Brickyard/MSI Soccerplex


  • December 21, 2011: "Montgomery school board blind on Brickyard site decision," by John Karlik, in, available here.
  • July 13, 2011: “Organic Farm to Be Replaced with Private Soccer Field,” by Beth Buczynski, in, available here.
  • June, 10, 2011: "Brickyard Citizens Association reports on June 9 meeting", available here.
  • May 24, 2011: "The Tale of the Brickyard Road Site and Nick's Organic Farm," by Ginny Barnes, Vice Chair, Conservation Montgomery Board of Directors, available here.
  • April 07, 2011: "Potomac Master Plan Is Being Abused," by Ginny Barnes, in the Potomac Almanac, available here.



Letters of Support

Statements from Civic/Non-Profit Organizations

  • June 10, 2011: "Brickyard Citizens Association reports on June 9 meeting," available here.
  • May 24, 2011: "The Tale of the Brickyard Road Site and Nick's Organic Farm," by Ginny Barnes, Vice Chair, Conservation Montgomery Board of Directors, available here.
  • April 13, 2011: "County Executive Responds to Pleas To Save Nick's Organic Farm," by Sarah Parsons, on, available here.
  • April 4, 2011: "Thirty- Year-Old Organic Farm To Be Turned Into Soccer Fields," by Sarah Parsons, on, available here.
  • "A Brief History of Nick's Organic Farm," available here.

Statements from Nick's Organic Farm

  • September 9, 2011 press release, "State Board of Ed Says Appeals about Move on Brickyard Site Can Go Forward," available here.
  • "Future of Brickyard Farm Site Is Topic of June 9 Public Meeting at Potomac Community Center" press release from Nick's Organic Farm, June 6, 2011, click here.
  • "Lack of Transparency Continues with Brickyard Lease: Inaccuracies by Officials Rampant; Community Ire Ignored," press release from Nick's Organic Farm, April 25, 2011. Click here.
  • For the addendum to the April 25, 2011 press release, click here.
  • For a statement from NOF to supporters on April 6, 2011, click here.
  • For a press release from Nick's Organic Farm, April 4, 2011 (late version), entitled, "Chesapeake Bay Foundation Calls For Saving Organic Farm in Potomac," click here.
  • For a press release from Nick's Organic Farm, April 4, 2011 (early version), entitled, "Fate Of Nick's Organic Farm Site In Potomac To Be Subject Of Montgomery County Meeting Tonight: Nationally Recognized Experts To Attend," click here.
  • For Nick's statement of thanks to customers and supporters, March 9, 2011, click here.
  • "Montgomery County School Board Makes Surprise Move To Turn Organic Farm on Brickyard Road Into Ball Fields," press release from Nick's Organic Farm, March 7, 2011. Click here to see the full document.


Testimony from the March 8 School Board meeting

  • Essie Burnworth, resident of Montgomery County
    "Please determine if there is real need for ball fields on this site; balance the provision of ball fields against the benefits of established, rich, organic farmland; and take the time to consult the community affected by this proposed change."
    -- Burnworth
  • Kristina Bostick, of Montgomery Countryside Alliance
    "Montgomery Countryside Alliance has been working with the County on their stated goal of strengthening our local food system and getting more new farmers started on the ground. Current and future farmers are watching the proceedings today very closely."
    -- Bostick
  • Victoria Cowles, resident of Montgomery County and wife of Nick Maravell
    "How much oversight will there be? How well will drainage be supervised? What will happen to our wells if the renter decides to add synthetic turf to maximize playing time. How will traffic be handled on narrow Brickyard Road -- especially if tournaments are scheduled. How well will trash be picked up."
    -- Cowles
  • Myron Horst, farmer from Dickerson, MD
    "This site is unique for organic seed production because it is miles away from conventional farms whose corn and soybean fields could contaminate the seed crop with their airborne GMO (genetically modified organisms) pollen. GMO contamination is becoming a serious problem in organics."
    -- Horst
  • Phil Freedman, farmer near Frederick, MD
    "If you were a neighbor or a landlord or a son of a landlord and not a faceless government organization, you would be embarrassed about how this has been handled. You would have a 31 year relationship with Nick and integrity might force you to discuss plans with such a renter."
    -- Freedman
  • Krista Kurth, resident of Montgomery County
    "While I understand the allure of building playing fields for the children (I myself had two boys grow up playing on existing fields in MC), I strongly believe that maintaining agricultural uses in MC, especially this unique Organic agricultural use, is critical for our children."
    -- Kurth
  • Nick Maravell, farmer
    "Traditionally in this County, farmers have been the stewards of these vacant sites with the understanding that they could be reclaimed by the school system at any time for school construction. While this site is not slated for school construction, I have been informed just a few days ago that I would not be able to renew my lease. So the tradition has been broken."
    -- Maravell
  • Lisa Schnoor, resident of Montgomery County
    "The Board of Education may not be aware what a magnificent treasure the soil on Nick's farm is. Good soil is like gold! The Agricultural Research center in Beltsville has even commented on the quality of Nick's soil. You may not realize how much time it takes to build healthy soil. One farmer told me it took him 10 years to restore the soil fertility on land that previously had pesticides. Nick's soil is rich, fertile soil. The richer the soil is, the more nutritious the crops, the larger the harvest, and the more pest and drought resistant."
    -- Schnoor
  • Dolores Milmoe, of the Audubon Naturalist Society
    "The impacts of six to seven soccer fields, which require 60 parking spaces each, on this residential neighborhood and its watershed raise significant compatibility issues. We respectfully urge you to take a closer look at this proposed transfer of land use and extend Mr. Maravell's lease while the issues of impacts are being studied."
    -- Milmoe
  • Maria Fusco, Montgomery County resident
    "Montgomery County happens to have the perfect location for a non-GMO farm, with a Nationally recognized Farm already on it ~ miles from any other farm that may be using GMO materials, and it seems that the BOE wants to destroy that."
    -- Fusco
  • Chip Smallwood, farmer
    No written testimony is available at this time.
  • Keith Ohlinger, farmer
    No written testimony is available at this time.


Video clips

  • June 9th meeting. Green Roads TV (GRTV) was on hand to capture the event. GRTV is a Mark Leisher Productions.

  • Montgomery Countryside Alliance & Mark Leisher Productions present a 4-min teaser for a new film about Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve. Please donate to MCA ( to help raise the funds needed to produce the feature-length story! (Music courtesy of Al Petteway and Amy White) HD Version

  • April 4th meeting


Selected letters to editors and elected officials


Letters from elected officials

Other letters



We conclude that the County Board violated the Open Meetings Act when it convened a closed session on the basis of a resolution that did not meet three requirements of SG § 10-508(d)(2), when it discussed matters exceeding the scope of the exception in claimed, and when it did not include meaningful information about the session in the minutes of its subsequent open meetings. The administrative exclusion, even had the County Board closed the meeting for that purpose to discuss the brickyard site, did not apply.
"Brickyard is not designated as a Rustic Road nor will it be; it does not qualify. Our Potomac Rustic Roads were identified and secured in the Potomac Master Plan Revision process. They are listed in our Master Plan." -Ginny Barnes, President WMCCA