New “Welcome to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve” Signs

For Immediate Release: June 4, 2008
Mike Rubin, President, MCA, 301-801-0215 (cell)
Dolores Milmoe, ANS, 301-633-8719 (cell)
Gary Valens, President, SCA, 301-349-4889
Steve Dryden, MCA Board Member, 301-656-0049

New “Welcome to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve” Signs Call Attention to the County’s Crown Jewel

At 10:30 this morning Montgomery County and State of Maryland officials unveiled new state road signs at the major entry points into the county’s nationally recognized Agricultural Reserve.  Now drivers who experience the transition from surrounding suburbs into the 90,000 acre reserve will see “Welcome to Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve” signs to know that they are entering a special place in the Washington DC region.

“Many people share credit in the effort to have the signs approved and installed including:  Senator Robert Garagiola, County Executive Ike Leggett, late-councilmember Marilyn Praisner, other councilmembers including Mike Knapp and George Leventhal, and Jeremy Criss of the County’s Department of Economic Development.  They and others helped to make these signs a reality,” said Dolores Milmoe of the Audubon Naturalist Society.”

“The Montgomery Countryside Alliance and our partners have lead efforts to protect and enhance the Agricultural Reserve.  In 2005, the Reserve gained newfound attention as we joined with the County in a celebration of its 25th Anniversary.  In partnership with the County’s economic development office, we helped to create and issue an Agricultural Reserve Resource Guide to invite people to explore the Reserve, and we are happy to see the additional recognition today for the reserve,” said Mike Rubin, Chair of MCA.

Gary Valens, president of Sugarloaf Citizens Association, said, “The Agricultural Reserve is home to working farms, artists and natural areas.  We invite people to come visit the County’s scenic crown jewel, to stop by the farmers markets and buy fresh local food, to bicycle on the rural roads, and to stroll through our historic villages.”

“Given the current energy and environmental problems, local food is becoming more and more essential.  The Agricultural Reserve could become a lifeline for fresh food to our region,” said Rubin.

Note:  In December 2007, MCA and Ed Brown, the owner of White’s Ferry, partnered in placing another sign, one with a painted landscape by artist Tina Brown (no relation), for those who arrive by ferry from Virginia.