I have a little list of what I would call "worries" about my favorite parks in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Most of those worries involve funding, but some also involve priority setting. We have a responsibility, I believe, to keep those streams clean and healthy. Historic landmarks also deserve to be tended. Green open space needs to be protected and honored.
I guess I'd put it this way: I like to make sure that some of the less profitable but extremely important things don't get cut from the budgets each year, and I like to see that sports and roads don't override the entire system. I like sports just fine; a lot of the people in my family enjoy playing on many of MNCPPC's fields. But I don't want the system to ever forget that things like hiking, nature walks and trees are important, too.
It kind of set a twinge of worry through my head, for instance, to see that golf was so heavily emphasized at the MNCPPC booth at the MoCo county fair last year, for example. (I was hoping they'd emphasize some of the other stuff, like the great Nature Centers. But I guess golf makes more money than snakes and birds do.)
Anyway, that list of concerns sits around in my brain and often causes me to do things like write letters, make blog posts and attend public meetings. So the following email really got my attention:
"Come to a public meeting and help shape the future of Parks and Recreation in Montgomery County. The Department of Parks and the Department of Recreation are holding two public meetings in February to hear about your future needs and priorities over the next 20 years to help us develop a long term strategic plan and guide public spending in these tight fiscal times.
Meetings will be held: Downcounty- Tuesday February 23, 2010 from 7-8:30 pm in the MNCPPC Montgomery Regional Office (MRO) Auditorium at 8787 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, MD 20910. . Upcounty- Wednesday February 24 from 7-8:30 pm in the large meeting room of the Up-County Government Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown, MD 20874. Please pass this notice on to others that you think may be interested. "
I plan to attend one of these meetings, with my little list of worries in hand.
If you plan to attend or have questions, don't send them to me. Send them to:
For additional information on Vision 2030, and in case of inclement weather, please visit: www.VisionMontgomery2030.org.