Celebrating MoCo History on Heritage Days

Late June means one thing:  Heritage Days- a popular County-wide festival celebrating numerous sites that represent the beauty, history and culture of Montgomery County. Many of the County’s historic sites are in the Reserve- where sites like the Seneca School House, John Poole House and St Paul Community Church still reside in their rural context.

The photos below are from St Paul Community Church, a church that served the freed slaves that settled the Sugarland region of Pooolesville. Learn more about the church here. The band shell shot is in Whalen Commons in Poolesville.  The re-enactors are from the wonderful Washington Revels and the photos were taken by MCA Board member, Dolores Milmoe. Boy, that Abe sure has a healthy appetite!

Learn more about Heritage Days here.

Historic Medley District is the organization responsible for upkeep of many of the Reserve’s historic sites, including the Seneca School House. Learn more about the treasures of our local history and help protect these resources by joining HMD!

Remembering Minny Pohlmann, Sugarloaf Champion

Who can be blamed for the unspoiled vistas from Sugarloaf Mountain? “It’s all Minny’s fault!” is the title of a chapter in Tom Horton’s Bay Country all about Minny Pohlmann, who was  blamed by developers for much of the permanent conservation (through conservation easements) at the foot of the Mountain, as well as the designation of the Monocacy Natural Resources Reserve along the Monocacy River and fighting off a dam on the Monocacy that would have left 3,000 acres of farmland underwater.

In 1995, Mrs. Pohlmann described herself as a “little old lady in tennis shoes” while introducing President Bill Clinton before an address at Rock Creek Park during which he promised to veto a Republican revision of the Clean Water Act. “This country,” Clinton declared when he took the microphone, “would be better off if we had a few more little old ladies in tennis shoes, don’t you think?”

We heartily agree. In 2007, MCA honored Minny with the Royce Hanson Award for stewardship of the Ag Reserve.

Minny Pohlmann died in Frederick on June 8 at the age of 96. Washington Post Coverage

MCA’s Presentation to the Zoning Advisory Panel

Diana Conway, MCA Board President and Caroline Taylor, MCA Executive Director presented a virtual tour of the Ag Reserve on to the June Meeting of the Zoning Advisory Panel- a group of Moco residents tasked with making recommendations throughout the re-zoning process. Many Thanks to Dolores Milmoe of Audubon Naturalist Society for creating some of the slides.

To see the presentation click here

Blueberry Picking This Weekend!

Eating locally makes each new crop that comes in a real treat. This weekend sees the return of blueberries! Farm-at-Home on Partnership rd in the Ag Reserve is opening its gates for pick-your-own blueberries this weekend. As is always the case with seasonal food- get em before they are gone- the blueberry season lasts about 4 weeks.

Looking for new ways to cook with blueberries? Farm at Home has tons of ideas. Here is one from us: sit in the shade, eat, repeat.

Arsenic banned in chicken feed by FDA!

Pel and Mel- two arsenic free chickens on sustainable Rocklands Farm

Wait- there was arsenic in chicken feed?  Yes! And there will be until feeds featuring the ingredient are pulled from shelves across the nation next month and poultry farms run out of old stock.Arsenic is the main ingredient in a compound that helps chickens grow larger faster and resist disease in confined feeding operations.

Click here for a local news story on the ban, featuring our good friend Will Morrow who farms organically at Whitmore Farm in Frederick County.

Read more posts from us on Arsenic in Chicken Feed.

“Corner Plot”: Farming in Silver Spring (video)

Charlie Koiner has been farming in what is now downtown Silver Spring for most of his 90 years. His lettuce is great (to be found at FreshFarm farmers markets downcounty) but his story is even better- now told in the documentary “Corner Plot.”

See the Washington Post article about him here.

Respect – the verb…your stories

They are out there – wonderful stories of respect and honor.  We shared one of a child’s respect for life in saving frogs from roadside disaster.  Dolores Milmoe of Audubon Society shared her discovery from a visit to Portland, Oregon:  where public transit offers seating for “honored citizens” as opposed to seniors.

