Baltimore County News
Michael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
The spirit of America’s independence can be heard, and seen, across our beautiful County throughout the long Fourth of July weekend – close to home and without the long lines at the toll booths! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Councils, staff and communities are working hard to make this weekend memorable and fun way to celebrate with family and friends all that is great about America.
Over on the County’s east side, The Heritage Foundation is celebrating with its annual Fair at Dundalk Heritage Park (July 1 through July 3). On the Fourth of July, the fun and community traditions continue with a 6K race (starting at CCBC Dundalk), a parade starting at Logan Village Shopping Center, and the popular fireworks at North Point Government Center. Details of these events can be found on the Dundalk Heritage Fair website.
Up in Carroll Manor, it is the Annual Community Fireworks at Sweet Air Park and Jacksonville Elementary. Join upwards of a thousand of your friends and neighbors for entertainment and fireworks on Saturday, July 2. For details, check out this flier: Community Fireworks with the Jacksonville Optimists.
On the west side of Baltimore County, the 34th Annual Arbutus Firecracker 10K is taking place on the Fourth of July starting at 8 a.m. at Arbutus Middle School. Then at 3 p.m., the Arbutus annual Fourth of July Parade lines up on Montrose Avenue and enters in the 1600 block of Frederick Road. Here’s some FAQ’s about the rest of that exciting day (including fireworks) in the Arbutus community parade and fireworks.
There’s also the 53rd Annual Fullerton Fireworks Foundation’s Fourth of July Celebration at Fullerton Park, where the fun (music, food and fireworks) starts at 5 p.m. There’s lots to do, and you can read about it here at the Fullerton Fireworks Foundation website.
Now, it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July in Baltimore County without the thunderous roar of fireworks and the magnificent sounds of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on July 3 and 4 at Oregon Ridge with the annual BSO Star Spangled Spectacular. The friendly crowds, delicious foods, sights and sounds make this the ultimate community Independence Day celebration. Gates open at 5 p.m. Visit the Star-Spangled-Spectacular website for more details.
So, you can see, by the dawn’s early light and the dusk’s lit sky, there’s much to do this holiday weekend with Baltimore County Recreation and Parks – Happy Birthday, USA!
Bob Nozeika Playground at Dunnie Field Honors 40-year Community Volunteer
On Saturday, May 7, the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks hosted a celebration to dedicate the new Bob Nozeika Playground at Dunnie Field, located at Eastwood Park in Dundalk. An enthusiastic group of community and recreation leaders joined in the celebration as well as members of the Nozeika family.
Department of Recreation and Parks Director Barry F. Williams led the brief ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of this $82,000 playground named in honor of the late Bob Nozeika.
Honoring Lifelong Community Volunteer, Bob Nozeika
At the community’s suggestion, the playground was named after Bob Nozeika, a resident of the Eastwood community in Dundalk who was a much beloved volunteer who served in a multitude of roles for the Eastwood Recreation Council, the Berkshire/Eastwood Recreation Council, the Eastwood Elementary School PTA and the Eastwood Resident's & Business Community Association.
“Kids learn and grow through play, and we are delighted to provide this playground to the Eastwood community for families to enjoy,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “This playground is a special place named for a very special person. For four decades, Mr. Bob Nozeika was an energetic, positive life force in this community and he made a lasting difference in the lives of generations of Eastwood residents.”
The playground consists of a KidBuilders play structure with two slides, multiple types of climbers, talk tubes, and a transfer station for accessibility, a swing set and park benches.
Get An Orgnic Free-Range Chicken for You and One to Share
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz helped provide a very special chicken lunch to clients of the County’s Westside Shelter this afternoon. The chicken came from one of the first deliveries of poultry raised at the County’s Maryland Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville, through a community-supported agriculture program that provides farming education while helping those in need.
“I congratulate our County staff and partners for coming up with this dual-purpose program that helps teach people the value of farming, and, at the same time, provides much-needed food for hungry people,” said Kamenetz. “This is the kind of smart, innovative thinking that turns problems into solutions.”
A Poultry Partnership
The County departments of Planning and Recreation and Parks partnered with the non-profit organizations, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and Community Assistance Network (CAN) to develop this innovative program that combines social responsibility with agricultural education. Poultry for the People enables anyone to purchase a free-range organic chicken, raised at the 149-acre Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, and have a second chicken donated to help feed individuals in Baltimore County homeless shelters.
A Chicken for You and One to Share
The non-profit Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) offers a “buy one-gift one” purchase plan where anyone can purchase a chicken for themselves and one will be donated to a Baltimore County homeless shelter. Purchasers also receive a tax deduction for the majority of the purchase price. Prices and details are available on the MARC website.
Money raised through the sale of the chickens is used to help fund education programs at the farm park as well as at the County’s homeless shelters. The addition of chickens to the farm also serves to enhance existing educational programs and the overall farm experience of visitors to the park.
“It’s a win-win-win-win” says Richard Watson, President of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC). “We get to expand farming operations, enhance our educational capacity, connect people to agriculture in a meaningful way, and provide homeless shelters with a consistent source of high-quality protein.”
A fundraising campaign sponsored by MARC on the Kickstarter web site raised $8,000 to cover the infrastructure necessary to care for the chickens including a 4-ton feeder bin, bringing water and electricity to the coop, and making the coop as fox-proof as possible.
Program Offers Nutrition Boost for Homeless Shelter Residents
Protein represents the largest component of any shelter’s food budget. For the balance of the menu, shelters rely on donations made by local churches and other charitable organizations, grocery stores, food pantries, restaurants and bakeries. While the shelters strive to provide well-balanced meals, the donation-based food supply makes meal planning difficult. Chefs work with what they have and are often forced to stretch meals by adding bread, rice or noodles.
Baltimore County Homeless Shelter Administrator, Terri Kingeter explains, “I am excited about the potential of this program to significantly enhance the overall quality of food being served at the homeless shelters. The protein provided by the Poultry for the People program will free up each shelter’s food budget which will help management purchase more fresh produce. We also cannot wait to engage our shelter youth, who comprise 27% of the shelter population, in hands-on experiential learning activities at the shelter and at the farm.”
Revised April 6, 2016