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Garrett County Drug-Free Communities Coalition Receives Grant to Combat Youth Substance Use

The Garrett County Health Department is making significant strides in its ongoing efforts to prevent youth substance use, thanks to a grant awarded to the Garrett County Drug-Free Communities Coalition. Now in its third year, this grant supports initiatives aimed at curbing opioid, methamphetamine, and prescription drug misuse among youth aged 12-18 in Garrett County and beyond.

Funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Local Drug Crises grant program, this five-year grant provides $50,000 annually. The funding is instrumental in empowering local communities to tackle substance abuse issues head-on and promote healthier lifestyles among young people.

Sandy Miller, Director of the Substance Abuse Prevention Unit at the Garrett County Health Department and Project Director for the grant, emphasized the importance of reaching out to individuals in need of substance use treatment services. The grant supports a campaign titled “Reach Out Now,” which aims to raise awareness about available treatment and recovery services and encourage individuals to seek help.

Highlighting the theme for the February campaign, “The Path from Addiction to Recovery is a Journey,” Miller underscored the significance of community-wide messaging in facilitating individuals’ first steps towards recovery. Throughout the month, the Garrett County Community Health Outreach Team will be actively engaged in promoting treatment and recovery services across various communities in the county.

Individuals and organizations interested in accessing information or resources to share within their communities are encouraged to reach out to the Garrett County Health Department. Whether it’s for a worksite, church, business, or organization, the department is committed to providing assistance and support in combating youth substance use.

The grant program, a collaborative effort between ONDCP and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeks to address the evolving challenges of youth substance use by empowering local coalitions. By applying evidence-based prevention strategies tailored to their communities’ needs, these coalitions play a pivotal role in reducing substance abuse among youth.

In conclusion, the ongoing efforts of the Garrett County Drug-Free Communities Coalition, supported by the ONDCP grant, underscore the community’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its youth. Through targeted initiatives and community-wide engagement, Garrett County continues to make strides in creating a healthier, drug-free environment for its residents. For more information about the grant or to get involved in prevention efforts, interested parties can contact the Garrett County Health Department.

Maryland Forest Service Now Accepting Applications for the Community Forestry Catalyst Fund

The Maryland Forest Service is offering a new grant program to distribute $4.8 million in federal Inflation Reduction Act funds towards urban and community forestry projects during the next four years. 

The Community Forestry Catalyst Fund expands resources for Maryland’s ambitious commitment to enhance its forest cover and tree canopy through the state’s 5 Million Trees for Maryland initiative and existing programs, like the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Urban Trees Grant Program. These programs prioritize tree plantings where they can provide the greatest benefits to people, such as heat island abatement, air quality regulation, and flooding reduction. 

“We’ve seen strong evidence in the past 30 years that the forest conservation laws we have in Maryland are effective at curbing the amount of forest lost during development,” said Maryland Forest Service Director Anne Hairston-Strang. “But what the science is telling us today is that we have to look beyond the high-level metrics and start contending with how the location and health of those trees influence things like quality of life, public health, and climate resilience.”

2022 study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and carried out by the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agroecology found that while statewide tree canopy coverage remains relatively stable at 40%, this statistic masks a worrying trend of forest loss in counties where development pressure is high. 

Additionally, an established body of research shows that trees and forests in urban and suburban areas provide taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits annually through direct services like air and water quality regulation, flood and erosion control, and a reduction of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. 

The  first application window is open now through March 15. Proposals will be considered under three tracks: Site Readiness, Implementation, and Capacity Building, with the multi-year awards ranging from $5,000 to $200,000 each. A second application window will open in the summer to give prospective applicants flexibility to align their award period with other available resources. 

Local governments, nonprofits, educational institutions, and other qualified applicants should visit the Catalyst Fund page on the Catalyst Fund page on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for more information on applying. Interest applicants can also contact J.T. Bowers, associate director of the Maryland Forest Service, at justin.bowers@maryland.gov. The Maryland Forest Service has a statewide staff of foresters, technicians, and specialists available to provide technical assistance to applicants as needed. 

for more information Maryland Forest Service Now Accepting Applications for the Community Forestry Catalyst Fund

Regional ‘Make It in the Mountains’ Campaign Launches to Boost Outdoor Industry Growth

Allegany and Garrett counties in Western Maryland have unveiled an ambitious regional business and workforce attraction initiative called Make it! In the Mountains. This innovative marketing campaign aims to draw lifestyle manufacturing companies to the region, leveraging its natural assets and outdoor recreation opportunities. The initiative, which includes a newly launched website – MakeItInTheMountains.com, is a strategic move towards fostering economic development and growth within the outdoor industry.

