Instead of chopping down 9-10 acres of trees, why not do the cheapest and most financially sensible thing with the proposed Waring Station Holding School site?
Turn it into a conservation area.
This would protect the headwaters of Great Seneca Creek. The huge gully that runs along Waring Station Road between the Woodlake pool and the entrance to Kids’ Town is already protected as Gunners Village Neighborhood Conservation Area and is not part of the proposed school site. According to The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, this area at 18801 Waring Station Road is undeveloped for active recreation because it is a conservation area:
“This park is located adjacent to Seneca Creek state Park and is one of a series of connected parks which help protect Great Seneca Creek. Great Seneca Creek is the largest watershed located entirely within Montgomery County and is a tributary of the Potomac River.”
How much protection will the Gunners Village Neighborhood Conservation Area be able provide to Great Seneca Creek when the highest point in its drainage is used to funnel 10 acres of runoff water, sediment, and road salt from a holding school?
The most sensible thing to do would be to add the 8.7 acres of undeveloped land on the proposed Waring Station site to the Gunners Village Neighborhood Conservation Area to ensure that the conservation area can provide the needed protection.
The 1989 Germantown Master Plan lists the Waring Station site as owned by BOE but it was NOT slated for future development as a school at that time. The 1989 Master Plan, the active master plan for this part of Germantown, states, in part:
“Should Montgomery County Public Schools surplus this 10-acre elementary school site, this Plan recommends that ownership of the property be transferred to the Montgomery County Parks Department and that it be developed as a local park.”
Now is a great time to recommend that M-NCPPC take over this site for use as a future conservation area. Taken from the M-NCPPC website:
“The Montgomery County Planning Board and the Montgomery County Recreation Advisory Boards are accepting public input on future capital improvement projects (CIP) for parks and recreation facilities for fiscal years 2013-2018. The CIP for the Department of Parks includes proposals for parkland acquisition, renovation of older park facilities, and new park development.”
“Sign up to speak during this public forum by 4:00 pm, Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Sign-up on-line at: http://www.montgomeryapps.org/planning_board/testify.asp The forum is limited to 35 speakers; however, written comments may be submitted to Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Françoise Carrier at 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, April 7, 2011.”
One of my neighbors is going to speak at this meeting. I am planning to write a letter. How about you?