The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Barn Again” program recognizes historic barns as working assests for sustainable farms and provides practical, up-to-date information and technical assistance to barn owners.
Here’s a site that offers a fair amount of helpful information, including grant/funding opportunities. Check it out!
Map of Piedmont Aquifer
Montgomery County’s Ag/Openspace Reserve is, by design, wholly outside the WSSC service area. Reserve residents, farms and businesses rely on ground water from the federally protected Piedmont Sole Source Aquifer- which also stretches into Frederick, Howard and Carol Counties. According to the EPA, because the aquifer has just one source and serves such a wide swath of communities, the aquifer ”if contaminated, would pose a significant hazard to public health.”
Whether you reside, work or play in the Reserve, understanding the finite and fragile nature of this high quality resource is important. We can all work to protect it and continue to enjoy it’s high quality sustainably. See these links for more information.
Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Reserve by capturing the beauty of its edge habitat: hedge and tree rows! MCA’s photo contast is open to all and provides a great opportunity to get out doors and use your talent!
Deadline extended due to demand: 9/1/2010
MCA has been serving on the “Poolesville-Monocacy Roundtable“ which has finished a several month period of meeting and conferring to address Mr. Weast’s determination that Monocacy Elementary School be closed because, though at 86% capacity, it fell under a newish criteria that no school have less than 300 pupils. Moreover, Mr. Weast indicated that both Poolesville Elementary and John Poole Middle School could follow suit under his enrollment guidelines. Poolesville, Clarksburg, Northwest, Darnestown clusters, the Ag Reserve and others schools were represented during this collegial process. In the end, their was consensus (unanimous) that the BOE and the County should issue a policy that Montgomery County’s rural schools be afforded a special status due to the fact that they are wholly located in and serve community within the Ag Reserve, which is by design low in population. The group felt that it would be discriminatory to hold Reserve community schools to the same standards as those schools located in densely developed portions of the County. Such a policy would support the existing legislation, zoning and policies that seek to protect the Reserve and promote continued, and expanding, local farming. Mr. Weast’s notion that there is a problem was disputed. It seems, with this closure proposal, as if the Reserve, a nationally recognized model for farmland/openspace preservation, is being penalized for its success!
Update: The 15th District Representatives have shown solidarity for this policy by sending this letter to the Board of Ed.
Great Seneca Science Corridor: Big name for big development. Developer lobbyist’s efforts have paid off and Council has passed the master plan with minor compromise to community. See following links for details:
Erin Auel is positively abuzz about what we can do to promote pollinators in our own landscapes. Her senior project for the Poolesville High School Global Ecology Program blends hands-on – creation of 2 pollinator gardens at the school- with research – a useful collection of resources for us to consult when planning for and planting our own gardens. Not only are these gardens beautiful and alive with flight and sound, they are practical for the health of our food system. Destruction of tree and hedgerows and loss of habitat due to development as well as growing dependence on landscape and agricultural chemicals has put great strain on the pollinator population.
So, take a look at these resources that we found…and let’s get growing!
Maryland’s Wild Acres Program
National Pollinator Week – June 21-27, 2010
Friends of Sligo Creek – Pollinator Page
Central Maryland Beekeepers Association
Selecting Plants for Pollinators
Wild Farm Alliance – promoting farming practices in harmony with nature
Poolesville’s Commissioners have approved alternative energy projects under certain conditions and have established a new farmer’s market in Whalen Commons this growing season. This is good news for area residents and such initiatives should be applauded.
The County Council in 9-0 vote has chosen Francois Carrier as next Planning Chair. The is a critical decision that will affect communities undergoing master plan revision/review. Moreover, this comes at a time when the Planning Commission and its staff have been hit with budget and staffing cuts. Ms. Carrier will, from the beginning, find challenge in facing these challenges. By all accounts and appearances, she will meet these challenges ably. Read more.
It has been a fantastic whirlwind of activity in the Reserve thus far this 30th year! On Monday, May 10 (magnificently beautiful Spring weather), MCA, joined by Gordon Clark of Montgomery Victory Gardens, gave a tour to Saahthi Revathi, her 11 year old son Natish, Uma Shakari and Surekha Krishan (their American sponsor) of Association for India’s Development (AID). We visited two local organic/sustainable farms, Rocklands Farm and One Acre Farm, and traded stories of the land and challenges to its stewardship. We learned more than we could possibly have imagined with regard to sustainable/organic land management and resource conservation.