Backed by a $75,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), awarded in January 2022, Allegany County Government, Garrett County Government, and the Maryland Department of Commerce have collaborated on this joint venture titled ‘Elevating the Outdoors: A Regional Approach to Growing Western Maryland’s Outdoor Economy’. The grant supported the development of a comprehensive recruitment and strategic plan aimed at attracting outdoor recreation/lifestyle manufacturing companies to establish and expand their operations in Western Maryland.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, highlighting its potential to drive business investment and tourism spending in the region. The project aligns with recommendations outlined in the State of Maryland’s Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission report, released in December 2019, which emphasized the importance of attracting outdoor lifestyle manufacturers to the state.

The initiative has received strong support from local authorities, with Paul C. Edwards, Chairman of Garrett County Commissioners, emphasizing the region’s suitability for businesses in the outdoor recreational space. Allegany and Garrett counties boast a wealth of natural resources, including over 150,000 acres of public land, extensive trail systems, and multiple state parks, positioning Western Maryland as an ideal destination for outdoor-focused businesses.

The project has resulted in the development of a detailed manufacturing analysis, tourism analysis, and a strategic recruitment plan. Key deliverables include the launch of the MakeItInTheMountains.com website, which serves as a central platform for promoting the region’s assets to potential investors and businesses.

Ashli Workman, Director of Tourism for Allegany County, highlighted the collaborative efforts between the two counties in leveraging their natural resources for economic development. The initiative reflects a concerted regional approach towards attracting business and fostering workforce development, leveraging the shared strength of the region’s outdoor amenities.

Funding for the project was provided by Allegany County Government, Garrett County Government, and the Maryland Department of Commerce. A dedicated workgroup comprising representatives from the funding agencies, including Jeffrey Barclay, Kim Durst, Marci Ross, Andrew Sargent, Siera Wigfield, and Ashli Workman, played a pivotal role in driving the initiative forward. Additional support from Steve Kelly, Director of Community Development, and Sarah Duck, Vice President of Tourism & Marketing at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, along with consultancy services from Downstream Strategies and InnerAction Media, further contributed to the success of the project.

Copies of the manufacturing analysis, tourism analysis, and strategic/recruitment plan are available for reference on the MakeItInTheMountains.com website, offering valuable insights into the region’s potential for outdoor industry growth.

In conclusion, the launch of the ‘Make It in the Mountains’ campaign represents a significant milestone in Western Maryland’s pursuit of economic development through the outdoor industry. By capitalizing on its natural assets and collaborative spirit, the region is poised to attract businesses, create jobs, and enhance its position as a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike.

JUST LISTED- 1368 Dixon Rd, Friendsville MD

Over 5 acres surrounded by forest and adjacent to a mountain stream, 1 mile from Youghiogheny River & white water haven of Friendsville. This is an ideal spot for a mountain retreat; a peaceful setting surrounded by mature trees and just enough cleared lawn area, listening to the water cascading down the mountain just a stones throw away. Right of way access from Dixon Rd, spring water, and electric in place. The house is believed to be a teardown though foundation and metal roof could be repurposed/salvaged. 

GCPS Readies for Southern Area Grade-Band Alignment: Introducing the Broad Ford Elementary 6th Grade Academy

changes are on the horizon for sixth-grade students in the southern area of Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS). On January 26, 2024, GCPS administrators convened to further refine plans for the grade-band alignment, particularly focusing on 6th grade and Broad Ford Elementary. Set to commence in the 2024-2025 school year, this transition marks a significant milestone in the educational landscape of the region.

In preparation for this transformational shift, GCPS is gearing up to unveil comprehensive details in the upcoming weeks. Among the key areas of focus are program overviews, daily schedules, and logistical specifics tailored to the unique setting of the Broad Ford Elementary School. Let’s take a closer look at what awaits students at the Broad Ford Elementary 6th Grade Academy.

The academic framework at the Broad Ford Elementary 6th Grade Academy is designed to optimize learning outcomes and cater to the diverse needs of students. Here’s a glimpse into what students can expect.

One of the hallmark features of the academy is its departmentalized instructional model. Students will rotate between core English, Math, Science, and Social Studies classes, each taught by specialized teachers. This approach allows educators to delve deeper into their respective content areas and deliver targeted instruction.

Recognizing the importance of catering to individual learning styles and abilities, the academy offers varying academic levels, including honors, general, and merit tracks. This ensures that every student receives instruction tailored to their specific needs, fostering academic growth and success.

To provide additional support and address learning gaps, students will participate in a dedicated intervention block. This focused time allows educators to provide targeted assistance and remediation, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to thrive academically.

Aligned with Maryland regulations, the curriculum encompasses all core subject areas, including English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Science, and Social Studies. Additionally, students will engage in a fine arts class and Physical Education/Health, ensuring a well-rounded educational experience.

The academy places a strong emphasis on student choice and enrichment. With eight blocks of time available, students are encouraged to explore a diverse range of elective courses, including Computer Science, Technology Education, General Music, Band, Chorus, Theatre, and Visual Art. Most electives will follow a quarterly rotation, allowing students to sample various subjects throughout the year.

