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Civil War Talk Focused on African American Soldiers at Surratt House
Creature Feature: All About Raptors
DPR Hosting Mid-Atlantic MLB/RBI Baseball Tournament
FEATURE: Cops Camp: Police Mentoring Kids in Minority Communities
VIDEO: Take a Staycation with Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation
Creature Feature: All About Reptiles
Concert Series at Fairwood Community Park Announced
Shakespeare Festival Dates and Locations Announced
Puppet Show at Watkins Nature Center
Family Hike at Watkins Nature Center
Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion
Oxon Hill Manor Announces Summer Concert Series
County Council’s Biggest Winner Competition Wraps
Explore Insects at Watkins Nature Center
M-NCPPC Announced as Finalist for the 2015 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation
Family Campfire at Watkins Nature Center
Military Personnel Get Free Admission to Parks and Recreation Museums
Patuxent River Park and Clearwater Nature Center Certified as Maryland Green Centers
Three Communicator Awards Go To Public Affairs and Marketing Division
Montpelier Mansion to be honored at “Best of Maryland” Preservation Awards
Department of Parks and Recreation Wins Big at 2015 MRPA Conference
‘Get to Know Your Wild Neighbor’ Contest Kicking Off at Watkins Nature Center
Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $30K Grant to Support Local Out-of-School Time Programs
Five Recognized as Certified Park and Recreation Professionals


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 21, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: SUSAN PROCTOR, 301-868-1121; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Civil War Talk Focused on African American Soldiers at Surratt House

CLINTON, MD – Surratt House Museum is hosting historian Edna Greene Medford, Ph.D., for a talk on the Civil War, ‘U.S. Colored Troops and the Fight for the Union,’ on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

Medford, who received her Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Maryland, is the current Chair and former Director of Howard University’s Department of History’s graduate and undergraduate programs. She has contributed to several scholarly works focused on African Americans in the Civil War, notably co-authoring “The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views.”

This is a free event. Advanced registration is not available. Seats are limited and participants are asked to arrive early.

When: Saturday, August 8, 2015 – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 20, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: NICOLE PATTERSON, 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-704-5272

Creature Feature: All About Raptors

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Have you ever wanted to meet a bird of prey up close? This is your chance. Our park naturalists will give an up-close look at Watkins Nature Center’s raptors, including falcons, hawks and owls. Participants will learn about the biology of birds of prey. The birds will be brought out of their habitats for an up-close view. Parents and/or adult chaperons of children attending must also be registered for this course.

This course is for participants ages 3 and older, and will cost $2.00 for residents and $3.00 for non-residents. Course listings below:

Saturday, August 8, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628731.

Where:
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 17, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-6800; TTY 301-446-6802
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

DPR Hosting Mid-Atlantic MLB/RBI Baseball Tournament

RIVERDALE, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals, is hosting the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament from July 23-26, 2015, with the winner earning a spot in the RBI World Series in Texas.

RBI, the Major League Baseball youth initiative that provides youth from underserved and diverse communities with the opportunity to play baseball and softball, is in its second year of partnership with the Department, which hosted the tournament last year.

Play begins on Thursday, July 23, 2015, at 7 p.m. at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox, with a game between the RBI Orioles (Baltimore) and the RBI Nationals (Prince George’s County).

Prince George’s County’s branch of RBI had a dramatic increase in participation this year. Its junior division had eight teams while the senior division had six teams, both doubling the amount of teams from 2014. It was also the first year for the RBI High School Fast Pitch Softball League, which had six teams.

Along with the Prince George’s County and Baltimore squads, the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament will feature teams from North Carolina (Durham), Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Reading) and Virginia (Norfolk).

The championship games will be played on Sunday, July 26, 2015. The baseball games will be played at Prince George’s Stadium, with the junior game at 9 a.m. and the senior game at noon. The softball championship game will be played at 10 a.m. at either the University of Maryland or Bowie State University.

The RBI program, which has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception, also encourages academic achievement and success, and teaches the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. RBI currently serves approximately 230,000 young men and women in over 300 programs established in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, and more than 70 players since 2008. For more information about the RBI World Series, please visit MLB.com/RBIWorldSeries.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
RBI Orioles vs. RBI Nationals, 7 p.m.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Games begin at 9 a.m. and will be played at Cosca Regional Park, Jericho Park and Riverdale Park.

