Thursday, March 28, 2013

Get Your Tree Coupon Here

Now is a great time to plant a tree, especially if you have a $25 coupon. Visit the Planning Department’s Leaves for Neighborhoods site to learn more about this great program designed to increase the county’s tree canopy on residential property. Trees have many environmental benefits, including protecting soil and preventing erosion; absorbing carbon dioxide and improving local air quality; and filtering stormwater runoff to improve water quality.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Earth Month Activities

It’s hard to believe we are talking about Earth Month when there is still snow on the ground, but here we go.

The following activities are approved for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for Montgomery County Public School students.

April 2, 6, 13 and 27 – Montgomery Parks Annual Garlic Mustard Pull.  Help remove one of the fastest spreading, non-native, invasive weeds.  Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.  Dress appropriately for the weather and to be out in the woods.  For more information go to or call 301-495-2504.

Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. - noon – Alice Ferguson Foundation’s 25th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.  Volunteers will pick up trash from hundreds of cleanup sites around the region.  To find a site, visit, or call 202-973-8203.

Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. – noon – Rock Creek Conservancy Extreme Cleanup.  Clean up the streams of Rock Creek and its tributaries, the parks connected to Rock Creek and the neighborhoods near Rock Creek where trash originates.  Over 50 locations are available.  Visit for more information or call 301-775-2960.

Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. – noon – Montgomery County Road Runners Club Rock Creek Trail Cleanup.  Take part in the cleanup of the Rock Creek Trail, the Matthew Henson Trail and feeder paths as well as dry feeder streams, roadways, playgrounds and the Lake Needwood area.  For more information go to or call 301-933-2919.
Saturday, April 20, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Montgomery Parks Cabin John Trail Workday.  Improve the Cabin John Natural Surface Trail in Bethesda.  Volunteer trail workdays typically include repairing eroded tread surfaces, stabilizing drainage issues, and building new trails and bridges.  For more information, go to or call 301-495-2504.

Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. – noon – Anacostia Watershed Society Cleanup.  Take part at 20 different cleanup sites along the Anacostia Watershed.  For more information, visit or call 301-699-6204.

Sunday, April 21, 9 a.m. – noon – WSSC Invasive Weed Removal.  Help get rid of kudzu and other weeds so the trees and wildlife can thrive.  Students under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information, visit or call 301-206-8233.
For more information and additional opportunities for Earth Day, call Montgomery County’s Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600 or visit the Volunteer Center website at

Friday, March 22, 2013

Summer Internships in Land Use Planning

Forget SimCity. Try your hand at real community planning. The Planning Department at M-NCPPC has summer internships for college students interested in planning and urban development. The department has a wide variety of opportunities to provide realistic work experiences. Apply by March 31.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Open for Business

Get a sneak peek at the three-minute promotional video produced by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the county's Conference and Visitor's Bureau. It will be shown aboard more than 1,700 U.S. Airways and select American Airlines Business and First Class national and international flights during the month of April. It is expected to be seen by nearly 400,000 travelers during it's month-long run.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Montgomery County Population Surpasses 1 Million

This just in from the Planning Department at M-NCPPC: Montgomery County has reached the 1 million mark.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montgomery County’s population reached 1,004,709 last July. Recently released data shows that Montgomery County, the largest jurisdiction in the state since 1989, is now the first county in Maryland to reach the population milestone.

The Census data shows Montgomery County’s population gained over 13,000 people between July 2011 and July 2012, up from a revised 991,645 the previous year, a 1.3 percent increase.

Most of the population increase is due to births, what demographers call a “net natural increase” of 7,630 people. In the period, 13,097 births exceeded 5,467 deaths.

The rest of the increase is attributed to 8,700 people migrating into the county from abroad, offsetting the net loss of 3,100 people moving out of the county during the period. A trend of international migration that began in 1990 has not slowed.

Demographers say those changes are a result of a rebounding economy and housing market, which provides the confidence and means to set up house elsewhere. During an economic downturn, people tend to stay put.

