Looking for ParksMatter.org? You’re in the right place!
Parks Matter is now part of the Montgomery Parks Foundation website. It may look a little different, but you’ll still find the same reliable and informative content about a variety of issues impacting our county’s award-winning parks system. Welcome!
Council restores 1.5 million in budget cuts to Parks but leaves over $6.5 million budget gap
On May 26, 2011 the Montgomery County Council approved the FY12 Operating Budget. The Council’s restoration of $1.5 million to M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks, primarily for park maintenance and inspection, as well as other funding adjustments, leaves Montgomery Parks facing a $6,691,770 shortfall. This represents 8.1% less than the proposed budget of $82,604,800 which the department submitted on January 15, 2011.
During this budget season M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks survived numerous threats to the stability of department’s infrastructure including an attempt to merge park and county police, an effort to shift “Park User Services” to county government, and a campaign to merge Montgomery Parks into the much smaller Department of Recreation.
MCPS school site selection process equates parks with vacant property
(Update) If your community has a local or neighborhood park, you should be concerned about recent efforts by MCPS and the Board of Education to “take” local park land and repurpose it to build public school facilities. The Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and Education Committee will hold a joint meeting on July 25 at 2:00 PM in the Council Office Building (100 Maryland Avenue, 3rd Floor Hearing Room) in Rockville to discuss school site selection issues. Officials and staff from both MCPS and M-NCPPC will participate in the discussion. Plan to attend an important joint meeting on this topic on Monday, July 25.
PHED will be discussing this issue in the 3rd floor conference room of the Stella B. Werner Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave in Rockville. People can attend or dial 240-773-3300 to listen. It will also be televised live on County Cable Montgomery.
Two communities have been outraged by the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) school site selection process in recent weeks. The urgent need for a new middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster led MCPS to first identify Rosemary Hills/Lyttonsville Park in Silver Spring and then Rock Creek Hills Park as the alternative.
The strong opposition from both neighborhoods was obvious in public meetings where park supporters wore t-shirts with the words, “Save Our Parks, Preserve our Communities”, in letters and emails to M-NCPPC and from numerous articles and commentary in local newspapers.
“The school system thought of park land as sort of —free”, said Francoise Carrier, Chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board in her April 27 letter to the school board- click here for the full letterhttp://www.montgomeryparks.org/media/documents/BOESiteSelection.pdf
While the option to build the school on the Rosemary Hills/Lyttonsville Park site has been eliminated, the Board of Education approved a feasibility study for the Rock Creek Hills site. In response, the Rock Creek Hills community has appealed the decision to the Maryland State Board of Education.
Of the 10 sites reviewed by the project’s site selection committee, six were parks.
How can you get involved?
Montgomery County Public Schools will hold six meetings and a community presentation as part of the feasibility study. The study will determine “spatial relationships with the school, pedestrian and traffic flow, and the school’s integration into the community”, according to a memo from project manager Dennis Cross.
For a schedule of meetings visit the Rock Creek Hills Citizens Association website:
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