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Learn New Things This Spring
Cultural Perspectives Interpreted through Jazz
No Excuse for Dating Abuse
Local Art Takes Center Stage at the Montpelier Art Center in March
Go-Go: Then and Now
Liberty Girls
Celebrating Black History Month
Enjoy the Outdoors this Winter
Department of Parks and Recreation Inauguration Day Schedule - Facilities Open
‘How We Got Over’
Department of Parks and Recreation Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Schedule
STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF TUCKER ROAD ICE RINK
Start the New Year off Swinging
Celebrate Scottish Tradition
***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Department of Parks and Recreation New Year’s Schedule
Natural Introductions
‘Teens & Jeans for the Homeless’
Volunteer Group Honored by State
Department of Parks and Recreation Holiday Schedule for Labor Day
Maryland-National Capital Park Police Appoint New Chief of Prince George’s County Division
New Maryland Law Prohibits Smoking in All M-NCPPC Parks and Facilities Effective June 30


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 21, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Learn New Things This Spring
With the Department of Parks and Recreation

Riverdale, MD – Embrace the start of spring – the season of new beginnings – by learning something new! The Department of Parks and Recreation can help you start new hobbies and learn new things about the old hobbies you still love.

WHAT: To The Madhouse: Female Incarceration in 19th Century Asylums for the Insane
WHEN: Saturday, March 11 from 4 – 5 PM
WHERE: Surratt House Museum; 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735
COST: FREE

19th century women who didn’t conform to society’s definition of proper womanhood were often committed to asylums for the insane. This program focuses on such institutions, their care for the patients, and 19th century cultural expectation of females. Reservations are not required, but attendees should arrive early since seating is limited.

WHAT: Tasting the Past: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
WHEN: Saturday, March 11 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM
WHERE: Riversdale House Museum; 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park, MD 20737
COST: $12/Resident; $16/Non-Resident

Did you know sugar was once used as a medicine? Follow the history of sugar with historian Joyce White. Attendees must register and pay for the event by March 3.

WHAT: Intro to Aquaponics
WHEN: Saturday, March 11 from 2 – 3 PM
WHERE: Old Maryland Farm; 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
COST: $4/Resident; $6/Non-Resident

One way to guarantee fresh and organic vegetables for your family is to grow them yourself. Explore the basics of aquaponics, which combines raising fish and the soilless growing of plants, and learn how to set up your own system.

WHAT: Chicken Husbandry
WHEN: Saturday, March 25 from 2 – 3 PM
WHERE: Old Maryland Farm; 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
COST: $4/Resident; $6/Non-Resident

Whether you want them as pets or for eggs – we can teach you how to take care of chickens in your own backyard. This program also covers the legal considerations and the rights and responsibilities for chicken owners.

WHAT: Puppet Show
WHEN: 3/27 & 4/14 from 2 – 3 PM; 5/13 from 10 – 11 AM
WHERE: Watkins Nature Center; 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
COST: $3/Resident; $4/Non-Resident

The whole family can enjoy a nature-themed puppet show. After the show, participants can meet an animal from the nature center.

WHAT: Night Hike
WHEN: 3/31 & 4/21 from 7 – 8:30 PM; 5/19 from 7:30 – 9 PM
WHERE: Watkins Nature Center; 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
COST: $4/Resident; $6/Non-Resident

Different sights and sounds come out at night – so take a nighttime nature-themed hike in the park with a Naturalist to see what you have been missing!


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 – February 16, 2017
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-377-7817; TTY 301-699-2544
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

Cultural Perspectives Interpreted through Jazz
A Month of Music at Montpelier Arts Center

INSERT LINK NAMELaurel, MD – Music that promotes social change, blends different cultures and sounds, and original scores can all be found on the Montpelier Art Center’s stage (9652 Muirkirk Rd, Laurel, MD 20708) all month long.

Smooth Sounds for Seniors Concert: Ethel Ennis
WHEN: 3/09/2017; 12 – 1 PM
COST: $12
International jazz artist Ethel Ennis brings her music and message to the Montpelier Arts Center. Ennis, who has performed alongside jazz legends like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, believes music is not only a vehicle for entertainment and creativity, but can also be used to inform, inspire, and bring about change.