Saturday, July 25, 2015
Games begin at 9 a.m. and will be played at Cosca Regional Park, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and Riverdale Park.

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Championship games
Championship junior baseball game at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox, 9 a.m.
Championship senior baseball game at Prince George’s Stadium, noon.
Championship softball game at either the University of Maryland or Bowie State University, 10 a.m.

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JULY 7, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

FEATURE: Cops Camp: Police Mentoring Kids in Minority Communities

RIVERDALE, MD – His day was probably just off to a bad start.

That’s what Corporal Lakeisha Robinson told herself when a camper started acting up on the first day of Cops Camp last summer.

The camper was hesitant to follow instructions and even got physical with another camper. At any other camp, the child might have been sent home for the day – or even the remainder of the camp session – but Robinson didn’t take that route. Instead, she decided the child would spend the rest of the day at her side.

“I said to myself, ‘He’s probably just having a bad day,’” said Robinson, an energetic nine-year veteran of Prince George’s County’s branch of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. “But I’m a lot of fun to be with, so I thought he’d cheer up.”

Near the end of the day, Robinson called the camper’s mother with a good report: his attitude improved and he was an exemplary camper, going on to enjoy the entire week of camp.

Robinson felt she made a difference with that camper, and that’s her goal with every single person that signs up for Cops Camp, which the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting for two sessions this summer.

Prince George’s County, the second-most populous county in Maryland with just more than 900,000 residents, is a melting pot in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The majority of its population is made up by minorities, more than 65 percent of whom are African American. Entering its 17th summer, Cops Camp, which is run by counselors who are all Park Police officers, is a popular camp for Prince George’s County youth.

It mixes what you might expect from a cops camp, intertwined with typical camp activities – interaction with various parts of the police department followed by fun, like bowling or a trip to the pool.

They take a few field trips during the week, including trips to the Secret Service training facility in Beltsville; to the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.; to the Park Police mounted unit station in Mitchellville, where campers get to ride the horses; and to the Prince George’s County Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro, where they meet the state’s attorney.

Mixed in with the field trips are team-building activities with the Park Rangers, CPR instruction, a mock police academy, meeting bomb dogs, learning about crime scene investigations and talking about gang awareness.

Thomas Reed, 11, attended the camp the last three summers and enjoyed every minute of it. He liked learning about fingerprinting, visiting the Spy Museum and hearing why his camp counselors became police officers. He said that the atmosphere was a little different than other camps.

“It was a strict attitude with them,” Reed said, referring to the officers. “It wasn’t, ‘Okay children, go do your work, please.’ It was ‘Down, set, hut! Here we go!’ They were really nice.”

Parents see it as a way for children to have positive interactions with police officers at an early age.

“I want them to see the importance of following the rules and how that benefits you, and for them to see that police officers are not our enemies. They are here to help and assist,” said Edwinna Albergottie-Reed, Thomas’s mother, of Bowie. “They are valuable assets to society, especially in the black community. They’re not someone to be feared.”

Nathaniel Smith, of Bowie, whose son Micah also attended the camp the last three summers, said it exposed his son to a possible future career. Smith said Micah is already thinking about law school or possibly joining the United States Air Force, and this type of early exposure is hard to find.

“I’m glad that Prince George’s County has a program that allows kids to get to experience that,” Smith said. “They get to see law enforcement from a different take, and see that they serve the community and the people in it.”

Corporal Robinson says she learns as much from the kids during the week as they do from her.

A parent herself, Robinson enjoys forming bonds with the campers throughout the week, helping them with any problems they might be having at home or in school. She gets excited when she’s out shopping and a former camper recognizes her and strikes up a conversation.

She believes the relationships she forms during Cops Camp will have a lasting effect, and that they help create a positive impression for police officers in the community.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is that you never know what a youth or child could be going through,” Robinson said. “I want them to know that not just me, any police officer out there, you can stop us and you can talk to us. If you have any questions about anything, is anything happening – I just want them to know that we’re an open book. And with how things are going these days, I just want to be there for the youth because, believe it or not, a lot of them don’t have that.”

