The Trail that Volunteers Built

Northwood teacher Mike Sauter checks out a sign along the trail. Photo by Jessica Chambers.

Anne Ambler of Neighbors of Northwest Branch and Erol Miller, Northwood teacher, are happy with the work done by their respective groups and all others in the partnership. Ed Murtagh photo. 

Two of southern Montgomery County’s largest green spaces -- Sligo Creek and Northwest Branch Parks -- are now connected thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers who recently completed a half-mile extension of the Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail in Breewood Park.

The project was completed by the volunteers under a public/private partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Northwood High School, Neighbors of Northwest Branch and Montgomery County Department of Parks.

The first phase of the trail project was completed in June 2010. In April 2011, volunteers constructed more of the trail, extending it to University Blvd.  Finally, in November, 25 students and community volunteers built the half-mile extension of the trail in Breewood Park

The new segment connects Sligo Creek Park, just below University Blvd. (on the Parkway across from the last playground), to Northwest Branch Park at the Loxford Terrace connector trail.  The new trail section is part of a two-mile trail planned and installed by the partnership over the last three years. 

DEP’s role in the partnership included assisting in the removal of invasive plants and trash to improve the health of the nearby stream.  The agency continues to monitor water quality in the stream near the trail and plans to perform a stream restoration and install bioretention areas in the future.   A bioretention system is a facility that filters stormwater runoff from hard surfaces like streets and sidewalks through a soil bed planted with native plants.  This process removes pollutants and filters water before releasing it downstream.  In partnership with the County’s Department of Transportation, DEP has installed some of its first bioretention systems on nearby Arcola Ave.

For more information about the trail project, contact Northwood Chesapeake Bay Trail Project Coordinator Jennifer Chambers at

POSTED AT: Thursday, March 01, 2012 | 5:00:00 AM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
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