Live! at Montpelier Concert: Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams
WHEN: 3/10/2017; 8 – 10 PM
COST: $25
Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams both have impressive collaborations on their resumes - including working on the Cosby Show and opening for the Temptations - but perhaps their talent shines brightest when they play together. The husband and wife duo bring their soulful blend of jazz and original songwriting to the Montpelier stage.

Thad Wilson Quartet featuring Vocalist Kristin Callahan
WHEN: 3/17/2017; 8 – 10 PM
COST: $25
Fresh. Vibrant. Elegant. That’s how Kristin Callahan has been described by those who have watched her perform. The jazz singer has also been described as a vocalist to watch for years to come.

Classical Recital: Jooyoung Kim
WHEN: 3/19/2017; 3 – 4 PM
COST: FREE
If you want to see dazzling technique, superb musicianship, and exquisite artistry – make sure to catch pianist Jooyoung Kim’s performance. The South Korea native is critically acclaimed on international stages.

Live! at Montpelier Concert: Laura Dreyer: Manhattan-Rio Connection
WHEN: 3/24/2017; 8 – 10 PM
COST: $25
Combining Brazilian rhythms and the New York jazz scene, saxophonist Laura Dreyer has created a sound all her own. Her band delivers beloved Brazilian jazz classics and original contemporary Brazilian jazz featuring catchy, lyrical melodies.
Women in Jazz: From Classrooms to Careers
WHEN: 3/26/2017; 2 – 3 PM
COST: FREE
This one is for the ladies of jazz. In celebration of Women’s History Month, a panel of experts delves in to the challenges women face when joining the industry and what it takes to succeed.

Live! at Montpelier Concert: Todd Marcus
WHEN: 3/31/2017; 8 – 10 PM
COST: $25
The beauty of Baltimore’s challenges and strengths are highlighted in Todd Marcus’s work. The bass clarinetist used the feelings of unrest following the 2015 death of Freddie Grey to guide his latest compositions.

The Montpelier Arts Center is located on the grounds of the historic Montpelier Mansion. It houses three galleries, artist studios, gas and electric kilns and offers an extensive class and workshop program to the public.


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 – February 15, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

No Excuse for Dating Abuse
Confronting Teen Dating Violence

Largo, MD – Join the Department of Parks and Recreation in a national effort to protect and educate young people about dating violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control, unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime – which is why prevention and early intervention is critical. Victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for experiencing more trauma during college – and are also more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, unhealthy and antisocial behaviors – including thoughts about suicide.

As part of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, the Department of Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Department of Family Services, the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office to raise awareness about this issue.

Motivational speaker Leon C. Thurston Jr. will host the event. Representatives from ‘An Earthly Embrace’, a local nonprofit that helps rebuild the lives of women and children impacted by domestic violence, will serve as the keynote speakers. Callaway models will also walk the runway during a fashion show.

During the ‘No Excuse for Dating Abuse’ event, teens will have courageous conversations confronting issues of dating violence head-on and calling on the community for support and actions. Local students will also perform dramatic scenarios they created about the effects of dating violence. After each performance, professionals will lead discussions on the different types of dating abuse – physical, emotional, cyber, and sexual.

WHAT: No Excuse for Dating Abuse
WHEN: Saturday. Feb. 25; 10 AM – 2:30 PM
WHERE: Prince George's Community College - Student Center; 301 Largo Rd., Largo, MD 20774


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 – February 13, 2017
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-377-7817; TTY 301-699-2544
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

Local Art Takes Center Stage at the Montpelier Art Center in March

Laurel, MD – All great artists have to start somewhere. Come see the next generation of innovators and creators at the Montpelier Art Center (9652 Muirkirk Rd, Laurel, MD 20708).

Public Reception & Awards Ceremony: Artists on the Rise Juried Teen Exhibit
WHEN: 3/11/2017; 1 – 3 PM
COST: FREE
In its efforts to foster a creative environment for young and emerging artists, the Montpelier Arts Center is highlighting local teens’ talents in the visual arts.

Public Reception: 48th Annual Laurel Art Guild Juried Exhibition
WHEN: 3/12/2017; 2 – 4 PM
COST: FREE


Paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and more grace the Montpelier Art Center as part of the Laurel Art Guild’s annual exhibit. The juried exhibit features work from artists ages 18 and older who live in the Washington metropolitan area.

