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Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice Helps Celebrate Future Germantown Town Center Urban Park

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 7, 2012

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 7, 2012—Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice this week joined federal and local leaders in announcing a plan that will create an 8.8-acre “urban park” that will be a key element in completing Germantown Town Center. The Germantown Town Center Urban Park will create inviting open space, trails, boardwalks, gathering areas and enhanced wetland areas for education.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held last week for the park, which is slated for completion in 2014 and will be located on land adjacent to the Germantown Library on Century Boulevard.

“This groundbreaking for the Germantown Town Center Urban Park is the culmination of years of hard work between Montgomery Parks, the County and the community,” said Councilmember Rice, who represents Council District 2, which includes Germantown. “This is especially sweet for me because, as one of the first residents in Germantown Town Center, I was presented with a phenomenal environmentally-sensitive design that finalized the last piece of a vibrant Germantown Town Center.”

The park will also feature public art components created by artist David Hess that will complement the cultural setting of the library and the nearby Black Rock Arts Center while serving as gathering spaces.

Hess will create three large pergolas using more than 14,000 feet of twisted stainless steel material formed atop six large natural boulders. The pergolas will create gathering places within a raised plaza overlooking a formal lawn and the existing wetlands. Hess will also build sculptural handrails and benches within the Park.

“I wanted to bring a natural looking form into this beautifully controlled space,” said Hess. “The twisted stainless steel can be welded together and is extremely durable. It gives the impression of something architectural in nature, like a nest or beaver dam. Simultaneously, visitors might even think it was somehow ‘grown’ this way.”

The park will be passive in nature and ADA compliant for universal access. The park will feature a fully integrated stormwater management system and improvements to the pond and naturalized wetlands to nurture and protect the various plant and animal wildlife native to the region.

“There are a surprising number of birds that visit the wetlands within the park throughout the year, and we wanted to make sure we were able to preserve this natural area within the developed town center,” noted Andy Frank, project manager for the park.

“This park has been a long time in the making and we are so pleased that all of the hard work and planning is now bringing it to the citizens of Germantown." said Mary Bradford, Montgomery parks director for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. “We genuinely appreciate the patience and support from the community throughout this process. It shows that building a village center really takes a village.”

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Release ID: 12-090
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939