Garrett County Chamber Announces 2017 Legislative Agenda

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2017 Legislative Agenda which includes a focus on tourism, economic & community development, education, healthcare, infrastructure and business climate.

The issues included in the Chamber’s agenda are those items that the Garrett County Chamber believes could have the biggest impact through legislative action.

The top legislative priorities for the Chamber in 2017 will be:

  1. Revise the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Program for Reimbursement to Counties for State-owned Lands.

  2. Increase Tourism Promotion Funding to $11,000,000.

  3. Support the Creation of the Rural Development Incentive Program.

4.      Support a Pro-Business Environment in Maryland.

 “The Chamber’s Legislative Affairs Committee spends several months discussing what issues to include in the agenda and which ones to make our top priorities,” said Shane Grady, Legislative Affairs Committee chair. “With only one Senator and one Delegate representing Garrett County in the Legislature, it is important that we are vocal about our priorities and that we are aggressive with our advocacy efforts in order to make an impact.”

“Our Committee and Board of Directors do a fantastic job developing a legislative agenda that helps me focus on specific issues and provides a guide of legislation for which to watch,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “The legislature will consider more than 3,000 pieces of legislation and our local businesses do not have time to review every bill. Your Chamber will track legislation and provide a periodic update on bills and hearings throughout the session via our General Assembly Update electronic newsletter. We will advocate for bills that positively impact Garrett County and oppose those that do not.”

“I commend those that get involved in the legislative process by contacting their Senator and Delegate, travelling to Annapolis to testify at hearings or submit written testimony. It is so important for these decision-makers to receive input on policy being made.”

Last year the Garrett County Chamber achieved a 64% success rate in advocating for legislative action that resulted in a favorable outcome.

To view the full Garrett County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Legislative Agenda and the 2017 Session dates, please log onto http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/Legislative.

Seasonal Job Openings At State Parks Announced

New Germany and/or Dan's Mountain State Parks are now hiring for the following seasonal positions:

Park Ranger
Park Maintenance Worker
Park Naturalist
Contact Station Attendant
Visitor Services Attendant
Lifeguard – Lake
Lifeguard - Pool
Concession Attendant
Housekeeping/ Cabin Cleaners

If you would like to apply for any of these seasonal positions, please visit http://www.jobaps.com/MD/ and search for jobs at New Germany or Dan's Mountain.  Please be sure to complete all sections of the online application before clicking the “submit” button.  Each recruitment announcement will include a requirement to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire, which each applicant must complete in order to be considered.  The Supplemental Questionnaire will ask each candidate to select the specific job(s) for which they are applying.
Please be advised that the recruitment period for all 2017 seasonal positions will be closing on January 25.  If you have questions or need assistance with the application process, please feel free to call or stop by the Ranger Station.


Police Investigate Likely Hypothermia Death

On 1/8/17 at 0946 hours, the Maryland State Police McHenry Barrack Troopers responded to 26854 Garrett Highway, Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland 21541 for a deceased victim found lying outside in the snow.

     Upon arrival, Troopers and the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division Investigators learned that the victim identified as Katelyn M. Pike, 22 year old female, was lying outside in the parking lot at the above listed location.  The victims vehicle was located at the scene and appeared to be not working. It is believed the victim exited her vehicle and fell in the parking lot from unknown reasons at this time.  Preliminary the cause of death may be hypothermia.  The victim will be sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy.


Compost at Home or Recycle Christmas Trees at the Garrett County Landfill

The Garrett County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling would like to invite Garrett County residents to participate in Christmas tree recycling at the Garrett County Landfill (GCL) location during the months of January and February.

Trees will be accepted for recycling during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, at the GCL location at 3118 Oakland Sang Run Road, Oakland, Maryland.

Christmas tree recycling is available to Garrett County resident’s FREE-OF-CHARGE. A residential disposal permit is not required to participate in this program or any other recycling program in Garrett County.

Christmas trees may also be recycled at home by placing cut branches and needles under trees and shrubs as a temporary winter mulch or by chopping them up and adding them to your compost pile.

Remove all tinsel, garland and ornaments before recycling Christmas trees at home or at the landfill location.
Please remember that a refuse permit is not required to recycle at any of the seven refuse & recycling sites, including the landfill. Additionally, Garrett County businesses are encouraged to recycle and use the refuse & recycling sites for the recyclable materials collected.