The Montpelier Arts Center is located on the grounds of the historic Montpelier Mansion. It houses three galleries, artist studios, gas and electric kilns and offers an extensive class and workshop program to the public.


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 – February 3, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Go-Go: Then and Now
Listening to History

Upper Marlboro, MD – Go-Go music is here to stay! Attendees at the ‘Go-Go: Now and Then’ event will be exposed to the sounds and legacies of local Go-Go legends like Chuck Brown. The event also features a selfie booth and refreshments.

WHAT: Go-Go: Then and Now
WHEN: Friday, February 17 from 7 - 9:30 PM
WHERE: Upper Marlboro Community Center, 8200 Pinewood Drive, Clinton, MD 20772
COST: FREE for attendees 1 – 17 years old


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 – February 1, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Liberty Girls
An American Girl Book Club

Upper Marlboro, MD – From the American Revolution to the Civil War – young girls can learn about history in a fun way – thanks to the American Girl books. Now, they have an opportunity to experience and discuss these stories with a group of their peers. The Liberty Girls Book Club will discuss a different Felicity book each session and participants will create colonial crafts. The final session will also include a tea party and dancing.

WHAT: Liberty Girls: An American Girl Book Club
WHEN: March 4 & 11, April 1 & 8; 10:30 AM to 12 noon
WHERE: Darnall's Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
COST: $30


Participants are asked to register by February 17, 2017.

Darnall’s Chance House Museum conducts guided house tours on Fridays and Sundays and by appointment. In addition, the museum offers educational programs, exhibits and special events throughout the year. A patio tent is available for rental functions from May to October. Darnall’s Chance House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The National Underground Railroad: Network to Freedom Trail, and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.


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 – January 23, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Celebrating Black History Month
Listening and Learning about Black History

Riverdale, MD – Black history celebrations are underway in Prince George’s County. Join us for events honoring the history and traditions of the Black community.

WHAT: Freedom Before Father Abraham
WHERE: Surratt House Museum Visitor's Center, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735
WHEN: Tuesday, February 1 through Tuesday, February 28; 12 – 4 PM
COST: FREE
The Surratt House Museum will display more than 30 historic documents, including ten freedom papers, throughout February. The papers describe the struggle of slaves and freedmen in Prince George’s County between 1781 and 1858. The exhibit features many notable local names including the Hunters, Wests, Snowdens, Spriggs, and Clagetts. From noon until 4 PM on February 11 - the owner of the collection will discuss the collection and answer questions.

WHAT: Escape Room: The Sacred Music Box
WHERE: Cedar Heights Community Center, 1200 Glen Willow Dr., Capitol Heights, MD 20743
WHEN: Friday, February 10; 1 – 7 PM
COST: $5/Group of 2 – 5 people
Can you solve the puzzle before time runs out? Families and friends will have 20 minutes to answer questions and find clues about African American spirituals, hyms, and gospel music to unlock the Sacred Music Box and escape the room!

WHAT: Past Voices Black History Month Concert: Valentine Pringle
WHEN: Sunday, February 19; 3 - 4:30 PM
WHERE: Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD 20708
COST: FREE
Valentine Pringle was a composer, singer, and actor. He is remembered for his rich, Paul Robeson-like voice – which you can hear as part of The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts series on black musicians.


For a complete list of our Black History Month events, click here

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 – January 19, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Enjoy the Outdoors this Winter
with the Department of Parks and Recreation

Upper Marlboro, MD – Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to stop learning about the great outdoors. Whether you and your loved ones want to brave the elements or you’d prefer to enjoy nature and warmth at the same time - the staff at Watkins Nature Center can help.

WHAT: Home School Science: Nature Friends
WHEN: 2/9/17, 3/9/17 from 10 – 11:30 AM
COST: $20/resident; $26/non-resident

WHAT: Small Fry Club
WHEN: 2/10/17 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: $4/resident; $6/non-resident

WHAT: Family Discovery Hike
WHEN: 2/10/17 from 2 – 3 PM, 3/4/17, 4/15/17 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: $3/resident; $4/non-resident

WHAT: Home School Science: Nature Explorers
WHEN: 2/22/17, 3/22/17, 4/26/17, 5/24/17 from 1 – 3 PM
COST: $24/resident; $32/non-resident

WHAT: Home School Science: Nature Rangers
WHEN: 2/23/17, 3/23/17, 4/27/17, 5/25/17 from 1 – 3 PM
COST: $24/resident; $32/non-resident

WHAT: Farm Craft and an Activity
WHEN: 3/9/17, 4/6/17, 5/11/17 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: $3/resident; $4/non-resident

Register for the events online at www.pgparks.com.

