Little Quarry Park Meeting Addresses Concerns on Noise, Herbicides

Nestled amidst a thick grove of trees, there is a humble little park that was recently the center of discussion among members of the Kentlands community and city of Gaithersburg representatives. Little Quarry Park, classified as a “pocket park” on the city of Gaithersburg website, is located at 540 Chestertown Street. Its 5.7 acres consist of a pond, a gravel path, and a small clearing that contains three picnic tables for public use.

On Sept. 19, an hour-long meeting was held at the park to discuss several issues raised by Kentlands residents. This was a follow-up to an initial meeting at the park held approximately one year ago, and the primary focus this time was on visibility and noise levels. Attendees included Laura Sarno from the city of Gaithersburg’s Department of Public Works, Michelle Potter from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture, Randy Fox of Kentlands’ CMC-Management, as well as several nearby residents.

The first issue discussed at the recent meeting concerned noise pollution that has resulted from clearing work performed by the city. Several residents complained that now that the area is more open, there is a thinner barrier (both visually and audibly) between the park and Quince Orchard Road. City officials agreed to plan a budget for evenly spaced evergreen trees to restore the hidden aspect of the park. This would aid in shielding the park from road noise.

Also addressed were concerns over the park’s mosquito population. Residents were assured that Little Quarry Park is on the “mosquito control inspection list” and is visited every 30 days to determine whether or not treatment of the area with pesticides is necessary.

In contrast to questions as to whether pesticides could be used to lower the number of mosquitos, residents also inquired as to whether the use of Roundup, an herbicide, was even necessary. After an explanation of why and how the city decides to use herbicides, concerned residents accepted the practice.

Other issues discussed included the lack of understory in the newly cleared areas of the park, as well as the need for replacement fencing around the pond. It was determined that a lack of understory is due to a green briar vine that is taking nutrition away from the trees. City representatives confirmed that the city was aware of the need to control the vine and keep it from taking over too much of the park. Residents were also informed that replacement fencing is already in the city’s budget, but preliminary estimates were too high. Other fencing options will be researched so the project can proceed as planned.