If you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Madigan, Recycling Coordinator, at 301.387.0322 or email kmadigan@garrettcounty.org.

GRMC Welcomes New Year's Baby

Garrett Regional Medical Center welcomed Zander Coddington as the New Year’s Baby on January 1st at 12:10 pm.  Baby Zander weighed 6 pounds, 10.5 ounces and was delivered by Dr. Patricia Gotsch. Zander’s parents, Larry Coddington and Colleen Bolyard are residents of Oakland. The family was presented with a New Year’s Baby Gift Basket that included items from Art’s Images, Book Market, Broken Road Associates, Browning’s Shop N Save, Dairy Queen, Deep Creek Pharmacy, Denny’s Restaurant, Garrett 8 Cinemas, GRMC and the Family Centered Maternity Suite, Green Acres, Gregg’s Pharmacy, Helbig Jewelers, Loar Auxiliary Gift Shop, Madalyn Hoffedtiz, Simon Pearce, Smart Style and Uno’s Restaurant.



On December 14, 2016, Alex McCoy, Director of the Garrett County Maryland Department of Economic Development, received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) from the National Development Council (NDC). EDFP Certification is a professional credential given to individuals who successfully complete NDC’s intensive economic development finance training series. The training provides individuals working in the field of economic development with instruction in business credit analysis, real estate financing, loan packaging, deal structuring and negotiating, and the creation and implementation of development programs.

Each of the four EDFP Certification Program courses is five days in length and concludes with an exam. Upon successful completion of all four courses, the candidate is awarded EDFP Certification.

Alex joined the Garrett County team in April 2015. Before coming to Garrett County, Alex worked several years for economic development organizations in northeast Florida and South Georgia. Originally a native of Moultrie, Georgia, Alex is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he received both his B.B.A. (’02) and M.B.A (’05). Alex married his beautiful wife, Mrs. Patricia McCoy of Mercer County, PA, in 2001.

“We would like to extend our congratulations to Alex on this hard-earned certification, this is a signification accomplishment” said Paul Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners.

NDC’s work focuses on HOMES, JOBS, and COMMUNITY. Founded as a national nonprofit in 1969, NDC has worked for 46 years at fulfilling its mission to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities. NDC directs capital to support the preservation and creation of affordable housing, the creation of jobs through training and small business lending, and the promotion of livable communities through investment in social infrastructure. NDC’s products and services are deployed for the benefit of our municipal and nonprofit partners in both urban and rural low-income communities.

NDC has provided training to over 70,000 professionals working in the fields of economic and housing development. Participants come from diverse backgrounds, including city and state governments, public agencies, community-based organizations, professional organizations, and banks.

NDC is headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, Seattle, WA, Cleveland, OH, and Edgewood, KY. For more information about NDC, please visit: www.ndconline.org/.


Garrett Regional Medical Center has been awarded the Acute Stroke Ready Hospital designation by the Joint Commission, a regulatory agency that ensures a commitment to quality and adherence to specific performance standards in providing emergent stroke care.

According to Maryland Vital Statistics (2014) and the 2016 Garrett County Health Department Status of Health Report, cerebrovascular incidents, a type of stroke is the cause of 6.3% of all deaths in Garrett County.  Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States following heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also listed as being the leading source of disability in the nation.

“Stroke is an emergency that attacks the brain, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Quick evaluation and appropriate treatment is vital for the patient’s survival and recovery,” explained Mark Domenick, MD and Stroke Care Medical Director at GRMC.  “Receiving treatment in the emergency room within 3 hours of the first symptoms leads to much better outcomes than those who delay seeking treatment.”

Knowing the symptoms of stoke is important so that timely treatment is not delayed. The acronym F.A.S.T. is used to help people remember what to look for. Face: look for an uneven smile or drooping eye; Arm: check if one arm is weak; Speech: listen for slurred speech or inability to speak; Time: call 911 immediately.

“The Garrett Regional Medical Center Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital Certification program is using Get With the Guidelines®-Stroke Program in collaboration with the American Heart Association. This is an in-hospital performance improvement methodology for monitoring and improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines,” said Kendra Thayer, vice president patient care services at GRMC.

Jeff Hinebaugh, RN, nurse manager of the emergency services department explained, “All patients are assessed and triaged by a Registered Nurse (RN) with needs determined and prioritized according to their clinical needs. Physicians are called to the patient’s bedside immediately for patients with signs and symptoms of stroke. Patients who meet criteria may be given Alteplase (the clot busting drug).”

