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Wonderful Wizard of Oz Playground Opening at Watkins Regional Park
Department of Parks and Recreation Holiday Schedule for Labor Day
Celebrate Baden Day
Hispanic Festival Returns for 34th Year
Festival Hispana Regresa para el 34th Año
Prince George’s Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $5K Grant from NRPA
Family Campfire at Watkins Nature Center
2015 Prince George’s County Fair at Rosecroft Raceway
Arts Festival at Fairwood Community Park
Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion
Watkins Nature Center Announces September Activities
DPR Presents: 10 Things Every Young Man Should Know
FEATURE: Cops Camp: Police Mentoring Kids in Minority Communities
Concert Series at Fairwood Community Park Announced
Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion
M-NCPPC Announced as Finalist for the 2015 National Gold Medal Awards in Parks and Recreation
Military Personnel Get Free Admission to Parks and Recreation Museums
Patuxent River Park and Clearwater Nature Center Certified as Maryland Green Centers
Department of Parks and Recreation Wins Big at 2015 MRPA Conference
‘Get to Know Your Wild Neighbor’ Contest Kicking Off at Watkins Nature Center
Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $30K Grant to Support Local Out-of-School Time Programs
Five Recognized as Certified Park and Recreation Professionals


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 3, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Wonderful Wizard of Oz Playground Opening at Watkins Regional Park

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Take a walk down the yellow brick road into the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s new Wonderful-Wizard-of-Oz-themed Imagination Playground at Watkins Regional Park, which will have its grand opening celebration on Friday, September 25, 2015.

The 14,000-square-foot playground, which encourages learning and reading, is sure to make any child, or adult, feel like they are with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion in the classic book.

Guests enter by walking under a giant rainbow before arriving at the playground, which has buildings based on those in the book, cutouts of the main characters, ruby slipper slides, musical instruments and plenty of interactive elements to keep guests entertained for hours.

The six different play areas are: Dorothy’s farm, Munchkin Land, the Emerald Forest, the Emerald City, the balloon escape and the ruby slipper slides.

When: Friday, September 25, 2015 – 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Watkins Regional Park (301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, 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 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 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 7, 2015:

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 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-888-1500; TTY 301-203-6030
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Celebrate Baden Day

BRANDYWINE, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Baden Community Center staff will be hosting a celebration for Baden Day on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

This free event will feature live performances – including the Hardway Connection as the closing act – lunch off the grill, children’s activities, vendors and exhibitors.

When: Saturday, September 26, 2015 – noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Baden Community Center (13601 Baden Westwood Road, Brandywine, MD 20613)

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 – SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-445-4500; TTY 301-699-2544
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Hispanic Festival Returns for 34th Year

ADELPHI, MD – Come celebrate the rich heritage of our Latino communities on Sunday, September 20, 2015, at the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s 34th annual Hispanic Festival.

The free festival, which draws more than 10,000 people, will feature carnival games, arts and crafts, two stages of entertainment, and delicious food as we celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage. For children, there will also be face painting and pony rides.

Where: Lane Manor Park (7601 West Park Drive and University Blvd., Adelphi, 20783)

When: Sunday, September 20, from noon to 6 p.m.

Free transportation service to the park will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m., with shuttle running every 30 minutes, from the Langley McCormick Elementary School (8201 15th Avenue, Hyattsville, 20783) and Rosa Parks Elementary School (6111 Ager Road, Hyattsville, 20782).

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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PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA HASTA EL 1 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2015
PARA INFORMACION: 301-445-4500; TTY 301-699-2544
RELACIONES PÚBLICAS Y MERCADEO: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFICINA: 301-446-3313; CELLULAR: 301-446-3327

Festival Hispana Regresa para el 34th Año

ADELPHI, MD – Ven a celebrar la rica herencia de nuestra comunidad Latina con el Departamento de Parques y Recreación, M-NCPPC, en el Condado de Prince George’s el 20 de septiembre del 2015.

El festival, presentado por el Departamento de Parques y Recreación de la Comisión de Parques y Planificación de Maryland-Área de la Capital Nacional (M-NCPPC por sus siglas en ingles) en el Condado de Prince George’s, atrae más de 10.000 personas. El festival contará con juegos de carnaval, artes manuales, música en vivo, dos escenarios de entretenimiento, deliciosas comidas típicas, exhibiciones culturales, pintura de cara, venta de artesanías, carreras de pony y mucho más. La entrada es gratis desde el mediodía hasta las 6 pm.

Dónde: Lane Manor Park (7601 West Park Drive and University Blvd., Adelphi 20783)

Cuando: Domingo, 20 de septiembre del 2015, 12-6 p.m.

