State Legislators From Montgomery County Urge BOE To Consider Educational Farm

Letter from Senators:

February 8, 2013 

Dear Superintendent Starr, and Members of the Montgomery County School Board,

We are aware of the controversy regarding the Brickyard Road school site, and we are writing to ask that you consider engaging the community and public in this process so that environmental education for MCPS students may be taken into account.

A particular proposal submitted by Brickyard Educational Farm (BEF) to the Department of General Services in March of 2012 deserves serious consideration. We are asking you to reconsider proposals such as BEF's to include educational uses in your allowed "request for qualifications."

Brickyard Educational Farm has served over 1500 children in 2012, and has an in-depth proposal to operate on the entire 20-acres of the Brickyard Rd site. Their proposal would offer outdoor and environmental learning opportunities to Montgomery County Public School children, and would fulfill MCPS standards. It would be in line with the Maryland Jane Lawton Farm to School Act, as well as the newly mandated Environmental Literacy standards. This organization operates on the fertile soil of a 32-year old organically managed farm, and draws strength from this rich soil and agricultural heritage.

Again, we hope you look carefully at the possible loss of this unique and invaluable educational opportunity. Please re-examine this issue in order to make public education your first priority.

Sincerely,

Brian E. Frosh
Richard Madaleno
Karen S. Montgomery
Roger Manno
Robert Garagiola
Jamie Raskin
Jennie M. Forehand

View Senators' Letter [PDF]

 

Letter from House Delegates:

February 8, 2013

Dear Dr. Starr and Mr. Barclay:

On behalf of our many constituents, we write to you today to urge that the Board give strong consideration to Sophia Maravell's proposal to use the Brickyard Road site as an environmental educational center, the Brickyard Road Educational Farm.

The proposed Brickyard Road Educational Farm presents an invaluable and unique opportunity to educate the next generation about agriculture and sustainability. In addition to propviding a farm-oriented educational curriculum for grades kindergarten through high school, Brickyard will also provide high school internships and post-graduate level farmer mentoring programs for beginning farmers. Brickyard is also working with community stakeholders to bring fresh produce from the farm directly to public school cafeterias fulfilling the goals of the Jane Lawton Farm to School Act. Perhaps even more important, the Brickyard property represents one of the increidbly few agricultural properties that has remained free form genetically-modified seeds and has not been compromised by adjacent farms that utilize GMOs.

As you are all well aware, the Board and County have chosen to use the property for the purpose of recreation. Perhaps, there may be alternative options that would better serve the needs of our community and our students. We strongly encourage you to have a discussion with your constituents regarding alternative options. We believe that the Board and the County would better serve our citizens by seriously considering the Brickyard Road Educational Farm proposal.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

C. William Frick
Ariana Kelly
Susan C. Lee
Kathleen M. Dumais
Brian J. Feldman
Aruna Miller
Anne R. Kaiser
Eric G. Luedtke
Craig J. Zucker
James W. Gilchrist
Luiz R. S. Simmons
Alfred C. Carr
Jeff D. Waldstreicher
Bonnie Cullison
Benjamin F. Kramer
Shelia E. Hixson
Tom Hucker
Heather R. Mizeur
Kirill Reznik
Shane Robinson

View Delegates' Letter [PDF]