Standards established by the Joint Commission improve the overall quality of patient care in hospitals with its emphasis on clinical practice guidelines that help to establish a consistent approach to health care. The Joint Commission’s review process provides an objective assessment of clinical excellence. 

“This is a huge milestone for Garrett Regional Medical Center, and I am very proud of our leaders and the staff for the hard work that went into achieving this certification,” stated Mark Boucot, GRMC president & CEO.  “The hospital’s clinical affiliation with WVU Medicine was also an important part of the certification process as WVU is providing neurology services via telemedicine in the Emergency Department for stroke victims.  Achieving the Stroke Ready Certification is an important indication to the community that the hospital is striving to continually improve patient safety and to ensure excellent, evidence-based care.  I’m really proud of the team and the hard work of the employees and doctors that achieved this certification.” 



Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has much to celebrate as it approaches the first anniversary of having the WVU Medicine Cancer Institute located at the hospital.  After opening its doors to patients in January of 2016, the Center has generated stories of hope and healing, continued community support, and plans for expansion.

In many areas of the world, it is customary to chime a bell at midnight to celebrate the New Year.  When the bell rings at GRMC this New Year, it will be a much sweeter sound.  The ringing of a bell in the cancer center indicates that a patient has completed a regimen of chemotherapy and gone into remission.  A few days before Christmas, and almost a year since he started treatment, Jim Dunn stood in the WVU Cancer Institute and pulled sharply on the cord of the healing bell.  The ring of the chime was met with cheers, clapping and smiles from staff that aided him through his journey. 

Dunn, who was initially travelling to Morgantown for treatment, was the first patient to receive chemotherapy at the cancer center when it opened.  The center being close to home and the center’s caring staff helped to make the experience of receiving treatment more bearable.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Center’s one year anniversary, than with the healing of a patient who has been receiving treatments here since the day we opened”, said Gina Artice, cancer patient care navigator.  “The bell signifies an achievement and provides patients with hope and positivity. Overcoming an obstacle like this deserves to be recognized in a big way.”

The success of the cancer center has given GRMC the opportunity to expand its walls and services to continue to provide exemplary cancer care to the patients of the Garrett Region. GRMC has recently commissioned Gosnell Builders to coordinate the expansion project.  The Center’s expansion plan includes many opportunities for GRMC to enhance the facility and to better provide for the care of the people from the region.  The expansion plan includes a cosmetology area for patients to experience the Look Good, Feel Better program, a meeting room for a community support group, dedicated office space for the operation of Cindy’s Fund, a library, and a pharmacy.

The ability to expand the Cancer Center is made possible, in large part by the generosity of the local community.  Generous lead gifts for this project were provided by James and Shirley Bailey; The Sharps and Gnegy Families; Richard, Ellen, Tracy and Steve Stuck; The Baxa Family Foundation; BJ Gallagher; and The WGW Community Youth Cup. “Donors like this have generated financial support that will touch the lives of many cancer patients and their families. Their generous support has created a lasting legacy to cancer care in our region that will live into perpetuity”, said Mark Boucot, president & CEO of Garrett Regional Medical Center; he continued, “I don’t know how to express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the center, other than to say that because of what they have done, people will be healed; and people from our community will be blessed.”

Inaugural GC Police Providing Presents Event a Huge Success

On Saturday December 17th, 2016 Garrett County hosted the inaugural Police Providing Presents event.  Volunteers from all five (5) Garrett County law enforcement agencies along with the Garrett County Department of Social Services, Garrett County Schools, Garrett County Health Department and AmeriCorps partnered together to help make the event possible.  

The nationwide event may be called different names, but the event meaning stays the same.  The event provided selected Garrett County children the opportunity to be paired with members from the Maryland State Police, Garrett County Sheriff's Office, Maryland Natural Resource Police, Oakland City Police and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office who spent the day as partners.  

The event started by the officers picking up their partner for the day, shopping for gifts at the Oakland WalMart, and attending a luncheon with activities at the Deep Creek Fire Department.  The activities included vehicle (police, fire truck, and ambulance) demonstrations, ornament building, and cookie decorating.  The gifts were wrapped during the activities by volunteers for the children to take home to their families.  