Watkins Nature Center offers close up wildlife investigation with its resident live animals, hands on exhibits, interpretive programs, and special events. Live animal displays include insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds of prey. The nature center also features indoor and outdoor ponds, a songbird feeding area, a butterfly/hummingbird garden, composting area, an outdoor nest box exhibit, and a squirrel gym. Nature hikes, campfires, animal shows, puppet shows, crafts, summer day camps, and other programs attract more than 50,000 visitors each year.


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 – January 17, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

Department of Parks and Recreation Inauguration Day Schedule - Facilities Open

Riverdale, MD – All Department of Parks and Recreation administrative offices will be closed and all facilities will be open on Friday, January 20, 2017, according to the following schedule:


Friday, January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day)
Indoor Pool Complexes OPEN
Outdoor Pool Complexes CLOSED
Regional Parks OPEN
Historic Sites/Rentals ONLY CLOSED
Community Centers, Arts Centers and Museums OPEN
Senior Activity Centers CLOSED
Sports Facilities OPEN


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 – January 12, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

‘How We Got Over’
Celebrating Black History

Riverdale, MD – During the month of February, Prince George’s County celebrates the culture, history, and achievements of the Black community. From hymns to gospel - music has always played an important role in African American culture, and this year it is the focus of the Department’s Black History Month celebration.

Music is also the theme of the 2017 Black History Poster Project. The poster was created by Prince George’s County high school students who participated in the Black History Program Visual Arts Summer Internship Program.

The Department kicks off its celebration of Black history with a reception of the Black History Month Exhibit, “How We Got Over: A History of Black Sacred Music Traditions."

WHAT: Black History Month Exhibit and Opening Reception
WHEN: Exhibit: January 23 - February 28; Opening Reception: January 29, 2 - 4 PM
WHERE: Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel 20708
COST: FREE

Click here for a complete list of our Black History Month events.


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 – January 13, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

Department of Parks and Recreation Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Schedule

Riverdale, MD – All Department of Parks and Recreation facilities will be open on Monday, January 16 according to the following schedule:

Monday, January 16, 2017 (Martin Luther King Day)

Indoor Pool Complexes OPEN
Outdoor Pool Complexes CLOSED
Regional Parks OPEN
Historic Sites/Rentals ONLY CLOSED
Community Centers, Arts Centers and Museums OPEN
Senior Activity Centers CLOSED
Sports Facilities OPEN

For more details see the full Holiday Schedule.


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 – January 11, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com

STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF TUCKER ROAD ICE RINK

Riverdale, MD - The Tucker Road Ice Rink, an indoor rink in Ft. Washington owned and operated by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Department of Parks and Recreation, is closed due to a significant, 2-alarm fire that took place on Wednesday, January 4. Staff and customers got out of the building safely, with no injuries reported. All programs, classes and other activities at the facility are canceled due to the fire. However, we are allowing the use of existing Tucker Road Ice Rink passes at M-NCPPC’s Wells Ice Rink in College Park and Wheaton Ice Arena in Wheaton during this skating season.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is working with contractors on cleaning and fire restoration efforts. Following evaluation of damages by insurance adjustors and structural engineers, plans will be made for repairs and rebuilding. Part of this assessment will include developing a timeline; no reopening date can be announced now. The expectation is that it will take significant dollars and time before the facility can reopen.

The Department is committed to communicating with local residents and ice rink customers to provide updates during this process.


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 – January 10, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Start the New Year off Swinging
At The Annual ‘Winter Hand Dance’

Fort Washington, MD – Start your new year off on the right foot at our annual Winter Hand Dance! Attendees can learn D.C.’s unique take on swing dancing – also known as hand dancing. The style, which started in the 1920s, is known for its gliding footwork and continuous hand connection between the partners. The annual Winter Hand Dance is an opportunity for attendees to learn a new skill, perfect an existing one, and make some new connections.

