Baltimore County Now
Winning Programs Promote Walking, Safety of Older Adults and Literacy for Inmate Fathers
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that four Baltimore County agencies have been awarded 2015 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), including a prestigious Best in Category award for a Department of Corrections initiative that focuses on improving literacy for incarcerated fathers so that they may read to their children.
“Every year, our employees come up with innovative programs that improve services and the overall quality of life in Baltimore County,” said County Executive Kamenetz. “It is an honor for four County programs to be regarded as national models and is a clear reflection of our staff’s dedication and commitment to continuous improvement for our residents,” he said.
The Baltimore County agencies that merited national recognition include:
- Department of Corrections for Turning Pages Family Literacy Program (Best in Category!)
- Department of Recreation and Parks and Office of Information Technology (jointly) for Walking Trails Web Application
- Department of Aging for Be Mobile Drive Safe
- Department of Aging for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum
“Every day our County staff work to make a difference in people’s lives and help make Baltimore County a wonderful place to call home,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.
What is land art? It can be part art, part nature, part environmental statement. Sometimes it’s a commentary on society or forces in the universe. It can be an artist’s interpretation inspired by agriculture and farm life. Other times it’s a living, growing work that collaborates with nature to organically change over time.
LAND and ART at MARC
A new project at the Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville brings land art and creative land use installations throughout the four seasons. Art will be in full bloom all year long through the LAND&ART@MARC: A 4 SEASON PROJECT through a partnership between the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and the Washington Sculpture Group.
A jury panel selected two pieces to launch this innovative project. The installations, “Leaves of Grass” by Pattie Porter Firestone and “Uncle Mike's Animal House” by Mike Shaffer will be on view through November 2015.
Blades of Grass Pattie Porter Firestone's work portrays seen and unseen patterns of energy in the world around us. Her outdoor sculptures imply movement below the surface of the earth and the relationship between the earth and humans. Leaves of Grass depicts energy from the earth pushing nine red blades of grass eight feet out of the ground. The size and color of the work challenges the viewer to question the importance of scale and the relationship between natural vs. man-made objects.
Uncle Mike’s Animal House Mike Shaffer’s work is made from recycled construction lumber and measures about 8 x 10 horizontally and is about seven feet high. The concept is based on cage or pen-like structures used by farmers in the frontier days to protect small animals such as sheep, goats and pigs from bears and other wild animals especially at night. Actual "houses" (pens) of this sort would have been quite crudely made with straight logs perhaps, closer together, forming a flat or sloping roof and probably with a door or gate in one of the sides. The gabled roof as shown here in this work makes the structure more like a house but would probably have been considered an unnecessary luxury feature on early frontier homesteads.
Opening Celebration and Children’s Workshop
While the public is invited to come out and enjoy the art anytime, the official opening of LAND&ART@MARC will be held Saturday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Baltimore County Ag Center in conjunction with the 70th Annual Hereford Junior Farm Fair. The celebration will include a free hands-on lands art workshop for children conducted by Artemis Herber, curator of the program. Artemis invites children to visualize basic experiences through their senses and create colorful paintwork on fallen trees we have lost in nature. Registration for this free workshop is required to guarantee a space.
Hours and Location
The Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park is part of the County’s park system and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Visit at1114 Shawan Road, on the corner of Shawan and Cuba Roads in Cockeysville.
Call for Fall Land Art Entries
As MARC celebrates the first installations, the second call for entries has just been published. In this call, artists will install land art that reflects on the theme of the equinox including ideas of cycles in nature, farming and the cosmos. Installation will be slated to coincide with MARC”s annual Family Farm Day, September 20. Call for Entries information.
The Land and Art initiative is part of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council’s Arts on the Farm Program, a continuing exploration of the intersection of art and agriculture. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Bronwyn at Bronwyn@marylandagriculture.org.
Programs Manager, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council
Adopting a Pet is Now More Affordable
Adopting a pet or getting services for one in Baltimore County is now more affordable than ever. Reduced fees for adoption, micro-chipping, and spay/neuter procedures are now in effect at Baltimore County Animal Services.
"The decreased fees will go a long way to making it easier for people all around the County to spay and neuter their pets, to get the appropriate vaccinations and to bring adoptable pets into their homes," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Fees to spay or neuter a dog or cat are now just $20 for County residents. Included in the $20 sterilization fee, if needed are: microchipping, first distemper and rabies shots, deworming and a County license.
New Fees for
(County residents only)
Includes, as needed: microchipping, first distemper and rabies shots, deworming and a County license
Deep Discount Days (includes specified holidays and other dates as announced)
50 to 100 percent
50 to 100 percent
50 percent off adoption and spay/neuter fees (as announced)
Online Appointment System
Residents can now request a spay/neuter appointment for their pets by using the online appointment system. Once a request is submitted, Animal Services will contact the resident by telephone to confirm the pet's eligibility for the service and to schedule the appointment. The applicable $20 fee is required at that time; a credit card is the only accepted form of payment. Spay and neuter services on an animal are based on a set of criteria. Residents are encouraged to review this criteria prior to making an appointment.
“I am pleased to be a part of the wonderful changes that are taking place in Baltimore County,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Cathy Bevins. “Enhanced access — both physically and financially — to adoption and spay/neuter services should make it easier for people to afford and care for their pets.”
“I am excited to offer these low prices and hope that every County pet owner will take advantage of them, said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. "Doing so will not only improve the health of County pets, but also reduce rabies and overpopulation, while ultimately, saving more animals' lives."