FIRST SESSION: July 13 to July 17 at Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex

SECOND SESSION: August 10 to August 14 at Glenarden Community Center

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 29, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-377-7817; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

VIDEO: Take a Staycation with Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation

RIVERDALE, MD – With money an ever-present concern and families stretching every dollar, there’s no reason to overspend on an extravagant trip when you can take a STAYCATION right here in Prince George’s County with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

With award-winning facilities throughout the county, the Department of Parks and Recreation has everything you’d enjoy while staying at a resort that’s a plane ride away, or while planning a drive to a get-a-way weekend out of town, except we’re minutes from your home.

Whether you’re looking for golf courses, tennis courts, horseback riding, trails to walk, waterways to paddle, performances, pools, museums or historic sites, the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation has it. So, stop worrying about your vacation plans fitting into your budget and start planning for your Prince George’s County STAYCATION.

For ideas on ways to enjoy your summer, visit www.pgparks.com and check out the Calendar of Events, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit a community center near you for more information on all of our amenities.

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 24, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: NICOLE PATTERSON, 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Creature Feature: All About Reptiles

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – If your child is a reptile fanatic, this is the event to attend. Our park naturalists will give an up-close look at Watkins Nature Center’s reptiles. Participants will learn about local and exotic reptiles, and the differences between reptiles and amphibians. Guests will also get the opportunity to see lizards, turtles and snakes up close, and will also get to pet most of the creatures.

This course is for participants ages 2 and older, and will cost $2.00 for residents and $3.00 for non-residents. Course listings below:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628729.
Saturday, August 1, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628730.

Where:
Watkins Nature Center (301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774)

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 23, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3232; TTY 301-446-6082
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Concert Series at Fairwood Community Park Announced

BOWIE, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Division has announced its summer concert series at Fairwood Community Park.

The series, which is free to all ages, starts with a performance of Romeo and Juliet, and also features concerts from LEA, Dream Unleashed, Rob White, Lorenzo Miller, Akua Allrich and the Upton Blues Band. Details below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Shakespeare in the Parks presents Romeo and Juliet

Sunday, July 26, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A night of ‘soulfolk’ with LEA, a local folk group

Sunday, August 9, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dream Unleashed, a 10-piece all-female band which plays a little bit of everything, including classical and jazz

Sunday, September 13, 2015 – 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fairwood Arts Festival, the season-ending festival featuring Rob White, Lorenzo Miller, Akua Allrich and the Upton Blues Band. Art and food vendors will be onsite, along with activities for the kids.

Where: Fairwood Park (12390 Fairwood Parkway, Bowie, MD 20720).

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 22, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3232; TTY 301-446-6082
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Shakespeare Festival Dates and Locations Announced

GREENBELT, MD – Bring your lawn chair to your favorite park to enjoy the The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Shakespeare Festival, which will be putting on free performances of Romeo and Juliet. Dates and locations below:

Fairwood Community Park
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Rain location: Glenn Dale Community Center

Watkins Regional Park
Thursday, July 16, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Rain location: Largo-Kettering-Perrywood Community Center

Montpelier Mansion
Friday, July 17, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Rain location: Deerfield Run Community Center

Hillcrest Heights Community Center
Saturday, July 18, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Rain location: Hillcrest Heights Community Center Gym

Bowie Center for the Performing Arts
Sunday, July 19, 2015 – 2 p.m.

Magruder Park
Friday, July 24, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
Rain location: City of Hyattsville Multipurpose Room

Harmony Hall Regional Center
Saturday, July 25, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.

Publick Playhouse
Sunday, July 26, 2015 – 2 p.m.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 19, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: NICOLE PATTERSON, 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Puppet Show at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Come as we transform Watkins Nature Center into a puppeteer’s paradise. The stage will be set for a nature-themed puppet performance, followed by a meet-and-greet with the real-life animals that inspired the show.

This course is for participants 2 to 10 years old, and will cost $2.00 for residents and $3.00 for non-residents. Course listings below:

Thursday, July 2, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628723.
Thursday, July 16, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628724.
Saturday, August 29, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628725.

