OPEN COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Since the county first launched its e-government website in 1992, Montgomery County has been committed to providing a transparent and open accounting of issues, both large and small. Now its digital strategy includes four websites that provide a detailed look at county spending, budget, data and other information and services. They are:
budget.data.montgomerycountymd.gov; and SpendingMontgomery:
HIDDEN TREASURE APPRAISALS
Here's a reason to do your spring cleaning early. Montgomery Parks is hosting an event where you can discover if that brooch from Aunt Sally or any other treasure taking up space around the house is actually worth anything. The event at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park in Sandy Spring is free, but pre-registration is required. Each registered participant can have one small item appraised March 25-26 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. http://www.montgomeryparks.org/events/
TROUT FOR DINNER
Select Montgomery County lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks will be stocked with 21,200 trout over the next few weeks as part of an annual program by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Statewide, MDNR will stock Maryland waterways with 338,000 trout. Most of the trout are raised from commercially purchased eggs at the Albert M. Powell State Trout Hatchery in Hagerstown. Additional trout are raised at other MDNR hatcheries while approximately 25,000 more are purchased from private commercial hatcheries. Those fish must meet Maryland standards and certify that they are disease free.
County waterways to receive new stocks include Great Seneca Creek (5,600); Izaak Walton Pond (1,000); Lake Needwood (2,200); Martin Luther King Jr. Pond (800); Northwest Branch (5,300); Patuxent River (1,400 plus 3,700 more under the catch and return program); and Pine Lake (1,200). dnr.state.md.us
TRY YOUR HAND – OR EYE
Montgomery Magazine is sponsoring two contests exclusively for residents of Montgomery County. Montgomery Writes! is a short-form writing contest with three categories: fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. It is held in conjunction with the Montgomery County chapter of the Maryland Writer's Association. Picture This Montgomery is a photographic contest with fourcategories: people, landscape, agricultural, and street scenes. Images must be shot within Montgomery County. The Gaithersburg Camera Club and the NIH Camera Club are participating in the contest. There isn't a cost to enter either contest and there are cash prizes for both. montgomerymag.com
Need a birthday party idea, rainy day or everyday activity for the little tyke or teen in your family? Here are three great MoCo places and businesses that cater to kids and birthdays.
BUBBLE BOUNCE - An indoor play center that specializes in inflatable play, Bubble Bounce is a mega bounce facility in Westfield Wheaton open to bouncers 10 years-old and younger. Bubble Bounce features three large bounce houses and welcomes birthday parties and group events. Bubble Bounce
PUMP IT UP - Birthday parties will never be the same after a celebration at Pump It Up in Silver Spring. Featuring inflatable indoor playgrounds, Pump It Up also offers games, a blow-up birthday throne, balloons dropping like rain and more. Birthday parties, special events, camps and open jump can all be arranged. Pump It Up
THOMAS FARM COMMUNITY CENTER - TFCC just celebrated its eighth birthday as a center in Rockville that serves residents with engaging, high-quality recreational activities in a modern facility. There is rental space, drop-in sports, fitness center, a teen after school program, game room, ping pong tables and more. TFCC