Electives will follow an A day/B day rotation, providing students with the flexibility to pursue their interests while maintaining a balanced schedule. Whether participating in band rehearsals, honing their artistic skills, or exploring the world of technology, students have ample opportunities for personal and academic growth.

Garrett County Health Fair & Family Fun Festival Promises a Day of Wellness and Fun

The Garrett County Health Fair & Family Fun Festival is more than just an event – it’s a community-driven initiative aimed at fostering health awareness and promoting the abundance of health-oriented resources available throughout the local community. This free community event welcomes all ages, encouraging families to come together and prioritize their well-being.

Sarah Bush, Steps Committee Chairman and Community Development Coordinator with Aetna Better Health of Maryland, urges the community not to miss out on this health-focused extravaganza. “Get the Health Fair marked on your calendar now, so you don’t miss it. There will be something for all ages, so make it a family event!”

What to Expect: The Health Fair and Fun Festival will feature a diverse array of informational booths, offering valuable insights into health and wellness. Attendees can take advantage of some free health screenings, participate in exciting door prize giveaways, and receive complimentary items from various vendors. Stay updated on event details by following the Garrett County Health Fair on Facebook or visiting garretthealth.org/health-fair.

Free and Supported by Sponsors: This inclusive event is free for all participants, thanks to the generous support of sponsors committed to community well-being. Vendor and sponsorship packets will be emailed to previous participants, providing an opportunity for local businesses and organizations to contribute to the success of this community-driven initiative.

Commitment to Community Wellness: The Garrett County STEPS Committee, comprised of local businesses, public agencies, and private citizens, shares a common goal – to enhance the overall wellness of the community. By organizing events like the Health Fair and Family Fun Festival, the committee aims to create a healthier, more informed, and connected community.

Conclusion: As the Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee invites everyone to save the date for April 6, 2024, anticipation is building for a day of health-focused activities, family fun, and community engagement. The Health Fair and Family Fun Festival is an opportunity for individuals and families to prioritize their well-being while discovering the wealth of health resources available in the local community. Be part of this uplifting event, and let’s take a collective step towards a healthier, happier Garrett County.

The Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee has exciting news for the community! Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 6, 2024, as the date for the eagerly awaited Garrett County Health Fair and Family Fun Festival. This year’s event is set to take place at the CARC (Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex) at Garrett College in McHenry from 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM, promising a morning filled with health awareness, family-friendly activities, and community engagement.

The Garrett County Health Fair & Family Fun Festival is more than just an event – it’s a community-driven initiative aimed at fostering health awareness and promoting the abundance of health-oriented resources available throughout the local community. This free community event welcomes all ages, encouraging families to come together and prioritize their well-being.

Sarah Bush, Steps Committee Chairman and Community Development Coordinator with Aetna Better Health of Maryland, urges the community not to miss out on this health-focused extravaganza. “Get the Health Fair marked on your calendar now, so you don’t miss it. There will be something for all ages, so make it a family event!”

The Health Fair and Fun Festival will feature a diverse array of informational booths, offering valuable insights into health and wellness. Attendees can take advantage of some free health screenings, participate in exciting door prize giveaways, and receive complimentary items from various vendors. Stay updated on event details by following the Garrett County Health Fair on Facebook or visiting garretthealth.org/health-fair.

This inclusive event is free for all participants, thanks to the generous support of sponsors committed to community well-being. Vendor and sponsorship packets will be emailed to previous participants, providing an opportunity for local businesses and organizations to contribute to the success of this community-driven initiative.

The Garrett County STEPS Committee, comprised of local businesses, public agencies, and private citizens, shares a common goal – to enhance the overall wellness of the community. By organizing events like the Health Fair and Family Fun Festival, the committee aims to create a healthier, more informed, and connected community.

As the Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee invites everyone to save the date for April 6, 2024, anticipation is building for a day of health-focused activities, family fun, and community engagement. The Health Fair and Family Fun Festival is an opportunity for individuals and families to prioritize their well-being while discovering the wealth of health resources available in the local community. Be part of this uplifting event, and let’s take a collective step towards a healthier, happier Garrett County.

Special Olympics Maryland’s First Annual Community Dunk

Join us on February 22, 2024, for an exhilarating and heartwarming event as Special Olympics Maryland – Garrett County hosts its inaugural Community Dunk at Deep Creek Lake. Local daredevils will brave the icy waters, all for a great cause – supporting the athletes and Unified® teammates of Special Olympics Maryland.

