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Baltimore County News

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  1. Wreaths, hikes, Santa and s’mores

    By Michael Schneider, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

    That guy in red?  Yep, he’s making the rounds of Baltimore County’s parks and nature centers. There’s also Christmas toy bingo, natural ornament making, tree lightings, Kwanza celebrations and holiday crafts galore. Here’s a quick list of holiday goings-on for kids and families. All events are made possible with help from the elves at our County Recreation and Nature Councils. (Thanks, elves!)

    Many programs are free, so get out and visit your local park or nature center --or try something new across town. There’s so much to do, you better be checking this list more than twice! 

    Holiday fun in the parks

    Friday, December 2 

    • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Woodland Creature Workshop  6:30 – 8 p.m.  Ages 6 and up (Free)

    Saturday, December 3

    • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Open House 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. All ages. (cost)
    • Dundalk-Eastfield (410-887-7155)  Annual Christmas Parade (starts at 4 p.m.)  Santa-In-The-Park follows immediately after the parade.  All ages.
    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Wreath Making  Noon and 2 p.m.  Ages 14 and up (cost)
    • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Wreath Making 1 – 3 p.m. Ages 16 and up (cost)
    • Parkville (410-887-5300) 18th Annual Breakfast with Santa 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (cost)

    Sunday, December 4

    • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Natural Ornaments 1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up (cost)
    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Wreath Making  Noon and 2 p.m.  Ages 14 and up (cost)
    • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Wreath Making 1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 16 and up (cost)

    Friday, December 9

    • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Wreath Making.  7:30 p.m.  Adults (cost)
    • Edgemere-Sparrows Point (410-887-7529) Christmas Tree Lighting  6:30 p.m.  Santa arrives 7 p.m.  (Free)
    • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Holiday Party and Social (Oregon Ridge Members).  6 – 8 p.m. (Free for members)

    Saturday, December 10

    • Bear Creek (410-887-7529)  Lunch with Santa and Craft Fair  11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (cost)
    • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)  Natural Ornaments  Noon – 3 p.m.  All ages (cost)
    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Holiday Centerpieces & Natural Ornaments  2 – 4 p.m.  Ages 5 and up.  (cost)
    • Marshy Pont Nature Center (410-887-2817)  Wreaths and Natural Ornaments  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
    • North Point Village (410-887-7180)  Breakfast with Santa!  9 a.m. – 12 noon.   Ages 12 and under. (cost)
    • North Point Village (410-887-7180)  Christmas Toy BINGO  7 – 9 p.m.  (cost)
    • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Natural Ornament Making  1 – 3 p.m. (cost)
    • Overlea-Fullerton (410-887-5307)  Annual Tree Lighting  7 p.m.

    Sunday, December 11

    • Holt Park (410-887-5307)  Old Fashion Holiday Celebration!  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
    • Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817) Wreaths and Natural Ornaments  Noon – 4 p.m. (cost)
    • Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815) Natural Ornament Making  1 – 3 p.m. (cost)

    Friday, December 16 

    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Kids Night Out  6 – 9 p.m.  Ages 6 – 12.  (cost)

    Saturday, December 17

    • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)   Winter Solstice Hike and Campfire  6:30 – 8 p.m.  All ages.  (cost)
    • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Holiday Centerpieces  1 – 2:30 p.m.  Ages 13 and up.  (cost)
    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  S’mores, Stars & the Winter Solstice  6 – 8 p.m. Ages 5 and up.  (cost)
    • Middle River (410-887-0234)  Breakfast With Santa  8 – 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) All ages. (cost)

    Sunday, December 18

    • Cromwell Valley (410-887-2503)  Solstice Candle Making  1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up.  (cost)
    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  S’mores, Stars & the Winter Solstice  6 – 8 p.m.  Ages 5 and up.  (cost)

    Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30

    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  Winter Break/School’s Out Day Camp   8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Ages 6 – 12. (cost)

    Friday, December 30

    • Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum Kwanzaa Celebration  1:30 – 3 p.m. All ages.  (Free)

    Sunday, January 1

    • Lake Roland (410-887-4156)  First Day Hike  10 a.m. – Noon.  All ages.  (Free)

    Saturday, January 7

    • Cromwell Valley  Wintertime Natural Ornaments  1 – 3 p.m.  Ages 8 and up.  (cost)

    For event details, contact each park location

    A holiday walk in the park

    Don’t forget our parks are open sunrise to sunset seven days a week all through the holiday season.  What better way to celebrate than with a crisp walk in the park!  

    Nature Centers will be open throughout season, but call for special schedules or closings on December 25 and January 1.

    Find your favorite park -- here is a list of Baltimore County parks to explore. 