Where:
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 19, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: NICOLE PATTERSON, 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Family Hike at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – As summer heats up, bring your family to Watkins Nature Center for a hike with a naturalist. A park naturalist from the nature center will guide you in a hike through the surrounding woods, helping you enjoy the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

This course is for participants ages 4 and older, and will cost $2.00 for residents and $3.00 for non-residents. Course listings below:

Friday, July 3, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628726.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628727.
Saturday, August 22, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628728

Where:
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 18, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-377-7817; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion

LAUREL, MD – Have you ever wondered what’s behind doors with ‘Staff Only’ and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs at museums? Montpelier Mansion’s staff wants to take you behind the curtain, showing you the historic site’s secret spaces during its Hidden Spaces tours on July 12 and September 6, 2015.

Staff will guide tours through the areas which are seldom open to the public. Guests will see the main house’s three cellars, the attic and the walk-in vault. They will also visit the summer house and the carriage house.

The tour will focus on the construction of the house and the changes made during the 230-year history of the home.

Participants must be prepared to climb and descend ladders and narrow, winding staircases. Older clothes and comfortable shoes are recommended.

Tours cost $15 per person.

When: Sunday, July 12, 2015 – 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 – 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Montpelier Mansion (9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD 20708).

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 15, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-839-7782; TTY 301-446-3402
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Oxon Hill Manor Announces Summer Concert Series

OXON HILL, MD – Oxon Hill Manor is hosting three concerts during its 2015 Summer Concert Series: A Cool Jazz Night.

The free series opens with the Upton Blues Band, with the Phaze II Band performing the second night and Earl Carter playing the final night. Guests are asked to wear white clothing for the closing concert.

Guests can bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, or sit on patio chairs provided by the Manor. Food will be available for purchase.

All performances are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 – Upton Blue Band
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 – Phaze II Band
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 – Earl Carter – This is event is an all-white affair.

Where: Oxon Hill Manor (9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 20708)

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 9, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

County Council’s Biggest Winner Competition Wraps
Department of Parks and Recreation Helped Along the Way

GREENBELT, MD – The Biggest Winner competition concluded on May 31, 2015, and was supported by the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Health and Wellness Team throughout the contest.

The 225 members of the three-month-long contest were invited to attend free, top-rate healthy cooking demonstrations and fitness courses during the length of the contest, all hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Contestants were also provided with Parks and Recreation informational brochures on health and fitness programming and practices.

The Health and Wellness Team anchored the end of the competition with a Wellness Walk on May 30 at Watkins Regional Park.

The Biggest Winner competition, started by the Prince George’s County Council, pinned three churches – First Baptist Church Highland Park, The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square and St. Paul Baptist Church – against each other in a weight loss competition from March 1 to May 31. The Council will hold another contest this summer.

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities, and services which respond to changing needs within our communities. The Department strives to preserve, enhance, and protect our open spaces to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations in a safe and secure environment.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 8, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; or 301-446-3327

Explore Insects at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – They are one of the smallest and most diverse animals on our planet, and are also one of the most important: insects. Come to Watkins Nature Center to learn more about these creatures.

Our Park Naturalists will teach you about the life cycles of insects and how they can be helpful or harmful. A short hike will follow the talk, giving participants a chance to search for insects in their natural habitat.

This course is for participants 5 to 13 years old, and will cost $3.00 for residents and $4.00 for non-residents. Course listings below:

Saturday, June 27, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628721
Thursday, August 6, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode # 1628722

Where:
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 27, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

M-NCPPC Announced as Finalist for the 2015 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation

RIVERDALE, MD – The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission was selected as a finalist for the 2015 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

M-NCPPC has won four National Gold Medals (1973, 1977, 1984 and 2003). The Commission also won a fifth Gold Medal Award in 1983 for leadership in special recreation and outstanding community achievement for citizens with physical and mental disabilities.

“The selection of the Commission for this honor is a testament to the high standards of excellence we strive for in preserving and maintaining park land and providing the highest caliber of recreation programs, facilities and services for the citizens of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties,” said M-NCPPC Chairman Elizabeth M. Hewlett. “It is truly an exceptional achievement to be recognized throughout the United States as a leader in our field.”

