Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

County Commissioners Announce Public Meeting Agenda

Monday, October 2, 2023
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

Meeting will also be Live Streamed at https://www.facebook.com/garrettcountygovernment/
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

The Board of County Commissioners may close a portion of this public meeting and move into Executive Session to comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicial requirement that may prevent public disclosure about a particular proceeding or matter.

*To comment on agenda items – please send to comments@garrettcounty.org

3:00        Administrative Session

  • Discussion – Letter from Garrett County Planning Commission requesting amendment to the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance prohibiting the use of shipping containers as dwelling units
  • Board Appointments
  1. Garrett County Health Planning Council – 2 Members – Three Year Terms
  2. Garrett County Mental Health Advisory Council – 1 replacement
  3. Garrett County Police Accountability Board – 1 member – Three Year Term
  • Mr. Null will review a number of administrative and managerial matters under his authority and jurisdiction with the Board of County Commissioners

4:00       Call to Order of Public Session, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

               County Administrator – Additions/Deletions to Public Meeting Agenda

               Approval of Public, Administrative, and Executive Meeting Minutes

4:05       Proclamations:  I Can Swim Month – October 2023
                                       National Digital Inclusion Week – October 2-6, 2023

4:10        Recognition – Sunrise Sanitation – 45th Anniversary

4:15        Garrett County Department of Financial Services – Purchasing Division

  • Contract Award – Request for Proposal #23–0815 – Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Reports Chestnut Ridge & Jennings Sewer Collection System

4:20       Public Commentary

4:25       John H. Frank – Recognition of Director Frank’s Retirement

Adjournment of Public Session

Public Issues or concerns that are to be presented to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during any Public Meeting should be scheduled with Carol A. Riley–Alexander, Executive Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners/County Administrator.     

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 PM.

Oktoberfest comes to the Wisp

Celebrate the autumn season with fall foliage, seasonal beer, harvest festivities, lederhosen, and dirndls. Join us for another Wisp Oktoberfest to enjoy seasonal beer, live music including the Oompah Band, kids’ activities, artisans, authentic German food, and more – PROST!

Oktoberfest Tasting Ticket from $39.00 includes:

  • Tasting wristband (for ages 21+, ID required, beer vendors will only pour to guests with wristbands)
  • Souvenir Oktoberfest 12oz. Beer Stein (must have beer stein for beer vendors to pour)
  • 3 wooden tokens good for: 3- 12 oz. Pours of your choice from over 16+ beer choices

Oktoberfest Schedule

12pm – 6pm: Beer Vendors (while supplies last)Main Stage + McHenry Lodge
12pm – 6pm: Bavarian Food McHenry Lodge
12pm – 3pm: The Remedy Band Main Stage
12pm – 6pm: Artisan Village Lawn + McHenry Lodge
12pm – Kids Krafts (while supplies last) Lawn
1:30pm: Contest Main Stage
3:00pm: Contest Main Stage
3:00pm – 6pm: Oakland Volunteer Fire Dept. Oompah Band Main Stage
4:00pm – Contest Main Stage
5:00pm – Contest Main Stage

Oktoberfest Lodging Package

Starting at $345 pp*

Enjoy a 1 Leaf Peeping Scenic Chairlift Ride, entry into the Oktoberfest event, charcuterie board with Oktoberfest themed finger foods

to go Oktoberfest – Wisp (wispresort.com) to grab tickets!

Maryland’s Foliage makes Top ‘Hidden Gems’ list

Each Fall, images appear online showcasing some of the most stunning examples of foliage. However, many Americans are perhaps unaware of alternative ‘hidden gems’ to see Fall’s foliage.

Mixbook, a #1 rated photo book brand, carried out a survey of 3,000 respondents, asking them which under-the-radar destinations they would most like to visit to see fall foliage this year.

Maryland made the list a whopping three times. Sitting at #20 nationally is MD’s Swallow Falls State Park.

#20 Swallow Falls State Park:

Tucked away from the bustling city, its ancient hemlock and hardwood forests burst into a mesmerizing array of reds, oranges, and yellows during autumn. This off-the-beaten-path sanctuary offers not only stunning waterfalls but also a serene escape to witness the seasonal transformation.

Other locations within the state that were cited were:

#117 Gambrill State Park:

The park’s mix of oak and maple trees burst into a captivating array of red, orange, and gold hues during the autumn months, creating a picturesque contrast against the rolling hills and panoramic vistas. Its relatively undiscovered status ensures a more peaceful and authentic encounter with the changing leaves, making it an ideal destination to relish the stunning colors of fall while hiking its trails.

