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M-NCPPC Announced as Finalist for the 2015 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation
Nature Crafting at Watkins Nature Center
Juneteenth Celebration on June 13
Colonial Festival and Picnic at Darnall’s Chance House Museum
Three Open Houses Scheduled For Prince George’s County Trails Master Plan
Wet Educators Workshop at Watkins Nature Center
Family Campfire at Watkins Nature Center
Live Animal Show at Watkins Nature Center
Tree Educators Workshop 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
Beltway BBQ Showdown Back for Ninth Year
Montpelier Mansion to be honored at “Best of Maryland” Preservation Awards
Three Communicator Awards Go To Public Affairs and Marketing Division
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
Family Campfire at Watkins Nature Center
Five Recognized as Certified Park and Recreation Professionals
Puppet Show at Watkins Nature Center
Historical Photo Contest at Darnall’s Chance House Museum
Department of Parks and Recreation is Searching for Centenarians
MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION AMONG “BEST OF THE BEST” WITH CAPRA REACCREDITATION


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 25, 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

Nature Crafting at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Join us at Watkins Nature Center for a day of nature crafting. Each course will be geared towards a different animal. Children will be read an animal-related story, after which the children will meet the animal and then make a craft inspired by that animal.

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:

Saturday, June 13, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628718
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628719
Saturday, July 25, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode # 1628720

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 26, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3232; TTY 301-446-6802
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Juneteenth Celebration on June 13

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, MD – Join the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation for its eighth-annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at Walker Mill Regional Park.

The Juneteenth Celebration, which remembers the ending of slavery in the United States, is a free family event filled with musical performances throughout the day.

Performances are highlighted by Traci Braxton, Tulani and William “Smooth” Wardlaw’s tribute to Luther Vandross. Also performing are the Princes Mhoon dance group, Taratibu dance, the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Orchestra, gospel singer Stephen Hurd and Faycez U Know.

Want to take part in the action? Taratibu will be hosting a gumboot dance workshop. Other workshops include African print pillow making, clay pendant making, instrument making and face painting.

Information booths will highlight Prince George’s County African-American history and archaeology.

Food vendors will be on site.

When: Saturday, June 13, 2015, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Walker Mill Regional Park (8840 Walker Mill Road, District Heights, MD 20747)

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 25, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-952-8010; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Colonial Festival and Picnic at Darnall’s Chance House Museum

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Join staff at Darnall’s Chance House Museum on Saturday, June 13, 2015, to experience early American life at the Colonial Festival and Picnic.

The festival will feature colonial reenactors, including a gunsmith, a blacksmith, a wool spinner, a scientist with fossils and a woodturner. There will also be 18th-century entertainers (starring the Chesapeake Caledonian Pipes and Drums), farm animals, hands-on activities for kids and walk-through tours of the historic house.

Winners of Darnall’s Chance House Museum’s historical photo contest will be announced during the festival. All of the entries will be on display inside the house.

Patrons may bring a picnic lunch or purchase a food ticket for southern barbeque.

Advanced tickets are available for purchase on the When:
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Darnall’s Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

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 20, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Three Open Houses Scheduled For Prince George’s County Trails Master Plan

GREENBELT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting three open houses during June to discuss its Trails Master Plan.

The Trails Master Plan calls for a 400-mile trail system, a significant increase from the 120 miles currently in Prince George’s County.

The open houses will help drive the discussion to customize trails to include features that residents want most. A key goal for the plan is to make at least one trail within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from most residents.

For more information on the Trails Master Plan, visit www.pgparks.com/TrailsMasterPlan.html.

Open House #1: South County
Where:
Tucker Road Ice Rink, 1770 Tucker Rd, Fort Washington, Md. 20744
When: Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Open House #2: North County
Where:
Parks and Recreation Administration Building, 660 Kenilworth Ave, Riverdale, Md., 20737
When: Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Open House #3: Central County
Where:
Lake Arbor Community Center, 10100 Lake Arbor Way, Mitchellville, Md., 20721
When: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 6 p.m. to 8 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 – MAY 19, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-218-6702; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Wet Educators Workshop at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Watkins Nature Center will be hosting Project Wet Educators workshop on Saturday, June 6, 2015, giving educators a look at water-related educational activities.

The program focuses on water’s physical properties, water quality and what impacts it, and people’s relationship to water throughout their lives.

Admission is $10.00 and includes lunch.

When: Saturday, June 6, 2015 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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


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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 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

Live Animal Show at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – This is your chance to meet the animals that live at the Watkins Nature Center. A park naturalist will handle our resident reptiles, amphibians and birds of prey and let you get an up-close view.

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:

Saturday, June 6, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628715.
Saturday, July 18, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1628716.

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 13, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-218-6702; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Tree Educators Workshop at Watkins Nature Center

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Watkins Nature Center will be hosting a Project Learning Tree workshop on Saturday, May 30, 2015, giving educators a look at environmental education.

Activities will focus on Project Learning Tree curriculum, which aims to advance environmental literacy, professional development and curriculum resources while using trees and forests as windows to the world.

Admission is $10.00 and includes lunch.

Saturday, May 30, 2015 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Beltway BBQ Showdown Back for Ninth Year

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – The ninth-annual Beltway BBQ Showdown is back, Saturday, May 30, 2015, attracting top barbecuing teams from the Mid-Atlantic for a chance to win an entry in the American Royal, which hosts the world’s largest barbeque contest.