Five National Gold Medal Awards are given out each year, with each category based on population size. M-NCPPC is a finalist in Class I, the largest categorization, consisting of entities serving more than 400,000 residents.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary with NRPA and founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd numbered years.

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. M-NCPPC joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.

“We continue to improve our programs and services to the residents of Prince George’s County each year and are excited to be recognized on a national level,” said Ronnie Gathers, Director of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. “Maintaining the highest standards and setting an example for quality of life that outstanding Parks and Recreation can bring to a community is a priority for us, and this is acknowledgment that we are doing exactly that.”

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the seven Grand Plaque recipients will be announced live during the Opening General Session at the 2015 NRPA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 15-17.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 15, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: NICOLE PATTERSON, 301-218-6702; TTY 301-218-6768
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-704-5272

Family Campfire at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – What better way to spend a summer night than by a campfire while roasting marshmallows? With us, that’s how. Come to Watkins Nature Center for our campfire series. A park naturalist will read a nature story at our outdoor amphitheater as the fire burns. The naturalist will also bring an animal for participants to meet.

This course is for participants 2 and older, and will cost $3.00 for residents and $4.00 for non-residents. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Parents and/or adult chaperones of children attending this course must also be registered for this program. Course listings below:

Friday, June 5, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628712.
Friday, June 19, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628713.
Friday, August 21, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628714.

Where:
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.

To register, please visit our online registration website or register in person at one of our community centers.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 12, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Military Personnel Get Free Admission to Parks and Recreation Museums

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Blue Star Museum program, is offering free entry to six of its museums to military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Participating museums are College Park Aviation Museum, Darnall’s Chance House Museum, Marietta House Museum, Montpelier Mansion, Riversdale House Museum and Surratt House Museum.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve.

Hours of operation vary for each location.

When: Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 11, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Patuxent River Park and Clearwater Nature Center Certified as Maryland Green Centers

GREENBELT, MD – Patuxent River Park and Clearwater Nature Center, both Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation sites, were recognized by the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) as 2015 Maryland Green Centers.

Patuxent River Park was recertified while Clearwater Nature Center received first-time certification.

Maryland Green Centers partner with local schools modelling sustainable school practices, providing resources and forming partnerships that positively impact students, teachers and the community.

“This recognition reiterates our endeavor to be a leader in sustainability efforts in the County,” said Kyle Lowe, Acting Division Chief of the Natural and Historic Resources Division. “Part of the mission of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is to educate the public on the importance of the environment and to preserve green space for future generations. The staffs at Patuxent River Park and Clearwater Nature Center are setting an exceptional example in these areas with their amazing public program offerings and beautiful sites.”

Patuxent River Park utilizes rain barrels, rain gardens, energy conservation products, a recycling program, habitat restoration and nesting boxes to enhance the environment and to provide an example of being “green” to the community.

The top projects that Patuxent River Park uses to promote green practices are: its Teacher Watershed Workshop; an American Indian village, which was built by student volunteers; developing new programs; organizing river cleanups and by offering citizen science opportunities.

At Clearwater Nature Center, staff uses its school-based programs to teach that nature can be found in all settings. They show visitors how to support green initiatives by teaching how to garden with native plants, by providing shelter for wildlife and by discouraging invasive species.

Clearwater’s top accomplishments are: educating on plastic pollution and food waste issues; improving the campfire circle so it can be used as an outdoor classroom; removing exotic invasive plants while expanding the native plant gardens; developing a series of natural craft programs and using the Green Center application to rethink and improve the center’s curriculum-based program offerings for schools.

There are currently 41 Maryland Green Centers and more than 481 Maryland Green Schools. The Maryland Green Schools program is nationally recognized as having significant impact with students and schools. The program encourages educational opportunities for preK-12 schools that increase awareness and understanding of environmental interrelationships that impact public health and our society, and that promote responsible environmental stewardship practices. The program is aligned with Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement 2014 goals and supports Maryland State Department of Education graduation requirements and standards.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 7, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Three Communicator Awards Go To Public Affairs and Marketing Division

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Public Affairs and Marketing Division (PAMD) had a successful showing at the 21st-annual Communicator Awards, garnering three awards on four submissions.