#150 Green Ridge State Forest:

Its vast expanse of diverse deciduous trees, from maple and oak to hickory and birch, erupts into a symphony of vibrant hues during autumn. A kaleidoscope of colors against the backdrop of the Allegheny Mountains creates an unforgettable and often overlooked seasonal spectacle.

Fork Run Recreation Area Offers New Accessible Trail

At the Fork Run Recreation Area, located in McHenry, recent work funded by Maryland Department of Natural Resources Local Parks and Playground Program has changed the look and feel of the trail system. A milestone for Garrett County is the highly anticipated “Acorn Loop,” a picturesque 0.65-mile or 3,466 ft trail designed to provide an exceptional outdoor experience for hikers and bikers of all skill levels and abilities.

Recognizing the need for accessible options, Garrett County Government is committed to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to Garrett County residents and visitors alike. The new Acorn Loop trail epitomizes this commitment, offering a wide crushed limestone surface that is free of technical roots and rock obstacles and can be hiked in about 20-minutes.

Starting at an ample parking area, the Acorn Loop is thoughtfully marked for easy navigation. Also, it seamlessly connects to our existing network of more technical routes and back-country exploration areas totaling just over 8 miles.

Additionally, note a realigned Yellow Trail provides a more efficient route to the ledges and rock-climbing face and the Silver Trail has rockwork and alignment enhancements. Maps reflecting the changes are at the trailhead parking lot or online at www.GarrettTrails.org. Plans are also in progress to create a connector trail from the Beige Trail to Adventure Way (at the top of Wisp Mountain) estimated to be completed in Spring of 2024.

As Fork Run Recreation Area continues to evolve, we invite you to join us at the trails. Together, let’s create a welcoming and joyful outdoor environment where everyone can find their own path to adventure.

For more information about Fork Run Recreation Area, the Acorn Loop trail, or upcoming events, please visit www.GarrettTrails.org or contact Siera Wigfield at 301-334-7477 or swigfield@garrettcounty.org.

GC Diversity and Inclusion Committee Meeting Announced

The Garrett County Diversity and Inclusion Committee is having a meeting on Wednesday September 20, 2023 from 3 PM until 4:30 PM at Garrett College in the Offutt STEM Building in Room 211. 

for more information GC Diversity and Inclusion Committee Meeting Announced – Board of Commissioners – Garrett County Government

Maryland Fall Foliage Forecast 2023

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources presents its fall foliage report as the first day of autumn approaches on the 23rd.

As autumn ushers in a boom of vibrant colors across the landscape, it’s a season that captivates our senses. The changing leaves, with their shades of orange, yellow, and red, have long been a subject of fascination and wonder. But what exactly causes this breathtaking transformation?

For years, scientists have dedicated their efforts to unraveling the intricate process behind the mesmerizing autumn foliage. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, three primary factors orchestrate this dazzling display: leaf pigments, the length of night, and the weather. Let’s dive into the science behind this natural spectacle.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources State Forest Manager, Melissa Nash, provides valuable insights into the role of leaf pigments. She explains that during the warm summer months, leaves don a vibrant green hue, courtesy of the chlorophyll pigment. However, hidden beneath this dominant green are pigments like xanthophylls and carotenes, which impart yellow to orange tones to the leaves. These are the same pigments responsible for the vibrant orange color of carrots.

The transition from the lush green of summer to the warm autumnal hues is a result of the interplay between the length of daylight and temperature. As autumn approaches, the days grow shorter, and temperatures begin to drop. These environmental cues signal to the trees that it’s time to prepare for the winter months.

Nash elucidates this process further, stating that as fall takes hold, the changes in daylight duration and decreasing temperatures disrupt the process of photosynthesis. This disruption leads to the breakdown of chlorophyll, causing the green color to fade away, revealing the underlying yellow and orange pigments. Simultaneously, some trees produce pigments called anthocyanins, which contribute to the striking red and purplish hues we associate with autumn.

for more information Maryland Fall Foliage Forecast 2023

Embrace the Beauty of Autumn: Best Fall Activities in Garrett County, MD

As the crisp air of autumn descends upon Garrett County, Maryland, it ushers in a vibrant tapestry of colors and a host of exciting activities. Known for its stunning landscapes, this region transforms into a fall wonderland, drawing visitors from near and far. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing escape, Garrett County has something special to offer during the fall season. In this article, we’ll explore the best fall activities in Garrett County, MD, to help you make the most of this enchanting time of year.