We would like to give a special thanks to Oakland Walmart, Deep Creek Fire Department, Garrett County Ambulance, Crossroads Church and Little Sandy's restaurant for utilizing their parking lots, all volunteers assisting and all of the citizens, businesses, churches and nonprofit organizations who made donations to the program. (see attached list) Without the generosity of all involved the event would not have been possible.  Not even Storm Decima could prevent putting smiles on the children and volunteers on this day.  Some said "this was the best day of my life."      

The inaugural Police Providing Present event was a great success and will continue as an annual event.  Those wishing to donate for next year's event can make donations in the form of check or money orders to Garrett County Department of Social Services (GCDSS), attention Alicia Streets, 12578 Garrett Highway, Oakland, Maryland 21550 and specify "Police Providing Presents." Although the preferred method is checks or money orders, cash donations are acceptable and can be dropped off in person at GCDSS.  Any questions on the event can be directed to F/Sgt. B. Williams at 301-387-1101.       

Essential Oils 101 to be offered at GC

 Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development will be offering a course, Essential Oils 101, at the main campus in McHenry. The course will be held on January 9, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. 

Through this class participants will learn how to empower oneself with pure and customizable natural solutions in order to find a health, wellness and beauty routine that’s right for them. A follow-up to this course is a variety of make and take workshops. The course is being instructed by local resident Kearstin Hinebaugh, a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. In her quest to reduce the toxic load for her and her family, she began researching various natural solutions. That research quickly led her to essential oils. Since uncovering their diverse applications and uses, she has become an essential oil enthusiast, learning everything she can about these gifts of the earth. These days she’s, admittedly, a bit obsessed with transforming her routines and making over her medicine, beauty and cleaning cabinets with oil-based products and wants to assist others in doing the same.

For more information on this course, persons may contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for this course, contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

Pickleball January Schedule Announced

Pickleball enthusiasts combine efforts with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College to offer instruction and playing time of this rapidly growing sport.  Pickleball is played at the Oakland Community Center gym (old armory) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on January 2. The Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC) will continue to offer play times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. For playing times at the CARC, contact 301-387-3786 or visit online at www.gccarc.com.

Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong and is played with paddles and a plastic ball, similar to a whiffle ball. Equipment, techniques, and rules of the games will be discussed while participants experience a new way to work out and meet new people. Tennis shoes are required but all other equipment will be included.

For additional information or to register, persons may contact Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 301-387-3069.

Third Annual Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition Announced

Garrett College will begin accepting applications from regional start-up entrepreneurs to enter the third annual Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition. The competition, scheduled to begin in late January and culminate in an awards luncheon at the Spring Summit in late-April, is open to those who are interested in starting a new or enhanced business in any industry, whether it is a product or a service. Entries can be individuals or a team, and the competition is open to anyone 16 ages and up, who are looking to build and/or generate an idea for a business plan. Winning entries will receive cash prizes and all participants will gain skills, experience and collaborative relationships.

The prior two competitions yielded almost two dozen new businesses in a variety of endeavors, including: gaming, robotics, specialty food, holistic health, technology, pet treats, art and cooperage. All entrants receive guidance, coaching and mentoring from local business persons and the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, in addition to regular meet-ups for knowledge sharing and networking.

According to Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, “the Power of Possibilities business plan competition is designed to help anyone with an idea for a business, or an enhancement of an existing enterprise, to gain the knowledge, competence and confidence needed to take their idea from concept to reality. We will work with all levels of individuals, including those with limited or no business experience or training. The competition is a great way for those with ideas to take a giant step toward making their dream a reality.”

The goal of the competition, like that of the overall Power of Possibilities program, is to enable all in the community to consider the opportunities available to them through entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking, thereby enhancing their lives and the overall community. All entrants are assigned a mentor or two from the business community and are given the tools and knowledge to bring their idea “to life.” The competition also represents a great way for those that might wish to launch their own business in the future to hone their skills, even if they are not quite ready to “take the plunge” now. “We encourage all those considering a business start-up, whether full- or part-time, for-profit or non-profit, to participate in this powerful experience. In addition to the coaching and mentoring, participants in the first two competitions really benefitted from the networking and camaraderie that flows from the meet-ups and sessions” stated Sarah Myers, co-Director of the Power of Possibilities program. 

For more information on the Power of Possibilities or the third annual business plan competition, contact Tumbarello at 301-387-3167 or mike.tumbarello@garrettcollege.edu   or Myers at 301-387-3771 or sarah.myers01@garrettcollege.edu. Updates will also be posted online at www.4ruralsuccess.com.

