Seasons’ Greetings from Sugarloaf Country!
Scenes around the Ag Reserve
2014 was a busy year for our volunteer team at the Sugarloaf
Citizens Association. As an organization dedicated to the protection
and promotion of the Agricultural Reserve’s rural legacy, Sugarloaf
took action and met challenges on many different fronts. Below is a
short synopsis of some of our most significant work and achievements this past year:
Global Mission Church — Plans to build a 118,000 square foot
mega-church facility—larger than the Nashville Convention
Center—on a piece of property in rural southern Frederick County
with no public sewer or water are on hold because of legal action
brought by Sugarloaf, MCA, and local residents.
Old Arsenal Gun Range — The applicant withdrew its proposal for
a gun range when faced with a well-organized campaign that
expressed resident and local business concerns. Sugarloaf joined
the Sugarloaf Alliance and many others to testify before the
Frederick County Planning Board in opposition to the proposed
large-scale, high caliber gun range at the base of Sugarloaf
Mountain, a designated conservation area.
Ten Mile Creek — Sugarloaf was one of the earliest members of the
Ten Mile Creek Coalition (TMC). Sugarloaf board members testified
in front of the Montgomery County Council and Planning Board;
met with elected officials and planning board staff; and, financed
scientific research. Thanks to the TMC efforts, there will be
hundreds fewer acres of asphalt, making for a healthier creek, solesource
aquifer and emergency drinking water supply for over 4.3
million in the metro area.
Although Sugarloaf remains a volunteer organization, and has been
since its inception nearly 42 years ago, it sometimes takes more
than sweat to get the job done right. It costs money to employ land
use attorneys and environmental researchers whose expertise is
invaluable to our past successes. Please check out our website @ sugarloafcitizens.org and consider making a contribution either
online or mailed to the above address.
There is more work to be done in 2015, including advocacy for
broadband access in the Ag Reserve and a MCPS rural schools
policy. Please join us and thanks in advance for your support.
Warm Wishes for the Holiday Season!
SCA President Testifies About
Styrofoam Health Risks in Montgomery County
It’s one of those things that drive us all a little crazy—seeing plastic and styrofoam cups and food containers on the side of our roads, in our lakes and rivers, at our parks, and bulging out of garbage cans in fast food restaurants and at public events. It’s a highly visual symbol of environmental degradation, and waste—on multiple levels.
A bill in the Montgomery County Council would tackle one part of this problem. It would ban the use of styrofoam food containers and require that compostable or recyclable containers take their place at all commercial food establishments in the county—restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias, etc. The legislation was introduced in September 2014 by Councilmember Hans Riemer and is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal.
Beth Daly, SCA’s new president, testified in strong support of the bill at a country hearing on Oct. 14, on behalf of SCA and Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA). Passing the bill would be “an important step towards a healthier and less polluted Montgomery County,” she told the Council. The bill would also reduce the health risk that arises from discarded styrofoam and from burning styrofoam products in the country’s incinerator in Dickerson, in the heart of the Agricultural Reserve. Styrofoam doesn’t break down and styrene—a main ingredient in Styrofoam—is a known carcinogen.
Many cities and counties have already taken this step, including New York and Washington, D.C., and it’s being considered in Boston, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia.
Help us support this important legislation by making a donation to SCA today.