  1. Leaf Peeping:
    • Garrett County is renowned for its picturesque foliage. Drive along scenic routes like the Garrett Highway and Savage River Road to witness the breathtaking display of red, orange, and gold leaves. Don’t forget your camera!
  2. Hiking and Nature Walks:
    • Lace up your hiking boots and explore the county’s extensive trail network. The Deep Creek Lake State Park offers a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels. Discover hidden waterfalls, serene lakes, and panoramic views.
  3. Pumpkin Picking:
    • Head to a local farm, such as Brant’s Apple Orchard or Double Oak Farms, for a quintessential fall activity: pumpkin picking. Choose the perfect pumpkin for carving or decoration.
  4. Fall Festivals:
    • Garrett County hosts several fall festivals, including the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland, featuring parades, craft shows, and live entertainment. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.
  5. Wine Tasting:
    • Savor the flavors of autumn with a visit to a local winery. Several vineyards in the county offer tastings, often with picturesque vineyard views. Deep Creek Cellars and Firefly Farms Creamery & Market are popular options.
  6. Fishing and Boating:
    • Enjoy the serene waters of Deep Creek Lake, a popular spot for fall fishing and boating. Rent a kayak, go fishing, or take a leisurely cruise to soak in the stunning fall scenery.
  7. Corn Mazes and Hayrides:
    • Farms like Cornucopia Farms and Coder’s Farm offer family-friendly activities like corn mazes and hayrides. Get lost in the maze or take a relaxing ride through the countryside.
  8. Photography Expeditions:
    • For photography enthusiasts, Garrett County provides endless opportunities to capture the beauty of fall. Sunrise and sunset shots, misty mornings, and reflections in calm lakes are just a few subjects to explore.
  9. Cozy Cabin Getaways:
    • Embrace the cozy side of fall by booking a cabin in the woods. Garrett County is known for its charming cabins with crackling fireplaces, ideal for snuggling up after a day of adventures.
  10. Apple Picking:
    • Visit local orchards like Kitzmiller Farms and enjoy apple picking. You can also indulge in freshly made apple pies, cider, and other apple treats.

Maryland named America’s third happiest state

In a new study released by WalletHubMaryland was named the third-happiest state in America.

With 50% of Americans saying they are “very satisfied” with the way their personal life is going, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Happiest States in America, as well as expert commentary.

To determine where Americans have the highest satisfaction with life, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 30 key indicators of happiness. The data set ranges from the depression rate and the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate.

Happiness in Maryland (1=Happiest; 25=Avg.):

  • 4th – % of Depressed Adults
  • 4th – Suicide Rate
  • 24th – % of Civilian Labor Force Unemployed 15 Weeks or Longer
  • 24th – Number of Work Hours
  • 29th – Volunteer Rate
  • 17th – Separation & Divorce Rate
  • 18th – Safety
  • 22nd – Share of Adults Feeling Active & Productive

Overall rank for Maryland: 3rd

original article Maryland named third happiest state in America, says WalletHub study (fox5dc.com)

Governor Moore Announces $25.5 Million for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Across Maryland

In a significant move towards enhancing Maryland’s transportation infrastructure, Governor Wes Moore recently unveiled a $25.5 million investment in 40 bicycle, pedestrian, and trail projects across the state. The grants allocated for the Fiscal Year 2024 consist of $20.8 million in federal funding for 22 projects through the Transportation Alternatives Program and the Recreational Trails Program, alongside an additional $4.7 million in state funding for 18 projects through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program.

Governor Moore highlighted the importance of these investments, stating, “To grow our economy and attract a world-class workforce, we need to build new pathways from home to work to leisure. An investment in making Maryland more livable is an investment in making Maryland more competitive. I’m proud of the strong bonds we’ve built between leaders at the local, state, and federal levels to secure this funding, and we will continue moving in partnership to enhance physical and economic mobility for all Marylanders.”

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld emphasized the need for comprehensive community service through transportation networks, stating, “In order to comprehensively serve our communities, Maryland’s transportation network must include high-quality, convenient, and equitable bike and pedestrian access. We’re working every day to create a transportation network that serves all users, whether they’re driving, walking, biking, scooting, or using mobility devices. We’re excited to support local projects that help expand that network at the grassroots level.”