So, send us your respects to info@mocoalliance.org and we’ll pass them on.

respect verb ( HONOR )


to treat something or someone with kindness and care

to respect someone’s feelings
We should respect the environment and not pollute it.

to accept the importance of someone’s rights or customs and to do nothing that would harm them or cause them offence

The agreement will respect the rights of both nations.
I would appreciate it if you would respect my privacy.

to accept that something which is established or formally agreed is right or important and not to attempt to change it or harm it

The president pledged to respect the existing frontiers between the two countries.

to think that it is important to obey a law or rule

I was always taught to respect the law.
respect sb’s wishes

to do what someone has asked to have done

His children respected his last wishes and held a simple funeral for him.

Land Link Launched!

MCA is proud to announce Land Link- a program to help farmers and farmland find each other- an initiative that  came out of our February producers summit. Our new Land Link page can be found under the “community resources” tab above or click here.

Full press release: Land Link press release july 2011

Cell Towers: Mt. Ephraim Site: Denial Recommendation!

Preliminary Victory!!

While the final decision is up to the MC Board of Appeals, the Hearing Examiner, citing the Reserve Master Plan as well as the Master Plan for Rural and Rustic Roadways, has recommended denial of T-Mobile’s big, big cell tower silo smack in the Sugarloaf view shed.  See below and note that MCA’ arguments were cited in the HE’s report as well as the able oral arguments of Chris Kendrick who spoke for the stakeholders (MCA, SCA and Audubon) at the hearing. Quite an uphill battle for T-Mobile at this site now.

The report submitted re: S-2800 is:


. . . and ends with:

Based on the foregoing analysis, I recommend that Petition No. S-2800 for a special exception to
construct and operate a telecommunications facility at 22730 Mt. Ephraim Road, Dickerson, Maryland,

August 2011 Update:

Wasche Road Site – adjustments to location and screening of compound within trees may render this location less offensive to local community. MCA provided photographs to BOA and applicant to help determine placement of tree buffer.

West Offut Road:  Site is scheduled for hearing in January.  Applicant indicates that the delay will afford them time to research other locations/solutions.

Mt. Ephraim: Cell Tower Committee recommends placement of silo tower on the Savage Dairy farm in context of  working farm.  Doing so will achieve more harmony with landscape, including viewshed of and from Sugarloaf Mountain and also, as the land is at higher elevation, provide for improved coverage.  Awaiting determination by hearing examiner at MC Board of Appeals.

White’s Ferry Road (near Poolesville):  Crazy site!  This tall tower would be the first thing you see and last impression you get into/out of Poolesville.  Even T-Mobile thought better off it when the balloon test took place.  They are evaluating other locations.

MCA continues to work toward the appropriate siting of a number of cell towers being proposed throughout the Ag Reserve.  This process would have been greatly facilitated by front end discussions with the applicant that could have helped guide their process.  We understand, for example, that they did not know that their proposed towers were to be located in a protected region.  Notwithstanding that  shortcoming, we press forward.  The most recent discussion centers on the tower proposed near beloved Sugarloaf Mountain on Mt. Ephraim Road.  T-Mobile now proposes a 127 foot tall silo in the Mountain’s sweeping viewshed (see image above taken from Mouth of Monocacy Road in Dickerson of balloon with silo to scale added).   Here’s the problem:  this very tall silo is to be located out of context of a working farm…in the middle of open field.  The Stronghold folks on the mountain are not pleased and neither are others in the community.  The recommendation is to re-evaluate need and provide either a system that lives on existing infrastructure or place the silo in the context of a working farm, such as the Savage dairy farm. See the letter to the hearing examiner here.

On Friday morning, May 20, Chris Kendrick (Board member Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association) attended the hearing on the T-Mobile Mt. Ephraim Road application before a hearing examiner at the Board of Appeals.  He appeared on behalf on the community stakeholders and asked many questions regarding the data that T-Mobile presented as to need for the facility as well as to placement.  The applicant was unable to answer some of the questions.  The matter was referred back to the Montgomery County Cell Tower Committee and is far from over.

Click here for older posts on this issue

Thanks for funding Growing Legacy!

We will keep you updated on our progress by email. If you want to contact us about the movie- drop us a line at info@mocoalliance.org

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