    No matter how you enjoy the season, here’s hoping you can spend part of your time with friends and family at Baltimore County’s parks, recreation and nature centers. There’s a wonderful world to discover out there.

    Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:45:00 GMT
  2. Separate Yard Materials Collection in Baltimore County Ends in December

    Will Resume April 2017

    The separate collection of yard materials (for Baltimore County residents with “Y” days on their collection schedules) will halt in December, and will resume in April 2017.

    The date of the last 2016 “Y” day varies among County collection schedules. Residents must refer to their particular schedule for details (the final “Y” day will occur within the first two weeks of December).

    Please note that after the last “Y” day occurs on a particular schedule, yard materials can be placed out with trash on a scheduled trash collection day.

    Residents may go online to view their trash and recycling collection schedule and program guide by visiting the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website. Collection schedules and program guides can also be obtained by calling 410-887-2000.

    Baltimore County residents are reminded that raking or blowing leaves into the gutter or street is illegal.

    Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:00:00 GMT
  3. December’s “Hello Baltimore County” TV Show features toy safety, Animal Services and the Circuit Court

    Cable TV program available online and cable Channel 25

    The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” focuses on toy safety, Animal Services and an overview of the Circuit Court.

    ICYMI In case you missed it, we review some recent headlines from your County government.

    New and Improved Animal Services – Check out the County’s brand new $6.6 million facility and find out about pet adoptions, low-cost spay/neuter and vaccination services, and more.

    Toy Safety – With holiday shopping underway, the Health Department has advice on how to select safe, beneficial toys for your kids.

    Inside the Circuit Court – Chief Administrative Judge Kathleen Cox offers an overview of what to expect for your day in court, whether as a as a juror or a litigant.

    To view streaming video of the full show, go to the Hello Baltimore County page at . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

    In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

    Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

    Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

    Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

    Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

    Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

    Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

    Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

    Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:57:00 GMT
  4. County offers new customer service tools for snow and other storm emergency situations

    Web feature enables residents to report issues directly to emergency managers

    Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that County residents will have a direct line to communicate storm-related concerns to the County’s emergency managers beginning this winter season. He made the announcement during the County’s annual winter storm exercise in the Emergency Operations Center, where representatives from County agencies and regional partners work together to coordinate the County’s response to a hypothetical severe winter storm.  

    After last January’s record-breaking snowfall and extremely high call volumes that frustrated residents, County Executive Kamenetz directed County agencies to re-examine their constituent communication mechanisms for severe storm situations. At this morning’s press briefing, he announced Stormfighter, a new interactive web-based storm reporting feature on the County website that allows residents to self-report storm-related issues, rather than phoning the Department of Public Works (DPW). This system integrates with GIS mapping applications and provides real-time visual map-based data to assist DPW and emergency managers in responding to severe storms or other localized or regional emergencies. 

    “We know how frustrating it is to be unable to get through on the phone, so our award-winning Office of Information Technology has created a new web feature that is very user-friendly and is the best way to communicate with us in case of a major storm,” said Kamenetz. “When we experience very heavy snowfalls, it is important that we communicate realistic expectations to our residents that it can take many days until crews can move from the main roads and get into the neighborhood streets.”

    In addition, Kamenetz announced that the County has upgraded DPW’s phone system to greatly expand the number of callers held in the queue and to enable quick mobilization of call-takers to respond to any need with little advance notice. The phone system includes a function that will advise callers of their estimated wait time to speak with someone and will invite them to submit their concerns on the website instead of waiting on hold. Kamenetz explained that the new web-based reporting form available to the public is the same form as County call-takers will use to input callers’ concerns.

    County officials remind residents that in cases of true medical or other emergencies, they should always call 911. During major storm emergencies, first responders coordinate with DPW and other resources to continue responding to fires, urgent medical needs and other emergency situations. 

    Real-time updates available on the County’s website and social media platforms

    Kamenetz also encouraged people to go to Twitter or the County website for Stormfighter updates. The County website offers the latest on road conditions, current plowing operations, winter storm tips and more at, which also includes Twitter updates from Baltimore County Emergency Management. These updates are also available on Twitter by using the Twitter handle, @bacoemergency.

    The County Stormfighter web page now provides a link to live traffic camera feeds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART). It also offers a link to the County’s list of road closures, which provides details on roads that are currently closed due to repairs, accidents, weather or other hazards. This list is updated frequently, so people are advised to check back often for the latest status. State roads and interstates are not included. Information on those roads can be found on the Maryland Department of Transportation’s travel advisories and road closures web page at

    “The really big snowstorms can try all of our patience, and I am pleased that the County is taking these positive steps to better facilitate communication with our constituents during storm emergencies,” said County Council Chair Vicki Almond.

    Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:40:00 GMT
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