An international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals, the 2015 Communicator Awards’ judges selected the Department’s work from the following categories: Integrated Campaign – Promotion Branding; Brochure – Overall Design; and Public Relations/Communications – Community Outreach Program.

“We were pleased to learn that three of our entries won at the Communicator Awards,” said Anita Pesses, Division Chief for PAMD. “Getting those honors in three very different categories shows how well rounded our team is – that no matter what we are producing, it is going to be of the highest quality.”

The Department’s “Happy” video took the award for Integrated Campaign – Promotion Branding. The video, which used Pharrell Williams’s song, “Happy,” shows how glad the Department’s customers and staff are while they enjoy many of the different activities the Department has to offer. The video currently has more than 14,000 views on YouTube.

For Brochure – Overall Design, the Arts at Harmony Hall Regional Center 2014-15 brochure was selected as the top entry. The brochure is used as the main marketing tool for the venue, listing all of the center’s visual and performing arts shows, teas and live performances. It is also available online as a flip book.

In the Public Relation/Communications – Community Outreach Program category, PAMD received honors for its Community Outreach rack cards. The 17 unique cards provide an overview of the Department’s opportunities and offerings, in English on one side and Spanish on the other. Formatting the cards individually with clean, coordinated designs allow our Outreach Team to provide specific information as needed, or a collected view of all the offerings.

With over 6,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals.

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 7, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Montpelier Mansion to be honored at “Best of Maryland” Preservation Awards

LAUREL, MD – Montpelier Mansion, a Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation site, will receive the Stewardship Award at the “Best of Maryland” Preservation Awards on May 21, 2015.

Montpelier was honored for preservation projects performed to protect the home and its outbuildings, which sit on a 70 acres of parkland, with the home regarded as one of the finest examples of 18th-century Georgian architecture in Maryland.

“We were excited to hear that we were being recognized by Preservation Maryland,” said Mary Jurkiewicz, Museum Manager and historian at Montpelier. “It shows that our hard work puts us at the forefront of historic preservation efforts in the state.”

In its ongoing preservation of the site, the staff at Montpelier Mansion completed significant work to decrease moisture problems which were affecting the basements and foundation of the National Historic Landmark.

During the course of the year-and-a-half project, the staff – which included preservation specialists, archaeologists, construction supervisors, site staff and a historic preservation architect – worked with a restoration contractor while performing minor roof repairs, adding snow guards, and repairing and repitching the gutters. Chimneys were inspected, repointed and capped. Windows were repaired to ensure tighter closures. The south and north brick terraces, built in the 1920s, were removed because of deterioration due to water damage. New interior and exterior drain systems were also constructed.

During the excavation, archaeologists on site recovered 4,225 artifacts.

Montpelier’s award is one of 13 being handed out at the award show. Honorees are selected for excellent projects in historic preservation, architecture, community engagement and education.

Montpelier Mansion was built in 1781 and has hosted several historical figures, including President George Washington and Abigail Adams, President John Adams’s wife.

When: Thursday, May 21, 2015. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where:
Dye House at Mount Washington Mill, 1340 Smith Ave, Baltimore, Md., 21209

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – APRIL 23, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; or 301-446-3327

Department of Parks and Recreation Wins Big at 2015 MRPA Conference

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation won several awards during the 2015 Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) Conference last week, receiving 11 out of a possible 33 awards.

The Department was recognized for excellence in several different categories, including landscape architecture, volunteering, maintenance, innovative programming, marketing and for individual achievements.

“We continue to strive for excellence in our delivery of Parks and Recreation programs, facilities and services,” said Ronnie Gathers, Director of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. “MRPA’s recognition reinforces the level of effort that our staff provides to the residents of Prince George’s County.”

Steven Carter (Acting Executive Director for the Parks and Recreation Foundation), Leigh Ann Eckenrode (Facility Director at Beltsville Community Center), Emily Lawrence (Central Area Therapeutic Recreation Program Coordinator), and volunteers Lenora Harper and Bill Walmsley each received individual awards.

Carter won the Recreation and Leisure Services (RALS) Branch Donald Long, Sr., Student Award, given to a student who has achieved academic excellence, and has significantly promoted recreation and leisure service in the community.