WHAT: Winter Hand Dance
WHEN: Friday, Jan. 20; 8 PM - 12 midnight
WHERE: Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744
COST: $12/Residents ages 21+; $16/Non-residents ages 21+



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 – January 6, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com


Celebrate Scottish Tradition
with Darnall’s Chance House Museum

Upper Marlboro, MD – In January, there’s a good chance it’ll be a dreich day! But you can escape the cold and damp weather by visiting Scotland – for at least one night. Celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Poet, at Darnall’s Chance House Museum January 28th. You can experience the atmosphere and flavor of one of Scotland's oldest and most cherished traditions with dinner, music, poetry, bagpipes, and history. Lang may yer lum reek!

WHAT: Burns Night Supper
WHEN: January 28, 2017, 6-8 PM
WHERE: Darnall's Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
COST: $45/Residents ages 21+; $54/Non-residents ages 21+; Reservations & payment required in advance.


Opened to the public as a historic house museum in 1988, Darnall’s Chance House Museum is dedicated to the interpretation and study of the history and culture of 18th century Prince George's County, Maryland, with special emphasis on the lives of mid-18th-century women. Darnall’s Chance House Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The National Underground Railroad: Network to Freedom Trail, and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.


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 – January 4, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Three Kings Day Celebration --Celebrate the Hispanic Holiday Tradition this Saturday

College Park, MD – The holiday spirit is still alive in the new year within the Department of Parks and Recreation. This Saturday, more than 350 Prince George’s County families will observe the tradition of Three Kings Day, the holiday celebrates the three wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus. The highly symbolic holiday, also known as el Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos or the Epiphany, is being observed at the College Park Community Center with FREE music by Latin GRAMMY award winner Andres 1-2-3, face painting, refreshments, and surprises. Our Three Kings - Senator Victor Ramirez, State Delegate Carlo Sanchez and Radio Host Pedro Biaggi from El Zol – will also distribute 250 gifts to the children in attendance.

WHAT: Three Kings Day Celebration
WHERE: College Park Community Center; 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park, MD 20740
WHEN: Saturday, January 7; 10 AM – 1 PM
COST: FREE



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 – December 27, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com

Department of Parks and Recreation New Year’s Schedule

Riverdale, MD – All Department of Parks and Recreation facilities will be open on Saturday, December 31 until 4 p.m. except for rental venues. On Sunday, January 1, 2017 all facilities will be CLOSED for New Year’s Day. Facilities will be open on Monday, January 2 according to the following schedule:

Saturday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve) Facilities CLOSE at 4PM
except RENTALS
Sunday, January 1 (New Year’s Day) ALL FACILITIES CLOSED

Monday, January 2, 2017 (New Year’s Day Observed)
Indoor Pool Complexes OPEN
Outdoor Pool Complexes CLOSED
Regional Parks OPEN
Historic Sites/Rentals ONLY CLOSED
Community Centers, Arts Centers and Museums OPEN
Senior Activity Centers CLOSED
Sports Facilities OPEN


For more details see the full Holiday Schedule.


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 – November 23, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

Natural Introductions
Connect with the environment at Watkins Nature Center

Upper Marlboro, MD – From animal introductions to nature crafts –this winter season Watkins Nature Center (301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774) is connecting Prince George’s County residents to the natural world around them.

WHAT: Creature Feature – All About Raptors
WHEN: 12/10/2016, 1/07/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $3; Non-resident - $4

Did you know the word ‘raptor’ means ‘to seize or grasp’ in Latin? Learn more about the powerful birds and their powerful, sharp talons.

WHAT: Farm Craft and a Story
WHEN: 12/15/2016, 1/12/2017, 2/09/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $4; Non-resident - $6

Ever wonder about what life is like on a farm? Come out to the Watkins Nature Center for a farm story. Afterwards, enjoy a farm-related craft!

WHAT: Nature Craft
WHEN: 12/17/2016, 2/18/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $3; Non-resident - $4

Nature and art you can reach out and touch! Get hands on with nature crafts.

WHAT: Puppet Show
WHEN: 12/23/2016 from 2 – 3 PM, 1/14/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $3, Non-resident - $4

Watch a puppet show and then meet a live animal!

WHAT: Meet the Animals
WHEN: 12/24/2016, 1/21/2017, 2/25/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $3; Non-resident - $4

Reptiles, amphibians, and birds of prey – oh my! You can get close to them all at the Watkins Nature Center.

