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Montgomery County Teams Up with Ruppert Landscape to Restore Outside of Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 13, 2022

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County Recreation Director Robin Riley joined Ruppert Landscape’s Maryland and District of Columbia branches for a day of service to help restore the grounds and community garden of the Long Branch Community Recreation Center and Senior Center on Friday, May 13. The facility is located at 8700 Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring.

Ruppert Landscape provided the materials and work hours to deliver a much-needed facelift to prepare for the facility reopening later in the month. The generous donation made it possible for the Montgomery County Departments of General Services and Recreation to focus on the center’s interior work while Ruppert focused on the external landscaping.

“The Long Branch Center has been a community hub for more than 30 years, providing support, opportunities, programs, and services to one of the County’s most vulnerable communities,” said County Executive Elrich. “We appreciate the good will of Ruppert Landscape and their employees to provide their resources to prepare the outside area for reopening. This generous donation provides an attractive outdoor area for the community, enriches the neighborhood, and positively impacts our natural resources.”

“The restoration of the community garden and the grounds surrounding the Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center is a testament to the resiliency of this community,” said Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz. “For decades, this center has served as a versatile place where residents can learn, play, convene, and plant seeds of change to generate goodness throughout Montgomery County. I would like to thank Ruppert Landscape for their benevolence to help refurbish this local landmark for its reopening and it is public-private partnerships like these that strengthen neighborhoods and our natural habitat.”

This day of service included both labor and materials, totaling approximately $30,000 and 160 labor hours. Ruppert cleaned and prepped, mowed turf, removed dead and aging plant material, pruned existing trees and shrubs, reframed and prepped community garden areas, and installed more than 125 perennials and shrubs along with bed edging and mulch.

“When we look for community service projects, we are looking for a project where we can utilize our landscaping skills and company resources to better our community,” said Ruppert Landscape CEO Craig Ruppert. “This project came to us through one of our employees who has a friend who works as the division chief for Montgomery County Recreation and brought the opportunity to us seeking our partnership. We also have many customers we provide service to in this area and 50 employees who live within the community that’s serviced by this center. Our decision to get involved made sense on so many levels as it helps us our community, our customers, and our employees.”

At the start of of the COVID-19 health crisis, Long Branch Community Recreation Center became a shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness to have safe lodging and access to basic services. Due to the safe distancing and COVID-19 protocols there was a critical need to provide people with a warm and safe place with sufficient shower/bathroom facilities. Throughout the pandemic the Center also ensured those in need had access to medical services. In early March the Nebel Street Shelter opened, and work began on renovating the Long Branch building. 

Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center is scheduled to open for normal operations on Monday, May 16. Normal operating hours for the senior center will be Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Community members, ages 55 and older, can access the facility free of charge. 

The Community Recreation Center will have a special event on Saturday, May 21. There will be dancing, music, food, inflatables, face painting, games, and more. All are invited to join the family-friendly celebration.  

The Senior Center will host a special homecoming week June 6-10. During the week, there will be special events and activities including free lessons on how to use the exercise equipment, open information sessions to sign up for the senior lunch program, musical entertainment, and specialty coffee with breakfast treats daily. 

The extensive landscaping work makes it possible for community members to be welcomed back to the center with an inviting, attractive outdoor space.

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Release ID: 22-285
Media Contact: Monika Hammer
Categories: Recreation