Public Hearings on the Operating Budget

The County Executive released his Recommended Operating Budget today, and now it is up to the County Council to consider his proposals and approve a final budget at the end of May. We will hold our public hearings on the budget on April 9 at 7:00, April 10 at 1:00 and 7:00, and April 11 at 1:00 and 7:00. To sign up to speak call 240-777-7803. If you can't make the hearings, you can also let us know your views by e-mailing

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Community Ministries Celebrates 45 Years of Service

Congratulations to Community Ministries of Rockville on their 45th anniversary. CMR improves the quality of life for the most vulnerable of Montgomery County residents by providing basic services including housing, healthcare, homecare, education and assistance. Over their 45 years, CMR has served nearly 60,000 residents. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire population of Rockville. I was proud to congratulate them on a job well done with a County Council Proclamation today.

Learn more about poverty in Montgomery County.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Your Thoughts Wanted on Proposed Glenmont Enterprise Zone

Do you have ideas about the proposed Glenmont Enterprise Zone. If so, you are invited to attend a public hearing on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Glenmont Local Park Activity Building, 3201 Randolph Rd., Wheaton. The comments from the hearing will be used to develop a recommendation to the County Executive and the County Council prior to submitting an application to the State of Maryland to create a new Enterprise Zone.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development designates the State’s Enterprise Zones, while local governments are responsible for their administration. Businesses operating within an Enterprise Zone may be eligible for a tax credit towards their state income tax filings based upon the number of new jobs created. They may also be eligible for a tax credit on their local real property taxes based upon their overall capital investment in a property.

Current Enterprise Zones in Montgomery County include Wheaton, Long Branch/Takoma Park and Olde Town (Gaithersburg). Silver Spring previously obtained Enterprise Zone status to help its revitalization efforts.

The draft application will be available for review beginning March 13 at the Mid-County Regional Services Center, 2424 Reedie Dr., Wheaton, and at the Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., during regular business hours, and online at

To sign up to speak at the public hearing, call Trina Green at 240-777-2004. Comments may also be emailed to


Monday, March 4, 2013

Businesses: Sign up Now for 50+ Employment Expo

Business owners: sign up now for your table at the 50+ Employment Expo. This is your chance to network with thousands of mid-life and older jobseekers at an award-winning program sponsored by the Jewish Council for the Aging and Montgomery County. The event is free to all employers, community resources and participants, and this year’s speaker will be Maureen Bunyan from ABC7/WJLA-TV. You can still participate even if you have only one or two jobs available by sharing a table with others in your industry.  Although the event is free, employers must pre-register. The program is scheduled for Friday, May 17, 10:00-3:00 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Action Alert: Transportation Funding

Please join us in this call to action signed by all nine members of the County Council:

We are writing to ask for your help. The County Council has devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy seeking a solution in Annapolis to our transportation funding needs. But we need your help in order to succeed. Our county's future is at stake.

Tell the Governor, Speaker Busch, and our County Delegation to the Senate and the House of Delegates: FUND TRANSPORTATION - OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT!

Simply put, nothing is more important to our county's future than securing transportation funding from the state legislature this year. So much depends upon it:

• Our Quality of Life - Congestion consistently ranks as the Number One issue in our county;

• Our Economy - Transit is the key to our economic future. Without transit, including bus rapid transit, there is no Transit Oriented Development;

• Our Competitiveness - Virginia just passed a transportation revenue package that will raise more than $800 million a year. Maryland's competitiveness depends on our state achieving similar results;

• Our Environment - Automobile pollution accounts for a full third of our greenhouse gas emissions;

• The CCT & Purple Line - State officials have declared that unless the Legislature provides transportation funding this year, all work on these critical projects will come to a halt. In addition, important road infrastructure projects will also be jeopardized.

The County Council has been pushing as hard as we can for a transportation solution in Annapolis. With only five weeks to go in this year's legislative session, now is the time to express your support for a transportation funding solution to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate President. They need to hear how important it is to you to fund our state's transportation priorities.

The Washington Post noted Monday in an editorial that Virginia, after much hard work and compromise, raised revenue and overcame regional differences to fund transportation. Our state can not afford to do less.

The Governor and the General Assembly have already heard from Montgomery County's elected officials. Now, they need them to hear from you.  Tell the Governor, Speaker Busch, and our County Delegation to the Senate and the House of Delegates: FUND TRANSPORTATION - OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT!

You can also spread the word by showing your support on Facebook and Twitter and using the hashtag #FundTransportation.