Transporte gratis al parque estará disponible desde las Escuelas Primarias de Langley Park-McCormick (8201 15th Avenue, Hyattsville 20783) y Rosa Parks (6111 Ager Road, Hyattsville 20782). Los autobuses salen cada 30 minutos, comenzando a las 11:30 am. Para más información llame al 301-445-4500 o visite la página de internet: www.pgparks.com/hispanic_festival.

Para más información sobre las clases y actividades ofrecidas por el Departamento de Parques y Recreación, M-NCPPC visite la página de internet www.pgparks.com y nuestros sitios de medios sociales en www.facebook.com/pgparks y www.twitter.com/pgparks.

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

Prince George’s Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $5K Grant from NRPA

RIVERDALE, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) was selected by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to receive a $5,000 grant from the National Recreation Foundation to help develop health and wellness family engagement materials, which will eventually be distributed on a national scale.

The department is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles by providing quality physical recreation activities along with educational opportunities to develop healthy habits, both providing life-long benefits.

The constant effort to meet those goals has made the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency which oversees the DPR, a five-time National Gold Medal Award winner for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management as awarded by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with NRPA. M-NCPPC has an opportunity to win a sixth gold medal this September as a finalist for this year’s awards program.

In return for the grant, the DPR will assist NRPA in creating downloadable and customizable family resources on healthy eating and physical activity to be used at home.

The National Recreation Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. It does this by investing in recreation programs directed at those who are economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged.

NRPA 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 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit NRPA.org.

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 26, 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, September 18, 2015 – 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Friday, October 2, 2015 – 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Friday, October 23, 2015 – 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – AUGUST 25, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: PR@countyfair.org

2015 Prince George’s County Fair at Rosecroft Raceway

RIVERDALE, MD – The 2015 Prince George’s County Fair will be held at Rosecroft Raceway from Thursday, September 10 to Sunday, September 13.

The Prince George’s County Fair is the oldest running fair in the State of Maryland. Held first in 1842, it was intended to allow local farmers the opportunity to showcase their produce, field crops and livestock within the local community. Over time, the fair evolved to include competitions for home arts, such as jams and jellies, canned goods, baked goods, quilting, and clothing. In recent decades, the Prince George’s County Fair has added other competitions like photography, fine arts, woodworking and flower arranging.

Potential exhibitors for livestock, agriculture and home arts have two ways to enter. The Open Classes accept entries in various categories from residents of Prince George’s County, Calvert County, Charles County, St. Mary’s County, Anne Arundel County and the District of Columbia. The 4-H youth entries must be from 4-H Club members. There are 50 different types of projects and six types of livestock for the 4-H entries.

The fair includes a carnival from Rosedale Attractions and Show, which will provide amusement rides and other carnival attractions for all ages.

Sunday, September 13 is Military Appreciation Day, granting free admission to members of the military (with proper identification) and their immediate family. Tickets must still be picked up at the box office before entering the fair.

The fair is traditionally held at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Prince George’s Equestrian Center and Show Place Arena. This year’s fair is being hosted at Rosecroft Raceway because of a scheduling conflict.

When: Thursday, September 10, 2015 – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, September 11, 2015 – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 12, 2015 – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 13, 2015 – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Ages 12 and older - $6
Ages 6-11 - $5
Ages 5 and younger – Free
Seniors (55 and older) – Thursday Free, $5 all other days

Note: Carnival rides and other attractions will require the purchase of a ticket. Parking at Rosecroft Raceway is free.

Where: Rosecroft Raceway (6336 Rosecroft Drive, Fort Washington Maryland 20744)

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 20, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3232; TTY 301-446-6082
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Arts Festival at Fairwood Community Park

BOWIE, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Division will be hosting the Fairwood Arts Festival on Sunday, September 13, 2015, at Fairwood Community Park.

This free festival will feature live performances, art and food vendors, and children’s activities.

Performers include Rob White, Lorenzo Miller, Akua Allrich and Upton Blues Band. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to celebrate local music and artists.

When: Sunday, September 13, 2015 – 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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

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

Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion

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

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

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

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

Tours cost $15 per person.

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

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

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

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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – AUGUST 18, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-780-7577; TTY 301-203-6030
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

Watkins Nature Center Announces September Activities

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – See below for September activities at Watkins Nature Center:

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

Home School Science Club: Nature Friends
Thursday, September 10, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Ages 5 to 6 – $14 for residents, $17 non-residents
Children will experience nature through hikes, hands-on activities, discussions, stories and multimedia presentations. Each class focuses on a different nature theme.

Small Fry Club
Friday, September 11, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Ages 3 to 4 – $3 for residents, $4 non-residents
A Park Naturalist will read stories, play games and do crafts with the little ones.