WHAT: Birds in Watercolor
WHEN: 12/29/2016 from 10:30 AM – 12 noon
COST: Resident - $8, Non-resident - $11

From graceful gliding to bright, colorful feathers – birds can be an easy source of inspiration for artists. Learn more about our feathery friends while also picking up some basic sketching and painting skills.

WHAT: Creature Feature – All About Reptiles
WHEN: 12/31/2016, 1/28/2017 from 10 – 11 AM
COST: Resident - $3, Non-resident - $4

The first reptiles are believed to have evolved around 320 million years ago. We’ve learned a lot about them since then. Deepen your understanding of today’s reptiles at the Watkins Nature Center.

WHAT: Explore Bats
WHEN: 1/26/2017 from 6:30 – 8 PM
COST: Resident - $8, Non-resident - $11

Bats may seem scary, but they play an important role in the local ecosystem. Learn more about how people benefit from bats, and make your very own bat box.

Register for the events online at www.pgparks.com.

Watkins Nature Center offers close up wildlife investigation with its resident live animals, hands on exhibits, interpretive programs, and special events. Live animal displays include insects, amphibians, reptiles, and birds of prey. The nature center also features indoor and outdoor ponds, a songbird feeding area, a butterfly/hummingbird garden, composting area, an outdoor nest box exhibit, and a squirrel gym. Nature hikes, campfires, animal shows, puppet shows, crafts, summer day camps, and other programs attract more than 50,000 visitors each year.


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 – November 1, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com – or –
VERONICA MARSHALL 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgparks.com

‘Teens & Jeans for the Homeless’
Local teens help those in need

Riverdale, MD – With the holidays coming, local families have a chance to embrace the spirit of the season thanks to the ‘Teens & Jeans for the Homeless’ program. The program asks residents to give back to their communities by taking action against homelessness. From Tuesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 17, local families are encouraged to donate clean, gently worn jeans of all sizes to any Department of Parks and Recreation community center. Donated jeans will be given out to service organizations and shelters throughout the area.

Donations can also be dropped off at the ‘Teens & Jeans Walk-a-thon’ November 19th. The Walk-a-thon is a FREE family friendly event that features activities, live entertainment, and refreshments. Families interested in participating in the Walk-a-thon can pre-register onlineor register the day of the event on site at 10 a.m.

WHAT: Teens & Jeans Walk-a-thon
WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 11 AM – 1 PM
WHERE: Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg MD 20710


Teens looking to earn student service learning hours by folding, sorting, and packing the jeans must pre-register for the event online.


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 – October 20, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS: Kira Calm Lewis - 301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgarks.com - or -
Veronica Marshall - 301-446-3313; Veronica.Marshall@pgarks.com


Volunteer Group Honored by State
Patuxent River Park Volunteers Presented with Governor’s Service Award

Upper Marlboro, MD – More than 200 local volunteers are honored for their commitment to sharing an important part of Prince George’s County history. Today, the American Indian Village at Patuxent River Park Volunteer Group was awarded The Governor’s Service Award for Exemplary Service – Learning. The award, presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, recognizes the significant efforts of community members who have donated their time and effort for the betterment of the state and its people.

Tonya Johnson, the park naturalist who worked closely with the volunteers, says, “I am grateful and honored to receive the Governor’s Service Award. Working with volunteers to complete the American Indian Village was extremely hard work and yet, it is one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences of my life.”

The American Indian Village at Patuxent River Park Volunteer Group spent more than 3,600 hours over 19 months to allow visitors opportunities to experience the history of the Indigenous peoples of Prince George's County, Maryland and the surrounding areas. Volunteers scraped bark from dead trees, harvested grasses and saplings, and built structures with their bare hands to authentically tell the story of the First Peoples of the area and create a park destination (16000 Croom Airport Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772) for people of all ages.


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 – August 29, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3327; 301-704-5272

Department of Parks and Recreation Holiday Schedule for Labor Day

Riverdale, MD – The Department of Parks and Recreation facilities will operate on the following schedule this Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016:

Indoor Pool Complexes OPEN
Outdoor Pool Complexes OPEN
Regional Parks OPEN
Historic Sites/Rentals OPEN
Community Centers and Arts Centers CLOSED
Senior Activity Centers CLOSED
Sports Facilities OPEN


For more details see the full Holiday Schedule.