The competition, scored by certified Kansas City Barbeque Society judges, will have four categories: chicken, pork, beef and ribs. A Grand Champion will be crowned based on the total score from each category. The Grand Champion earns a trip to the American Royal in Kansas City, Miss. Winners in each of the four categories get a $10,000 prize.

Other featured events include Buck-A-Bone ($1 for each bone, choose your sauce), the ‘People’s Choice’ Sauce Contest, cooking demonstrations, and a beer and wine garden.

Need a break from eating? Check out other activities which are kid friendly, including mechanical bull rides, commemorative photos, cornhole, a classic car show and live music. Vendors will also be spread throughout the grounds, offering food, crafts, and barbeque supplies and equipment.

Friday night will feature the Beltway BBQ Showdown Xtreme Teens Grill-Off, where 12 teams of up to five grillers will compete for the teen title.

Saturday’s admission is $3 for persons 13 years and older. Children ages four to 12 are $2. Those three and younger are free.

When: Teen Grill-Off: Friday, May 29, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., free with M-NCPPC Youth ID
Festival and Barbeque Competition: Saturday, May 30, 2015 – noon to 7 p.m.

Where: Tucker Road Athletic Complex (1770 Tucker Rd, Fort Washington, MD 20744)

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 – 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 – 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 – APRIL 13, 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, May 1, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1605420.
Friday, May 15, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1605421.
Friday, May 29, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1605422.

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 – 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 16, 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

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:

Friday, April 3, 2015 – 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1605443.
Saturday, May 30, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. a.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1605444.

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 – MARCH 5, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: MEGHAN DECKER 301-952-8010; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-704-5272


Historical Photo Contest at Darnall’s Chance House Museum

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Darnall’s Chance House Museum is hosting a historical photo contest this spring.

The contest focuses on photos of Upper Marlboro prior to 1945. All submissions will be on display at Darnall’s Chance on Fridays and Sundays during June. Winners, five of which will receive a $75 prize, will be announced at the Colonial Picnic at the museum on June 13th.

Contestants have until May 15 to turn in their photos. There is no entry fee.

Darnall’s Chance is open for walk-in tours on Fridays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. It is open of tours by appointment Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772

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 5, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-206-3350; TTY 301-446-3402
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3327; MOBILE: 301-704-5272

Department of Parks and Recreation is Searching for Centenarians
M-NCPPC Wants to Celebrate Seniors 90 Years and Older

Landover, MD – The M-NCPPC, Dept. of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County is looking for County residents who are ages 90 and older to invite them to a special Centenarian Celebration being held in May. Special recognition will be given to Centenarians – residents who are 100 years old and older.

We need your help identifying Prince George’s County residents ages 90 & older. If you know someone who resides in the county, and is 90 years old or older (as of January 1, 2015), please share the information with us. Your help is greatly appreciated! Please forward this information to us no later than February 27, 2015 by ONE of the means listed below:

(a) Send an e-mail to Centenarian@pgparks.com (subject: Centenarian); OR

(b) Complete the form (see back of flyer) and mail it to: Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center, 7120 Contee Road, Laurel, MD 20707, Attn: Centenarian Coordinator.


For more on the Department of Parks and Recreation, visit www.pgparks.com and stay connected on facebook.com/pgparks and twitter.com/pgparks. 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 17, 2014
Prince George’s Parks and Recreation: KIRA CALM LEWIS
301-704-5272; KiraCalmLewis@pgparks.com
Montgomery Parks: MELISSA CHOTINER
301-650-2866; Melissa.Chotiner@MontgomeryParks.org


MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION AMONG “BEST OF THE BEST” WITH CAPRA REACCREDITATION

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) was reaccredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, receiving the maximum score in every available category, during the National Parks and Recreation Association Congress 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. Charged with providing high quality services and experiences, park and recreation agencies across the United States turn to CAPRA Accreditation as a credible and efficient means of achieving these goals, while providing assurance to the public that the agency meets national standards of best practice. CAPRA accredits departments and agencies that provide park and recreation programs and services. Agency accreditation is available to all entities administering park and recreation systems, including municipalities, townships, counties, special districts and regional authorities, councils of government, schools, and military installations.

“The Commission is extremely honored and privileged on behalf of the 1.8 million residents we serve in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties and on behalf of our talented and creative staff members and unselfish volunteers” said M-NCPPC Chairman Elizabeth M. Hewlett. “In partnership with our actively engaged citizens, M-NCPPC has worked diligently throughout our 85-plus year history to successfully deliver outstanding, affordable parks and recreation opportunities and experiences for all.”

“I am so proud of the amazing work of our dedicated Parks and Recreation staff,” said M-NCPPC Vice-Chairman Casey Anderson. “We are known for our superb parks system across the region. This reaccreditation proves that, and we will continue to preserve and sustain this valuable resource.”

“It is an honor to serve the community at the highest level and be recognized for that service by the CAPRA organization,” said Ronnie Gathers, Director of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. “The quality of our staff and the delivery and availability of our programs and facilities to the community continue to be our highest priority.”

Established in 1927 by State law to acquire, develop and maintain park land and open space, and to plan for the orderly development of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, M-NCPPC has grown and evolved to keep pace with the growth and diversity of the bi-county area it serves. Under direction of its Montgomery County Department of Parks and Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, the Commission today maintains more than 57,000 acres of parkland and open space, operates more than 200 recreational facilities, and attracts more than 25 million visitors each year.

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. NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org/capra.

For more information about The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, visit mncppc.org. And, for more information about the Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, visit pgparks.com and stay connected on facebook.com/pgparks and twitter.com/pgparks.

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