Garrett College Named to 2017 Military Friendly® Schools List, Awarded Gold Level Among Community Colleges

Garrett College recently announced that it has been recognized as a Gold-level Military Friendly® School Award recipient among Community Colleges for 2017, as well as a member of the 2017 Military Friendly® Schools List. Victory Media, originator of the family of Military Friendly® employment, entrepreneurship and education resources for veterans and their families, published its special awards for the 2017 Military Friendly® Schools and Employers online at www.miliaryfriendly.com. For more than a decade, Military Friendly® ratings have set the standard for companies and colleges demonstrating positive employment and education outcomes for veterans and their families.

New this year, Military Friendly® Awards showcase the most powerful and effective programs of more than 200 companies and 1,200 post-secondary schools that were designated as “Military Friendly®” in November. Of those designated, 154 employers and 541 schools have been recognized for excellence in different categories, highlighting not only “Are you Military Friendly®?” but “How Military Friendly® are you?” As a Gold-level award recipient this year in the Community Colleges category, Garrett College scored within 20% of the last-ranked (10th) institution

“All of our Military Friendly® award recipients set the standard for excellence,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly® development. “They offer exceptional examples of what it means not just to build a program that meets federal requirements, but one that serves the military and veteran community from classrooms to careers.”

For the fourth year in a row, Garrett College has been named to the 2017 Military Friendly® Schools List. The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. 

Kathy Fauber, Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Counselor at Garrett College, said this recognition is an honor. “We are so pleased to be included for another year as part of the Military Friendly® Schools list, and to be named a Gold-level award recipient. The staff and faculty at Garrett College are dedicated to providing our military veterans with the high standards of service that they have earned and deserve through their service to our country,” she said.

Fauber described some of the support services that Garrett College provides for military veterans and their families. “Through our Veteran’s Affairs office we keep our student veterans linked to all their VA (Veterans Administration) benefits and services.  We work hard to ensure each of our student Veterans and dependents have the resources and support they need to succeed and thrive in our learning environment. Garrett College also is a chapter of the national Student Veterans Organization (SVO) which provides programs, resources, and support for those students who are transitioning from military to civilian student life. Though our SVO we coordinate social events and activities for veterans and their families. We are very proud to offer a Veterans’ Center on campus where our student veterans can study, relax, and socialize,” she explained.

In addition to the services and support provided by Garrett College, a VA counselor comes to the McHenry campus twice a month to provide counseling for Veterans. The VA counselor is available to assist Veterans from the county who are enrolled at Garrett College as students, as well as non-student Veterans. Additionally, a VA Benefits Specialist makes routine monthly visits to assist those with any VA paperwork – both students and Veteran members in the community. Members in the community who wish to obtain more information about upcoming VA counselor visits or VA Benefits Specialist visits are encouraged to contact Fauber at 301-387-3057.

For more information about Garrett College’s commitment to attracting and supporting military students, contact Fauber at 301-387-3057 or kathy.fauber@garrettcollege.edu.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for The Garrett County Arts Council Gallery Shop

On Friday, December 9, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the grand opening of The Garrett County Arts Council (GCAC) Gallery Shop in downtown Oakland.

Over the past forty years, GCAC has helped spread the arts throughout the county and fund arts related organizations, events and affairs. GCAC has organized programs and events over the years as well including; The Gallery Shop, Heritage Craft Fest, Ginseng, Workshops & Demonstrations, and much more.

“After a year of hosting temporary pop-up galleries around the county, Garrett County Arts Council is pleased to once again have a permanent home for The Gallery Shop,” said Garrett County Arts Council Executive Director Karen Reckner. “We have had a presence in downtown Oakland since the year 2000.  Sincell Publishing’s renovation of their space on 2nd Street has provided us with a beautiful, large storefront where we will continue to showcase and sell the work of our area artists.”

“The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Garrett County Arts Council on the grand re-opening of The Gallery Shop at their new permanent home in Oakland,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Chamber. “GCAC has done an amazing job promoting and funding arts throughout the County and The Gallery Shop is the cornerstone of the organization. We are so pleased that they were able to find a new home in Oakland and look forward to another fabulous 40 years.”

Ground breaking, grand opening, and ribbon cutting ceremonies are just one of the benefits offered to members of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. If you are a Chamber member and would like to arrange such an event, or if you would like to become a member, contact Nick Sharps, Membership Manager,  at nick@garrettchamber.com or (301) 387-5237.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community.  The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing.