Cub Scout Badge Workshop: Forester Badge
Saturday, September 12, 2015 – 10 a.m. to noon – Ages 9 to 12 – $4 for residents, $5 non-residents
Scouts will learn the different layers of a forest, how to identify six local trees and plants and examine tree growth rings.

Live Animal Show
Monday, September 14, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Ages 2 and older – $2 for residents, $3 non-residents
Meet the nature center’s live animals, including reptiles, amphibians and birds of prey.

Home School Science Club: Nature Explorers
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Ages 10 to 14 – $20 for residents, $24 non-residents
Participants will experience nature through hikes, hands-on activities, discussions, stories and multimedia presentations. Each class focuses on a different nature theme.

Story and a Craft
Thursday, September 17, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Ages 2 to 12 – $4 for residents, $5 non-residents
Participants will enjoy a story and be able to create a craft afterwards.

Home School Science Club: Nature Rangers
Thursday, September 17, 2015 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Ages 7 to 9 – $20 for residents, $24 non-residents
Come learn about nature through hikes, hands-on activities, discussion, stories and multimedia presentations. Each class focuses on a different nature theme.

Campfire
Friday, September 18, 2015 – 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Ages 2 and older – $3 for residents, $4 non-residents
Enjoy nature tales and roasted marshmallows. Bring hot dogs if you’d like. Patrons will be notified of weather-related cancellations.

Family Discovery Hike
Saturday, September 19, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Ages 4 and older – $2 for residents, $3 non-residents
Take a hike with a Park Naturalist to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Nature Hike for Seniors
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 – 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Ages 60 and older – $2 for residents, $3 non-residents
Join a Park Naturalist on a hike in search of wildlife and local plant life. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.

Trip to Sideling Hill
Thursday, September 24, 2015 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Ages 18 and older – $20 for residents, $24 non-residents
A Park Naturalist will lead a day trip to Sideling Hill in Western Maryland. Participants will learn about the geology of the layers of earth which are already exposed and the area’s history. The group will stop to eat lunch and shop at Buddylou’s Eats and Antiques in Hancock, Md. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, bring binoculars and be prepared to pay for lunch.

Home School Nature Hike
Thursday, September 24, 2015 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Ages 8 to 12 – $4 for residents, $5 non-residents
Join a Park Naturalist to hike for fitness and fun. Start out with stretches and then hike throughout the park, learning about nature and animals along the way. Each hike focuses on a different theme. Please bring a refillable water bottle, binoculars, a small backpack and comfortable shoes. Dress for the weather.

Night Hike: Harvest Moon
Friday, September 25, 2015 – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Ages 6 and older – $3 for residents, $4 non-residents
A Park Naturalist will lead a nocturnal nature-themed hike in the park. Contact the facility in case of inclement weather.

Nature Craft
Saturday, September 26, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Ages 2 to 10 – $2 for residents, $3 non-residents
Participants will enjoy a story and hands-on nature craft activities.

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 11, 2015
PROGRAM INFORMATION CONTACT: 301-446-3409; TTY 301-446-3402
PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND MARKETING CONTACT: KIRA CALM LEWIS
OFFICE: 301-446-3313; MOBILE: 301-446-3327

DPR Presents: 10 Things Every Young Man Should Know

SEAT PLEASANT, MD – The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to announce that its 10 Things Every Young Man Should Know education series is returning for 2015.

This free, informative program, which lasts 12 weeks, teaches young men essential life skills as they get closer to adulthood. The series is designed for boys ages 14 to 18, parents are encouraged to stay at each session and dinner will be provided each evening. It is not mandatory to attend all 12 sessions, though it is strongly encouraged.

All participants must have a Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Youth ID, which is free for Prince George’s County and Montgomery County residents.

When: Thursdays starting on September 1 to November 17, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – SMARTlink barcode #1636551.

Where: Seat Pleasant Activity Center (5720 Addison Rd, Seat Pleasant, MD 20743)

Topics for the 12-Week Session
9/1/15 Introductory Session
9/8/15 How To Maintain A Car
9/15/15 How To Prepare For The Workforce
9/22/15 How To Stay Healthy
9/29/15 How To Make A Difference
10/6/15 How To Maintain A Positive Identity
10/13/15 How To Have Healthy Relationships
10/20/15 How To Interact With Law Enforcement
10/27/15 How To Handle Finances
11/3/15 How To Cook A Meal
11/10/15 How To Be A Leader
11/17/15 Closing Session

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

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

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

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

FEATURE: Cops Camp: Police Mentoring Kids in Minority Communities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concert Series at Fairwood Community Park Announced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behind-The-Scenes Tours at Montpelier Mansion

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

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

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

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

Tours cost $15 per person.

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Parks and Recreation Wins Big at 2015 MRPA Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Recognized as Certified Park and Recreation Professionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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