Ongoing Initiatives

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Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship Fund

To honor Marye Wells-Harley’s legacy to parks and recreation in our area, The Marye Wells-Harley Dream Camp Scholarship Fund was created to provide scholarships for children and teens to attend the Montgomery Parks’ summer camp of their choice. Summer camp provides fun and life-changing experiences to area children, but due to financial constraints, some children are sidelined. This Fund provides Montgomery County families facing financial challenges the opportunity to give their children the memorable experience of summer camp.

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Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery Parks’ award-winning, 50-acre premier horticultural display garden located in Wheaton, MD. Brookside Gardens offers formal and landscaped gardens, conservatories filled with changing seasonal displays, educational programs for children and adults and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Included in the gardens are several distinct areas: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Brookside Gardens also feature two conservatories for year-round enjoyment.

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Nature Centers

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Black Hill

Black Hill Visitor Center, located in Boyds, Maryland, is the site for Black Hill Nature Programs. The Center sits atop a hill overlooking Little Seneca Lake in the 2,000+ acre Black Hill Regional Park. Park Naturalists have explored the area in and around the Lake and have incorporated the best the region has to offer into a wide range of programs, for all ages, in all seasons. Program participants can kayak Lake Seneca’s many nooks and crannies looking for beaver, waterfowl and turtles; or, they may learn how ancient peoples survived the changing Piedmont seasons. The littlest ‘naturalists’ can hear stories as they take a ride on the Kingfisher pontoon boat; adults can add birds and butterflies to their life lists as our expert guides point out wildlife hotspots. Everyone will enjoy our special annual events, the Bluebirds Forever Festival in May and the wildly popular Monarch Fiesta Day in fall. Along with all the above, we offer school programs, Scout adventures and Summer Camps — many exciting ways to bring the wonder of nature to you!

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Brookside

Since 1961, Brookside Nature Center has engaged visitors in fun and meaningful ways, connecting to both the natural and cultural resources of Montgomery County. Nestled within 536-acre Wheaton Regional Park, the nature center provides interpretation of the surrounding ecosystems – forest, pond, stream and meadow. The nature center building is accessible to all and features live animal exhibits (reptiles/amphibians/fish), the Children’s Discovery Room, observation beehive, and wildlife exhibits. On the facility grounds, discover a wooded nature play area, native plant gardens, accessible interpretive boardwalks, 1870s pioneer cabin, and miles of hiking trails.

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Locust grove

Conveniently located in Cabin John Regional Park, Locust Grove Nature Center provides a natural sanctuary from the surrounding urban bustle. While designated the outreach center for area schools, Locust Grove continues to offer quality public programs for all ages. From story time under the giant Sycamore to adult Friday Forays around the County, programs will delight and inform visitors of all ages. You’re also welcome to come and wander trails, enjoy the observation deck, explore the exhibits indoors and out, or discover the wonder of the Center’s natural playground.

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Meadowside

Located in Rock Creek Regional Park, Meadowside Nature Center offers hands-on natural and cultural history programs for families, schools, and scouts. Visitors can spend their time hiking 8 miles of Nature Trails or visiting owls, hawks, and American Bald Eagle in our Raptor Aviaries. Inside visitors can explore the diverse habits found in Maryland as they crawl through a cave or look at the world from a fish’s point of view in the Legacy of the Land Exhibit. Curiosity Corner discovery room contains books, games, puzzles, and more live animals for young naturalists to explore nature in a child-friendly environment. Visitors can also experience the lives of the Maryland pioneer and Eastern Woodland Indian families in our Legacy of the People exhibit where they can try on clothes, play games, and touch animal skins.

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