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 27, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
301-446-3327; Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com

Maryland-National Capital Park Police Appoint New Chief of Prince George’s County Division

Riverdale, MD – The Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division announces the appointment of Stanley (Stan) Johnson to Park Police Commander, effective Sunday, July 3, 2016. He has been serving as Acting Commander since the retirement of former Commander Larry Brownlee.

Johnson began his career with M-NCPPC in 1986 as a Patrol Officer and progressively moved up the ranks, serving in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. He obtained a wealth of knowledge in law enforcement and community policing, along with command level management experience. Throughout his career, Johnson assumed direct responsibility for every operational component within the Park Police Division, including Patrol Operations, Investigative Operations, Communications, Records Management, Training, Administration, and Special and Technical Operations. He also served as the Park Police public information officer for 16 years, and worked to build excellent relationships that have helped foster a positive image of our Park Police in the community.

“Stan Johnson has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the mission of the Park Police Division through professionalism and service,” said Ronnie Gathers, Director of Parks and Recreation. “I am confident that he will be successful in this new position and be a role model for his command staff and officers to ensure that our parks and facilities continue to be a safe and secure environment while building partnerships with the communities we serve,” concluded Gathers.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Johnson holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management with a focus in Police Executive Leadership, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management. In addition, he has attended the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School (FBI-LEEDS) and New England Institute of Law Enforcement Management (NEILEM) program.

One of Johnson’s major accomplishments has been managing the accreditation process with the Commission for Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Under his leadership, Johnson managed and coordinated the achievement of five CALEA accreditations by the Prince George’s County Park Police Division. He has served as a CALEA accreditation assessor of other agencies for the past 10 years.

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division consists of 117 authorized sworn personnel, 29 civilian employees and approximately 40 volunteers. Title 17, Subtitle 3, Land Use Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland provides the authority to enforce Maryland laws and local ordinances, as well as the rules and regulations specific to The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The Maryland-National Capital Park Police are tasked with protecting approximately 27,000 acres of park property in Prince George’s County, as well as those who visit and staff M-NCPPC sites.


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 22, 2016
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3300; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING
CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
PHONE: 301-446-3327 or Kira.CalmLewis@pgparks.com

New Maryland Law Prohibits Smoking in All M-NCPPC Parks and Facilities Effective June 30

Riverdale, MD - A new Maryland law, effective June 30, 2016, requires the adoption of regulations that broadly prohibit smoking of lighted tobacco on property under the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s governance. The regulations will broaden the M-NCPPC’s prohibitions on smoking, use of e-cigarettes, and use of smokeless tobacco in enclosed facilities and vehicles, by expanding the restriction on smoking of lighted tobacco to all outdoor areas.

All smoking of lighted tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.,) is prohibited in M-NCPPC parks and facility grounds located in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The impact of this law is significant; the prohibition on smoking of lighted tobacco applies to all outdoor areas including parking areas, parks, trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, maintenance yards, ball fields, outdoor pools, etc. Smoking areas will no longer be designated in these outdoor areas. Use of lighted tobacco is a violation of regulations required by state law and subject to fines.

The only exemption is the allowance of designated outdoor smoking areas at specifically designated, revenue-generating facilities such as rental venues.

In summary:
• Use of lighted tobacco is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor M-NCPPC facilities/venues and vehicles
• Use of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is prohibited in all M-NCPPC enclosed facilities and vehicles. It may be restricted in certain outdoor areas, as designated by signage.

The new law addresses concerns related to second hand smoke and encourages healthy lifestyles. Not using tobacco products benefits the environment, and also benefits park visitors as well as M-NCPPC staff:
• Ability to play harder and breathe easier! It improves the air quality for those using our parks.
• It reduces the risk of fire.
• Helps the environment thrive! It reduces the impact of litter that harms wildlife, water supply systems and the soil.
• It may motivate residents to quit or reduce their use of tobacco products so they can spend more time walking, jogging, biking or doing yoga in our parks.

Questions regarding the policy may be directed to the M-NCPPC Policy Office at 301-454-1740. A number of resources are available to individuals who want to quit smoking, including Maryland’s 1-800 – Quit - Now.

Signage will be posted in all parks and facilities reminding patrons of the new regulations required by state law and that violations will be subject to fines.

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides comprehensive park and recreation programs, facilities and services which respond to changing needs within Prince George’s County 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 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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