Eckenrode was selected as RALS Branch Outstanding Recreation Professional, given to a professional who has given outstanding service to the field of recreation. Eckenrode was nominated for Focus Forward: Young Adult Occupational Program, a 10-week enrichment program for residents ages 16 to 24 which focused on college and career preparation, and social and financial development.

Lawrence, given the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Chairperson’s award, was selected because of her enthusiasm for both TR and MRPA. Lawrence was heavily involved in MRPA’s TR Branch this year, consistently contributing to meetings and pushing the branch in the right direction.

Harper, who volunteers at Kentland Community Center, was awarded the Agency Volunteer Award, given to an individual who demonstrated outstanding service to a recreation agency within the state. Harper organized several service events, including a turkey drive, a Winter Wonderland Extravaganza, a coat drive and the community center’s food bank, all which help needy families.

The Community Volunteer Award, which recognizes leadership in service to community parks within the state, was given to Walmsley, an Adopt-A-Trail volunteer. He has collected more than 1,700 pounds of trash at Folly Branch Stream Valley since 2012..

In addition to the individual awards, the Department received recognition for several programs throughout the County.

The Department won the Landscape Site/American Society of Landscape Architects Award for work designing and building The Woodland Wonderland, a themed playground at Walker Mill Regional Park. The 100 percent custom-designed playground was built using glass fiber reinforced concrete (ensuring it last for decades), is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, is ecologically friendly and makes children (and adults) feel like they are fully immersed in the surrounding woodland.

The Suitland Civic Association (SCA) won the Volunteer Group/Organization Award, given to a volunteer group within the state which has contributed outstanding service to the parks, recreation and leisure profession. The SCA has collaborated with the Department on various activities, including the Healthy Living and Healthy Eating Trail Walk, a college planning workshop, a community grant writing workshop and an emergency preparedness workshop.

The Department’s environmental recycling program earned the Parks and Resource Conservation Branch Creative Maintenance Award for its composting initiative. The Department’s Maintenance and Development Division creates top soil through an extended process which starts at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where the crew dredges silt. The silt is then mixed with leaves and plants gathered throughout the County, and manure from the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The mixture is then composted to create top soil. The soil is used for renovations at the Department’s fields and produces a net savings of between $200 and $250 thousand a year.

The Department won two awards in the RALS Branch Innovative Program category, one for the Club 300 Senior Walking Program and the second for the H.A.V.E.N. program.

Club 300, spearheaded by senior services coordinator Darilyn Marinelli, takes participants on a hypothetical walk across Maryland. Participants can walk wherever they like, tracking their mileage along the way until they reach 300 miles. The program helps seniors maintain a healthy weight, strengthen their bones and prevent various conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Started by Christy Irving, H.A.V.E.N. (Health and wellness; Arts and culture; Volunteerism and community service; Enrichment; and Nature and conservation) allowed 30 residents between the ages of 10 and 17 to participate in and learn about the five elements of H.A.V.E.N. during this six-week program. Specialists from each element taught the children about their expertise, giving participants well-rounded instruction during the summer months.

In the Therapeutic Recreation Branch Innovative Program category, the Department was recognized for its Community Outreach Event for Law Enforcement, First Responders and the Disability Community. This event was designed to increase disability awareness, to provide sensitivity training with law enforcement and first responders, and to educate the disability community on the roles of law enforcement and first responders.

The Department won the Best Facility Brochure category for the Arts at Montpelier brochure in the Agency Showcase Marketing and Communications awards. The brochure, which details Montpelier’s events for the year, was chosen for its sleek design, strong use of photos and for how informative the material was.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – APRIL 20, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3466; TTY 301-446-3402
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

‘Get to Know Your Wild Neighbor’ Contest Kicking Off at Watkins Nature Center

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is starting its Get to Know Your Wild Neighbor contest with an art workshop at Watkins Nature Center on Friday, May 1, 2015.

The contest, hosted in partnership with the Get to Know Program, invites children up to 19 years old to use their creativity while submitting original, nature-inspired artwork, poetry, writing, photography, videos or music.

In addition to prizes awarded in the nation-wide contest, the Department will recognize local registrants with cash prizes. Winners will be selected from three age groups: elementary school, middle school and high school. In each category, first prize receives $300, second place $200 and $100 for third place. Poetry will be judged as a separate category with the same cash prizes for the top three entries.

