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Ongoing Initiatives

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Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship Fund

To honor Marye Wells-Harley’s legacy to parks and recreation in our area, The Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarships for children and teens to attend the Montgomery Parks’ summer camp of their choice.  Summer camp provides fun and life-changing experiences to area children, but due to financial constraints, some children are sidelined. This Fund provides Montgomery County families facing financial challenges the opportunity to give their children the memorable experience of summer camp.


Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery Parks’ award-winning, 50-acre premier horticultural display garden located in Wheaton, MD. Brookside Gardens offers formal and landscaped gardens, conservatories filled with changing seasonal displays, educational programs for children and adults and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Included in the gardens are several distinct areas: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Brookside Gardens also feature two conservatories for year-round enjoyment.


Weed Warriors

Non-native Invasive plant species (NNIs) present one of the greatest threats to the health and biodiversity of our parklands. These unwelcome plants disrupt the ecology of natural ecosystems, displace native plants, impact native wildlife, and degrade the wonderful diverse wild lands of Montgomery County. In 1999, Montgomery Parks Forest Ecologist Carole Bergmann created the Weed Warrior volunteer program in response to the non-native invasive plant problem. The goal of the program is to educate citizens about identification and management of NNIs.


Trails

Montgomery Parks has the responsibility of providing safe, sustainable, and stable hard and natural surface trails to a diverse population of approximately one million residents. The trails connect historical landmarks and routes, unique habitats and beautiful views, and you! A survey of county residents demonstrated that trails are the single most important park/recreational amenity to residents.  Visitors use trails to enjoy nature, improve fitness or as alternate transportation routes. The higher the user volume of the trails, the more restoration work is needed. Based on a survey, it is estimated that the 130 miles of natural surface trails in the Montgomery Parks’ system are visited approximately 11,288,000 times each year.

Because of the vast amount of park land and streams in Montgomery County, Montgomery Parks relies primarily on volunteers to perform routine inspections and maintenance on natural surface trails.  Volunteers are an essential part of the of the natural resources maintenance strategy, however this does not allow Montgomery Parks to focus on identified priority areas in need of restoration work.  In order to address user impact issues and improve user safety and environmental stability in these high priority areas, your help is needed!