Montgomery Update: During Earth Month, One Important Step for Our Planet

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Montgomery County Update: News & Information

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April 21, 2022 | Bookmark and Share
Contact County Executive Marc Elrich

A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich

Message from the County Executive Marc Elrich

Earth Day, which has expanded into a month-long celebration of protecting the earth’s resources, is foremost on the mind of County Executive Marc Elrich this week. He appreciates that the County Council unanimously passed the Building Energy Performance Standards legislation that will help the County reach the goals in its Climate Action Plan. He expresses more concern about the increasing rates of COVID-19 infections and the effects of “long COVID” on many residents. In addition, he talks about the impact Interfaith Works has had on County residents as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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Masks Now Optional on County Ride On Buses

masks now optional

Passengers using Montgomery County’s Ride On buses are no longer required to wear a mask, but are strongly encouraged to voluntarily wear them.  The change to the County’s masking policy comes after the announcement on April 18 that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has suspended enforcement of a mask mandate on all modes of public transportation.  TSA’s decision came after a Federal judge’s ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask mandate was unconstitutional.

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Free GreenFest is Back and In-Person for the First Time in Three Years at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton on Saturday, April 23


The Seventh Annual Montgomery County “GreenFest” will return as a free in-person festival celebrating Earth Day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton.

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MCPS Middle Students Can Now Register for Fourth Year of Free ‘Montgomery Can Code Camp,’ which Kicks Off on July 11

montgomery can code

Registration is now open for Montgomery County Public Schools middle school students interested in attending the fourth year of the unique and innovative “Montgomery Can Code Camp” this summer. The free virtual program is a public-private partnership formed by Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation with Apple. It will offer an enriching and educational summer camp experience to learn computer coding.

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‘MoCo Eats Week’ April 22-30 Provides Incentive to Visit Favorite Restaurants and New Ones

moco eat week

“MoCo Eats Week” will be an opportunity to visit favorite restaurants throughout Montgomery County and incentive to try new ones from April 22-30. The special week of food, which is hosted by Visit Montgomery, includes a chance to win the “Ultimate Foodie Giveaway” valued at $1,000.

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Rebates Available for Purchasing Electric Leaf Blowers

leaf blower rebates

Montgomery County residents or companies that purchase electric leaf blowers are eligible for rebates of $50 or $100 through a special program that supports the County’s Climate Action Plan whose goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each individual or company is eligible for up to two rebates on either handheld or backpack electric leaf blowers. 

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Earth Month to be Celebrated with Events Throughout April Hosted by Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection

earth month

Earth Month will be celebrated throughout April by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection with volunteer, community and environmental events that are fun, educational, and bring attention to the importance of caring for the environment. 

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Second COVID-19 Booster Shots Now Available at County-Operated Clinics

2nd booster shot

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved giving a second booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups. Montgomery County-operated clinics are now providing the second booster dose to eligible residents. 

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Free At-home COVID-19 PCR Test Kits Available at County Multiple Locations

PCR test kit

Montgomery County residents can pick up free at-home polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 test kits at locations throughout the community. The "20/20 GeneSystems" tests are available to County residents while supplies last. Residents can receive a maximum of two test kits per person (each kit contains one test) per visit.

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‘About That Slap—Tips for Conflict Resolution’ from County’s Director of Health and Human Services Will Be Featured Topic on ‘What’s Happening MoCo’ Podcast

what's happening #Moco

Just a few short weeks ago, the world let out a collective gasp as actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock during the Academy Awards show in response to Rock’s joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkette Smith. On the latest episode of the What’s Happening MoCo podcast, Montgomery County’s Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Raymond Crowel, shares his insights regarding the controversial incident.

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21 County Parking Garages to Undergo Cleanings in Spring and Summer

parking lot

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has started its semi-annual interior washdown to degrease and clean 21 County-owned parking garages in Silver Spring, Bethesda and Wheaton.

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Department of Health and Human Services to Host Virtual Town Hall to Discuss Health in County on Thursday, May 5


Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services will host a virtual town hall from 3:30-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, to focus on the status of health in the community. Partners from clinical care settings, government agencies, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations and academic and research institutions, as well as interested residents, are invited to the free event.    

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Patricia Vonne Kicks Off 2022 Singer Songwriter Concert Series on Saturday, April 23, at Gaithersburg Arts Barn


Three-time Austin Music Award winner Patricia Vonne, an Alt-Americana powerhouse incorporating her special blend of rock, folk, flamenco, bilingual Tex-Mex and Latin music, will be the featured performer on Saturday, April 23, as Gaithersburg’s Arts on the Green opens its 2022 Singer Songwriter Concert Series at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.

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2022 Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival Poster Contest Winner is K.S. Brenowitz of Silver Spring


The sixth annual Wheaton Arts Parade & Festival poster will be based on the design submitted by K.S. Brenowitz, a Silver Spring resident and graphic artist. The contest was open to all residents of Montgomery County. Following their selection, Brenowitz worked with Wheaton Art Parade designer Josue Martinez of Corinto Gallery to apply the original design to the poster and for use on other promotional materials, including the T-shirt, for the event that will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, in Downtown Wheaton.


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‘Natur(ally)--A Virtual Community Art Exhibition in Celebration of Earth Day’ Will Allow Residents to Showcase Their Art on Friday, April 22    


Residents can showcase their art in the online exhibition “Natur(ally)—A Virtual Community Art Exhibition in Celebration of Earth Day” taking place from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, April 22, on Zoom. The exhibition, presented by Silver Spring Town Center, Inc., will be hosted by artist Marcie Wolf-Hubbard.  


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MCDOT Seeks Input on Proposed North Bethesda BRT/Flash Line


The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) currently operates one line of the County’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, branded Flash, in the Colesville Road/Columbia Pike (US 29) corridor. The upgraded bus service is part of a planned network of BRT lines in the County. MCDOT is now in the planning stages for a North Bethesda BRT line and would like residents to assist in determining the street layout, location of stations and the endpoints of the corridor. 

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‘Dairy Industry in the Bethesda Area in the First Half of the 20th Century’ Will Be Focus of Montgomery History Virtual Presentation on Tuesday, April 26

montgomery history logo

“The Dairy Industry in the Bethesda Area in the First Half of the 20th Century”—and before the building of the Beltway—will be the focus of a virtual presentation of Montgomery History at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. The presentation was developed in cooperation with the Bethesda Historical Society to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Bethesda.

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Special Events from Montgomery Parks Will Fill April Calendar  

sunset yoga

April will have a lot of opportunities to dust off the winter cobwebs and get moving with a month of special events from Montgomery Parks, including Sunset Yoga, Chess in the Park and  Acoustics & Ales.     

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