Paint Branch in particular.