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‘Climate Victory Gardens in Montgomery County’ Will Be Theme of Free Symposium at Brookside Gardens on Tuesday, May 3, to Encourage Growing Food on Residential Properties

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 29, 2022

“Climate Victory Gardens in Montgomery County,” a symposium that will hopefully inspire local landowners to grow food on their properties or allow others to use that land to grow food, will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. The symposium is being co-sponsored by the Montgomery County Food Council, the County Department of Environmental Protection and Montgomery Parks. Each organization has heard from people throughout the County who are concerned by food shortages and rising high prices on food that is available.

Brookside Gardens is located at 1800 Glenallen Ave. in Wheaton.

The free symposium will be presented in a panel discussion format after opening remarks by County Executive Marc Elrich. Heather Bruskin, the executive director of the Food Council, will moderate the panel discussion. Scheduled panelists include Lisa Buttner, the director of Neighborhood Garden Programs at Community Health and Empowerment Through Education Research (CHEER); Michelle Nelson, community garden program manager with Montgomery Parks; and Robin Hernandez, program manager for Crossroads Community Food Network.

The event’s theme harkens back to an era when nearly half of the nation’s food supply was grown in front and back yards across America.

“Lawns, which are often covered with copious amounts of fertilizer, then mowed and watered with extraordinary amounts of gasoline for mowers and electricity for pumps, are often bad for the environment,” said Paul Tukey, a member of the Montgomery County Food Council who also serves as the director of environmental stewardship at the Glenstone Museum. “Just like in World War II, when the Victory Gardens fed America, we think Climate Victory Gardens can feed us today and also help us reduce the amount of fuel and water we are using.”

The event is designed to connect gardeners who do not have access to land with landowners who have land to spare , said Doug Weisburger, a senior sustainability planner for the Department of Environmental Protection.

“The County’s community garden program has a waiting list of about 500 people who are looking for a place to grow food for their families, or to donate their food to one of the County’s many food banks,” said Weisburger. “We hope to find homeowners willing to allow these gardeners onto their land to grow food — the same way they allow landscapers to come onto their lawns. We see that as a win-win-win that strengthens community ties.”

The event will include simultaneous translation in Spanish and 25 translation headsets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Advance registration is not required to attend the symposium, but is encouraged for networking purposes. For more information, go to

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Release ID: 22-260
Media Contact: Cindy Pena 202-875-1563
Categories: Environment