Thursday, February 22, 2024 3:00 PM – Registration 4:00 PM – Dunk Cost: Pay or raise $75 to dunk and receive a complimentary sweatshirt/meal coupon

Be a part of Deep Creek’s newest tradition by sponsoring the dunk! This event is not just about icy plunges; it’s an opportunity for businesses and organizations to make a significant impact in the community. By becoming a sponsor, you contribute to the success of Special Olympics Garrett County and Special Olympics Maryland Winter Games at WISP.

Through partnership, your organization can play a vital role in promoting a world of opportunity and advocating for the inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Maryland is dedicated to building mutually beneficial relationships with sponsors who share our values of corporate social responsibility, team building, brand development, and business growth.

Why Sponsor?

  1. Community Impact: Your sponsorship directly benefits the athletes of Special Olympics Garrett County and the broader Winter Games at WISP. Make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families.
  2. Brand Building: Align your brand with a cause that resonates with the community. Showcase your commitment to social responsibility and inclusivity.
  3. Team Building: Engage your team in a unique and exciting experience. Participating in the Community Dunk fosters teamwork, camaraderie, and a shared sense of accomplishment.
  4. Business Development: Connect with the local community and build relationships with potential customers. Supporting Special Olympics Maryland demonstrates your commitment to making a difference where it matters.

Ready to take the plunge? Register for the Community Dunk today and secure your spot in this extraordinary event. Whether you’re an individual looking for a chilly challenge or a business eager to sponsor and make a lasting impact, your involvement is crucial. Register here: 2024 Community Dunk – Campaign (somd.org)

The first annual Community Dunk promises to be an unforgettable experience, filled with courage, camaraderie, and a whole lot of heart. Together, let’s make a splash for a cause that truly matters. Join us on February 22, 2024, at Deep Creek Lake and be a part of Special Olympics Maryland’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and supportive community.

Don’t miss the chance to dive into something extraordinary – register today and help us make a difference!

Oakland’s Winter Fest 2024: A Spectacular Blend of Ice, Wine, and Family Fun

The charming town of Oakland is gearing up for its much-anticipated annual Winter Fest, set to take place on February 17, 2024, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This year promises an exciting lineup of activities, including the return of the beloved Winter Fest Wine Walk, live music and performances, kids’ activities, and the highly anticipated revival of the stunning ice sculptures.

A highlight of this year’s Winter Fest is the revival of hand-carved ice sculptures by The Ice God team from Baltimore, Maryland. After a hiatus since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these breathtaking sculptures will once again grace the downtown area, capturing the attention of all attendees. The Ice God team’s intricate carvings will be strategically placed around town, some even designed for interactive engagement. Those interested in having a personalized ice sculpture can contact Nicole at City Hall for information and pricing.

Kicking off at 11:00 AM, the Winter Fest Wine Walk promises to be a delightful experience for wine enthusiasts. Tickets, priced at $25, can be purchased both online in advance and on the day of the event at the gazebo in Oakland. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to savor 16 different wines at eight distinct locations, including the Oakland B&O Museum, The Gallery Shop, Tomanetti’s Pizzeria & Italian Eatery, The Vagabond Taproom, 206 Alder, Stephanie’s Sweet Shop, Smoke N Mirrors Photography, and the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market. Maps will be provided at registration for easy navigation.

Beyond the sculptures and wine tasting, Winter Fest is packed with family-friendly activities to ensure everyone’s enjoyment. Local artists, including the talented Keen & Bright glass blower, will be showcasing their skills. Kids can engage in crafts and activities, while a face painting station adds a touch of whimsy. A bounce house and obstacle course, courtesy of local support, promise an afternoon of laughter and play. Additionally, a hot cocoa station provided by Boy Scout Troop 1, free carriage rides, and more surprises await attendees.

For those eager to delve into Oakland’s rich history, the Oakland Historical Society Museum, Transportation Museum, and Oakland B&O Museum will be open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, offering insights and tour opportunities.

Winter Fest is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Greater Oakland Business Association and the Town of Oakland, with support from various organizations, including participating businesses in the Wine Walk, ice carving sponsors, the Garrett County Arts Council, the A&E District of Oakland, the Ruth Enlow Library, the Garrett County Historical Society Museums, the Mountain Fresh Producers Association, Patriot Automotive Group, The Painted Cupboard and The Chic Shack, Alder Street Apartments, and more.

Winter Fest 2024 is poised to be a fantastic, family-friendly event, offering a diverse range of activities and entertainment for both adults and children. With the addition of new shops and restaurants in downtown Oakland, along with the charm of several museums, this year’s Winter Fest promises an unforgettable experience for all. For further details, contact GOBA/Main Street at 301-334-2691 or visit www.oaklandmd.com/winter-fest.html. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary celebration of winter in the heart of Oakland!

JUST LISTED 309 L Street

.34 acre building lot in Mountain Lake Park! Former address was 309 L St. Verify all utility information with the town. Lot is owned by Habitat for Humanity and all proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit future Habitat building projects in Garrett County!