Here is an overview of the key grant programs and some notable projects:

Transportation Alternatives Program Grants The Transportation Alternatives Program is a federally funded discretionary grant program designed to strengthen the transportation system through community projects. This program supports initiatives that create bicycle and pedestrian facilities, convert abandoned railway corridors into pedestrian trails, mitigate highway runoff, and other transportation-related enhancements. Some of the notable projects funded this year include:

  1. $6.4 million for a 1.2-mile extension to the BWI Loop Trail in Anne Arundel County.
  2. $4 million for the construction of a 1.4-mile shared-use path along the east side of Dobbin Road from MD 175 to Oakland Mills Road in Howard County, including other improvements.
  3. $1.2 million for the rehabilitation of 11 miles of the C&O Canal Towpath in Allegany County.
  4. $1.4 million for the construction of the LaPlata Bikeway: Radio Station Road Sidepath in Charles County.

Recreational Trails Program Grants The Recreational Trails Program, another federal initiative, provides funds for various recreational trails, including pedestrian, bicycle, equestrian, off-highway vehicle, and paddle sports trails. States are required to allocate funds to facilitate diverse recreational trail use. Notable projects funded this year include:

  1. $1.8 million for the construction of the first phase of the Pope’s Creek Rail Trail Public Pedestrian Trail in Charles County.
  2. $420,000 for the Western Region Multi-year Trail Maintenance Program in Allegany and Garrett counties.
  3. $40,000 for the construction of a skills progression mountain bike trail for Broadford Park Trail System in the Town of Oakland, in Garrett County.
  4. $48,351 for improvements to the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in the College Park area of Prince George’s County.

Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program Grants The Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program, established in 2011, provides state funding for planning, design, and construction of bicycle infrastructure, such as protected bike lanes and shared-use paths. Some of the key projects funded this year include:

  1. $1.2 million for the construction of the seventh phase of the Three Notch Trail in St. Mary’s County from Hollywood to FDR Boulevard.
  2. $465,000 for the final design of the Metropolitan Branch Trail upgrades in Takoma Park.
  3. $400,000 for the final design of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Circulation Trail in Princess Anne, Somerset County.
  4. $400,000 for the construction of the Carroll Street Cycle track in Salisbury.
  5. $385,517 for the construction of the LaPlata Bikeway in Charles County.

Additionally, feasibility studies and advanced designs for low-traffic-stress bicycle facilities in various Maryland cities have also received grant awards through the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program.

This comprehensive investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure underscores Maryland’s commitment to fostering sustainable and inclusive transportation options. These projects not only promote healthier lifestyles but also contribute to economic growth, environmental sustainability, and improved quality of life for all Maryland residents.

For a complete list of grant awardees and project details, you can visit the official Maryland Department of Transportation’s website.

Our Million Dollar view

original post and author credits to Edward Poling (1) You know you’re from Garrett County, MD if you remember… | Facebook

How many times have you crested Hooppole Ridge on US 219 above Little Sandy’s Restaurant and looked to the East to catch a glimpse of Deep Creek Lake and Backbone Mountain in the far distance? I must admit, this view still thrills me today, even after seeing it thousands of times over the past 60+ years.

We all jointly own this view. It is ours. Our eyes naturally seek out Paradise Point jutting out into Deep Creek at left center just past the Sand Flat bottomland of Pawn Run. To the left is the southern most end of Meadow Mountain, silently standing guard over Deep Creek Lake State Park. Rising to the right is Little Snaggy Mountain which hosts Sky Valley on one side and Thousand Acres on the other. Further to the right is another glint of Deep Creek waters leading towards Green Glade and Hazelhurst. This scene, lorded over by the majestic Backbone Mountain in the far distance, contains hundreds of small farms and thousands of homes owned by full time and part time Garrett Countians alike.

For me, this scene embodies who we are. The stalwart mountains and forests represent our strength to face oft times harsh weather conditions. The meadows, glades and valleys reflect our determination to wrestle a productive and joyous life in our remote rural location. The cool and calming waters of our lakes and rivers encourages us to adjust to and embrace changes brought to us by outside influences, while maintaining our local heritage handed down from Garrett Countians who came before.

Look closely at this scene. You will see a stoic figure observing the view and future that lies ahead, while contemplating memories and visions from the past. That figure is us.