All submissions can be made through the Get to Know Program’s website. Submissions for the national contest will also be entered as submissions for the Department.

Full Contest: May 1, 2015 to November 1, 2015.

Kickoff Event: Friday, May 1, 2015 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Where:
Watkins Nature Center, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – APRIL 16, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-839-7782; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $30K Grant to Support Local Out-of-School Time Programs

GREENBELT, MD – The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has received a $30,000 grant to support its “Healthy Out-of-School Time” (HOST) food access and nutritional literacy programs. The gift is part of a $2.3 million grant NRPA received from the Walmart Foundation to support out-of-school time programs at 75 park and recreation agencies. The purpose of the grant is to:

• Increase the number of healthy meals children in low-income communities receive through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) during out-of-school times;
• Provide evidence-based, age-appropriate nutrition literacy to children that create behavior change by teaching the importance of healthy eating;
• Implement nutrition and physical activity standards that increase access to healthier foods and increase opportunities for physical activity; and
• Promote meal and program efficiencies that will reduce costs, maximize existing resources, decrease food waste, and lead to more sustainable meal programs.

The grant will help the Department to increase access to healthy foods and improve opportunities for physical activity. Parks and Recreation will also receive additional support for meals provided through USDA afterschool and summer feeding programs as well as nutritional literacy materials to help ensure life-long healthy habits for Prince George’s County’s youth.

With the grant, the Department plans to institute a nutritional education curriculum, which will support the Commission’s endeavor to promote healthy lifestyles for youth. The money will be used to buy refrigerators for various sites, water bottles to support our recycling initiatives and gardening supplies, including composters which could provide soil for our community gardens.

The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation already partners with the Family League of Baltimore, the Capital Area Food Bank, the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services and the Prince George’s County Public Schools to support the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. With these partnerships, the Department supplied an estimated 150,000 meals and snacks during out-of-school programs during 2014, ensuring that roughly 6,000 children had meals at more than 70 locations.

This grant supports NRPA’s campaign - Commit to Health - which encourages the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country. NRPA’s goal is to have at least 2,000 participating sites in five years. Within the first year of the program, 486 sites have pledged to Commit to Health and 51,382 children now have improved access to healthy foods and increased opportunities for physical activity.

According to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, one in five children in America struggles with hunger. Over 21 million low-income children receive free or reduced meals during the school year to help them meet their daily nutrition needs, but only 3 million of these children are getting these meals during the summer. During summer months, these children may not have access to quality and healthy food to help them grow—making M-NCPPC’s work during out-of-school times that much more critical.

About National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 47,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 18, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-704-5272

Five Recognized as Certified Park and Recreation Professionals

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation seeks excellence from its employees and strives to maintain its reputation as a leader in the industry, and five of its leaders strengthened the department’s already renowned standing by receiving accreditation as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) by the National Certification Board (NCB) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Tara Eggleston (County-wide Aquatics Coordinator), Steve Ellis (Program Specialist for Sports, Health and Wellness Division), Joe O’Neill (Maintenance and Development Division Chief), Wanda Ramos (Central Area Operations Division Chief) and Katrina Williams (Health and Wellness Officer for Sports, Health and Wellness Division) received the certification.

The Prince George’s County Department of Park and Recreation, as part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is an unprecedented five-time national gold medal award winner for excellence in park and recreation management, as awarded by NRPA.

The CPRP certification is granted to individuals employed in the recreation, park resources and leisure services professions who meet the eligibility requirements - including a combination of higher education and/or work experience - and who successfully complete the national CPRP examination. The examination tests knowledge in all aspects of general administration, programming and operations management for parks and recreation. CPRP certifications are valid for a period of two years, and professionals who wish to re-apply are required to complete professional continuing education unit requirements or equivalent academic course work.

Individuals certified as CPRPs meet high standards of education, expertise and experience established in the field for park and recreation professionals, and many agencies recommend or require CPRP certification when hiring for professional positions.

The CPRP program is offered by the National Certification Board in coordination with NRPA and the CPRP Certification Committee.

For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.

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