All interested in improving the health of the Northwest Branch are invited!
Chuck Kines, Montgomery County Parks Planner/Coordinator, updated us on the thinking behind the update of the Wheaton Park Master Plan. Although a regional park, Wheaton must also function as a local park, as it lies in a densely populated area. His slide presentation, downloadable below, included maps and demographics. The Parks Department is in the early stages of planning and welcomes input from park users.
On Oct. 26, 17 volunteers, mostly members of the National Junior Honor Society, hauled 17 bags of trash and assorted metal objects from the Northwest Branch at Burnt Mills, upstream of Colesville Rd. Photo by J. Hornick.
Our October 1 program featured Mr. Charles Kines, AICP, CPRP, Park Planning Coordinator, who explained the Montgomery County pilot program allowing mechanized bikes and scooters on paved park trails. If you missed the program, you can find information about it on the MoCo Parks website at: Montgomery County's pilot program to allow mechanized bikes and scooters on paved park trails. You can also find the slides from Mr. Kines' presentation linked below. (Photo by Laura Turbe of a scooter abandoned beside Pine Lake in Wheaton Regional Park.)
The NNWB August meeting included reports on the beltway-I-270 expansion plan and a proposal to build a new middle school in the NWB floodplain in Hyattsville, both using Public-Private Partnerships (P3). We also discussed the Montgomery Parks pilot project to allow certain mechanized bikes and scooters on paved park trails and NNWB plans and speakers for the fall.
FEATURED SPEAKER Tiffany Boone-Hines, a Montgomery Blair High School student, spoke about her participation in One Montgomery Green's Clean Headwaters Program and what she has learned about the impact of plastics waste in marine environments through her hands-on study of the Northwest Branch and its tributaries.
Overall, plastic micro- and macro-pollution in waterways is a huge problem, and the Northwest Branch has its share of plastic waste. The team, using a sieve to isolate particles which they then viewed under a microscope, found tiny bits of plastic foam and synthetic fibers. Rather than rely on recycling plastics, we must reduce our use in the first place. It appears that our removal of all those plastic bottles and cups from the NWB has been beneficial, however, as the amount of particles in the water was not overwhelming. The slides from Tiffany's presentation can be viewed below.
One Montgomery Green is a local nonprofit fostering partnerships to support environmental sustainability and promote the development of a green economy.
Jennifer came down from Burtonsville to help out!
All set up and ready to go!
Kemp Mill Rd. site: NNWB teamed up with One Montgomery Green. 14 workers collected 12 bags of trash, 5 of recyclables.
Most of the group, all smiles, bags in hand, ready to set out. Photo by leader Frank Sprtel..
The group prepares to skirt the field to the trailhead. Photo by Trey Sherard.
Wow ! A dragonfly larva
October 3, 2018: A crowd of more than 20 residents heard from Ryan Butler, Principal Natural Resources Specialist at Montgomery County Parks, about deer impacts on our parks and on people. He outlined current and ongoing deer population management projects near the Northwest Branch Stream Valley and said that Northwest Branch Stream Valley Unit #4 and Sligo Creek Stream Valley Unit #5 will soon be added to Park Police-based sharpshooting operations. He stressed that before a shot is fired, the sharpshooter must track where the bullet will land and ensure there is a backstop. Participants raised the question of birth control rather than culling. This is not deemed currently feasible for such a mobile and unconstrained population. Park police telephone numbers to keep handy:
Emergencies - 301-949-3010.
Non-emergencies, i.e., to report a wounded deer, 301-949-8010.
July 1, 2018: An enthusiastic team of five volunteers led by board member Maurie Kathan removed 9 bags of trash and 8 of recyclables from the stream and banks of the NW Branch behind the Metro station. Many thanks to those who braved the very warm morning to improve the health and beauty of the Northwest Branch!
Chris Lewis, Professional Horticulturist and manager of the garden shop at Behnkes, showed pictures and discussed the attributes of plants that do well in soggy sites.