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Documenting and Protecting Montgomery County Burial Sites

Two ground-breaking laws passed by a unanimous County Council and a huge initiative led by MPI are boosting odds for the survival of all local burial sites. In October 2017, the Council tasked the Montgomery County Planning Board with management of an inventory of cemeteries in our county.  The timing was perfect, as even before the effective date of February 9, 2018, MPI was prepared to begin the Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited project to document all known cemeteries here. Under the enthusiastic and steady hand of project coordinator Glenn Wallace, this initiative is right on schedule, with volunteers in the field as you read this.  Learn about this project on the Historic Cemeteries page of this website.

The second new County law is designed to protect burial sites during any subdivision and development process.  To be effective on July 1, 2018, a new full-time dedicated employee at Montgomery Planning must be included in the County’s FY19 Operating Budget.

Both of these laws will aid property owners, descendants, and advocates to identify all cemeteries in Montgomery County as well to enable their survival for the appreciation of current and future generations. MPI thanks the lead sponsors of these bills—Council members Berliner, Leventhal, and Rice—and all Council members who voted to protect local burial sites.

Advocates for local cemeteries can soon rest a bit easier because sites will be listed in an official inventory that covers the entire County, including municipalities with their own planning and zoning authority, and that all cemeteries will be protected during the subdivision and development process. This is a solid victory for all of our cemeteries — of whatever size and age, in neglected or good condition, of religious or family background, whether African American or White in origin, or whether currently in the news or quietly waiting in the background to be documented and rejuvenated.

Read more about  Montgomery County Cemetery Inventory Revisited project.

Review Bill 24-17 Land Use Information and SRA 17-01 Approval Procedures.
Land Use Information – Burial sites
Approval Procedures – Burial sites

More information will be added to this website as the project progresses.

Welcome to Rebeccah Ballo

new Supervisor of the Historic Preservation Section, Montgomery Planning, M-NCPPC. She brings great regional experience, having been a preservation planner for several local governments since 2002. For the past decade, she managed the design, review and approval process for Arlington County’s 40 historic districts. Rebeccah previously was a preservation planner in the City of Alexandria and Prince George’s County. She received her undergraduate degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis, and earned a masters degree in urban and environmental planning with a certificate in historic preservation from the University of Virginia.

Archives Position Announcement

The Town of Garrett Park seeks a part-time professional archivist. Responsibilities include
acquiring, authenticating, preserving, organizing and cataloging public town records and materials
donated from private collections.  The archivist will be expected to maximize the use of archival
software, train and supervise community and student volunteers, organize oral history recordings
and their transcription, respond to requests for archival documents, report on the status of the
archives to the Garrett Park Archives Committee and Town Manager, grow our existing archival
database by promoting interest in continuing contributions to the archives, and ensure in-person
and online access to our archives, which capture the 125 year-old history, culture and social life of
Garrett Park.  The ideal candidate will have experience working with the archives of other small
communities or non-profit organizations as well as experience giving presentations based on
archival documents to community and student groups.
Please send a resume with education, experience, and professional archivist affiliations to
Gene Swearingen, Town Manager, managergene@garrettparkmd.gov.

Maryland Cemetery Preservation Act of 2018

HB877 has been filed in the Maryland General Assembly, headed for
a hearing on February 28 before the House Health & Government Operations Committee. Long overdue, this bill
tackles several obstacles to cemetery protection and preservation and provides incentives for descendants, property
owners, and cemetery advocates. Link to a summary of this bill here. For further
information and to help pass this important legislation, contact Eileen McGuckian at phileen3@gmail.com.

Historic Silver Spring Public Library proposal accepted

Neighbors and preservationists are thrilled that Montgomery County Government recently announced that the historic 1957 Silver Spring Public Library will be adaptively reused as the Martha B. Gudelsky Child Development Center Inc. with Centronia.
The winning Gudelsky proposal respects the integrity of the library, its intact rolling land, and the neighborhood.
See the project proposal here.
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