City Scene

Safe Grow and Others File Amicus Brief

Nine organizations, including Safe Grow Montgomery, filed an Amicus brief late last month in support of a 2015 landmark Montgomery County, Maryland, ordinance that restricts the use of toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction. The law, intended to protect children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of lawn and landscape pesticide use, is facing a legal challenge filed in November last year by the pesticide industry group Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE).

The groups filing the Amicus include Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Food and Water Watch, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, Maryland PIRG Foundation, Organic Consumers Association, and Safe Grow Montgomery.

Olde Towne Park Plaza Construction Begins

Work has begun on improvements to the area adjacent to the original B&O Railroad Station. In April, the mayor and City Council approved a final design and the necessary funding to bring the long awaited Olde Towne Park Plaza concept to reality. Located on a small parcel of land at the intersection of Summit and Diamond avenues, the park plaza will include an interactive fountain, an umbrella forest and new furnishings. Landscaping will add water gardens and a railroad allée. The space will transform with lighting as day moves into evening. Look for the debut of this new community gathering space in late fall 2017.

Sponsors Sought for Gaithersburg Youth SportsFest

Businesses, organizations and groups looking to introduce themselves to budding athletes and their families are invited to sponsor and participate in the 5th annual Gaithersburg Youth SportsFest, sponsored by WSSC and presented in partnership with the Gaithersburg Giants and Washington Kastles. The free event, geared toward youth in grades K through 8, takes place on Saturday, July 15 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm, 506 S. Frederick Ave. For more information, contact the Sports Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture.

May Is Asian Pacific Heritage Month

With residents of Asian Pacific heritage making up about 17 percent of the city’s population, Gaithersburg is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month throughout May. On May 1, Mayor Jud Ashman presented a proclamation to local business owner and artist Natacha Lo. The Asian Pacific region encompasses 47 countries and territories, and this year the Gaithersburg Multicultural Affairs Committee is specifically highlighting the contributions of Chinese Americans. A gallery exhibit featuring works in Chinese brush painting and calligraphy by the Harmonious Art Group is on display at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park through June 25.

Maria-Rose Cain Recognized as Extraordinary

For her efforts to inspire the next generation of scientists, on May 1 Mayor Jud Ashman recognized Maria-Rose Cain, a teacher at St. Martin of Tours School, with an Extraordinary Gaithersburg award. Cain is a national finalist in the Shell Oil Science Lab Challenge conducted by the National Science Teachers Association. She was recognized for the innovative ways she delivers quality lab experiences to her students despite limited resources. St. Martin’s will receive a science lab makeover support package valued at $8,500.