This Week in Potomac 8-10-05

This Week in Potomac 8-10-05


Congress approved $500,000 in funding for environmental restoration in the Potomac Gorge as part of the transportation bill passed just before going on August recess. The president is expected to sign the bill this month.

The Potomac Gorge — the 15-mile river corridor encompassing about 10,000 acres from Great Falls to Washington, DC — is considered one of the most biologically significant natural areas in the eastern United States, with more than 200 rare species and natural communities. The funds will be used to mitigate federal roads-related environmental degradation in the gorge by mapping and controlling invasive species that are spread by roads, and to develop improved floodplain maps that will help protect federal and county parkland, roads, and other infrastructure.

“While much of the Potomac Gorge is in public parkland, its exceptional natural areas are seriously threatened by the many damaging effects of roads, from stormwater runoff to habitat fragmentation to the spread of invasive species,” said Nathaniel Williams, state director and executive vice president of The Nature Conservancy in Maryland and Washington, D.C. “This appropriation will help provide support needed to restore degraded areas along the Gorge. It will benefit one of our nation’s highest priority conservation areas, and help towards protecting water quality in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.“

The Conservancy has collaborated with the National Park Service for five years to identify top threats in the gorge and implement a comprehensive plan to address them.

In a statement, the Conservancy praised Maryland’s Congressional delegation for passage of the bill.

“The environmental health of the Potomac Gorge is important to the well-being of the entire Washington Metropolitan Area,” said Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.). “This funding provides some of the needed resources for restoration efforts within the Gorge and helps to maintain the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay.”


The Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission is accepting applications for matching-fund grants, totaling $30,000, for local preservation projects to be completed in 2006.

Projects eligible for consideration include development and installation of historic district signs; walking tours of historic districts; handbooks or design guidelines; explanatory brochures for owners in historic districts; historic site brochures; feasibility studies for restoration or preservation of buildings, sites and historical artifacts owned or under the custody of non-profit groups; and public education projects such as historical and archeological surveys, slide shows, lectures, videos, oral history taping and transcription, photographic displays and other types of exhibits on county history, and oral histories.

Grant winners must match the grants in money or in-kind services must carry adequate insurance and they must sign a contract with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

For applications and guidelines, contact Susan Soderberg, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, call 301-563-3400 or e-mail

Applicants should submit completed forms to the same address postmarked no later than Sept. 30, 2005. The Historic Preservation Commission will notify applicants of their selection by Friday, Oct. 31, 2005.


The Quality Health Foundation, part of the national non-profit Delmarva Foundation, awarded $25,000 to Suburban Hospital’s Latino Diabetes Education and Outreach Project Aug. 1.

The Latino Diabetes Education and Outreach Project assists diabetic residents who are at higher than usual risk for disease complication due to decreased access to and decreased knowledge of community medical care systems. The grant allows health care providers to establish diabetes management services that include diabetes assessment, implementation of the diabetes school and the nutrition management classes and diabetes prevention. Additionally, funds will provide patient education materials and non-reimbursable patient medical supplies.

Participants must qualify for the program as Central and South Americans recently located in Montgomery County. Participants must have diabetes and no prior diabetes education.

“We at the Quality Health Foundation are happy to be partnering with Suburban Hospital to directly improve the health of this underserved population,” states Roger C. Merrill, M.D., chairman of the Quality Health Foundation board of directors.

“The Latino Diabetes Education & Outreach Project allowed us to make a significant impact in the lives of Latinos living with diabetes in Montgomery County, said Monique Ware, Director of Community Outreach at Suburban.

Ware’s department is developing a diabetes prevention manual for other health educators.

The mission of the Quality Health Foundation is to provide charitable organizations that wish to undertake improvement projects with funding based on the project’s potential to impact access to and quality of health care to individuals and communities.

For more information, contact the Suburban Hospital Community Outreach Department at 301-896-2849. Find out more about the Quality Health Foundation at