Giovanis Funds Needed Project to Ensure Deep Creek Lake Levels Meet Varying Needs
Local Property Owner Gives $100K to Deep Creek Watershed Foundation

 The Board of Directors of the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc.  today announced that long-time property owner Ted Giovanis will donate $100,000 for a needed Water Budget to ensure more consistent and efficient water levels at Deep Creek Lake. The donation is made in memory of Jayne Koskinas, wife of Giovanis.

“Jayne simply loved spending time at Deep Creek, and protecting the lake’s future is important to our family,” said Giovanis.  “I appreciate the Foundation committing to research and due diligence in order to identify an appropriate path forward.” Giovanis is founder and president of the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy (JKTG) which aims to change health care for the better through research, data analysis and other projects.

The Water Budget includes day by day accounting of water requirements for the Deep Creek Lake reservoir and will provide a scientific prediction of needed water levels, improving the timing and volume of water releases. 

Due to precipitation and periodic water releases, Deep Creek Lake levels fluctuate from year to year.  When water levels are low, some lakefront homeowners cannot access the lake with their boats.  When water levels are higher, shoreline erosion and sediment deposits can occur in the Lake. With water releases needed to support power generation, maintain cool waters for the trout fishery, and sustain white water recreation on the Youghiogheny River, the Foundation wanted to conduct a robust study to inform an efficient plan for future water releases that balances all needs of the Deep Creek Lake community.

 "On behalf of the board and all stakeholders here in Garrett County we are deeply grateful to Mr. Giovanis and his family for this generous donation", said Pat Franc, President of the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation Board of Directors. "We're excited about hitting the ground running on this important study and look forward to building off this momentum."

The Foundation Board intends to provide the results of the Study to the State of Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) sometime in 2018.

The Foundation, a non-profit Maryland corporation, was formed to accept tax- deductible donations to support, promote and advance scientific study, environmental protection and educational programs relating to the Deep Creek Watershed.   To find out more about the Foundation and its projects go to www.deepcreekwatershedfoundation.org. 

Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area Announces FY2017 Mini-Grant Awards

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West is pleased to announce the recipients of the FY2017 Mini-grants awarded through the Heritage Area. Over $3,750 was awarded to local organizations to provide funding for innovative exhibits, tours, events, planning and projects which build upon interpretive themes identified in the Heritage Area’s Management Plan. These include: Transportation, Man and Nature, Historic Recreation, and Cultural Uniqueness. Projects seek to attract cultural and heritage tourists to the region.  Recipients must match the grant dollar for dollar and complete the projects by May 31, 2017. Grant funding is still available until the $10,000 cap is met and applications and guidelines may be found at the Garrett Heritage website, www.garrettheritage.com.

FY2017 Mini-Grant Awards:

End of the Line Bookstore Signage - $165.50 awarded to the non-profit organization End of the Line Bookstore to create and install signage for the bookstore to create awareness to visitors and residents.

Garrett County Celtic Festival - $2,000 awarded to the Highland Festival of Garrett County, Inc. for assistance of event elements including advertising, children’s village and performers/demonstrators.

Meshach Browning Trail System Signage - $1,135 awarded to the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club to create and install trail signage depicting the story of famous local hunter, Meshach Browning.

Enabling Equipment for Digital Oral History - $476 awarded to the Garrett County Historical Society to film and record oral histories from Garrett County residents.

“We are excited to support these local projects by leveraging the heritage area funds we receive through our management grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority,” said Jen Durben, Heritage Area & Groups Director.  “Many local projects would not be possible without mini-grants and these projects help promote heritage tourism to Garrett County.”

About The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is one of 13 certified Heritage Areas by the state of Maryland.  Established in September of 2011 and managed by the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, the Heritage Area’s mission is to engage public and private partners in the commitment to preserve historical, cultural and natural resources for sustainable economic development through heritage tourism.  The Mini-Grant Program is made possible through a Management Grant that the Chamber receives from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization and program of the Maryland Historical Trust.


The Board of Directors of the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce the formation of the Foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a non-profit Maryland corporation.  The Foundation is formed to accept tax-deductible donations to foster a private/public partnership that will support, promote and advance scientific study, environmental protection and educational programs relating to the Deep Creek Watershed.

The Deep Lake Watershed contains 41,000 acres and is located in the mountains of Garrett County, Maryland.  Deep Creek Lake (DCL) is within the Deep Creek Watershed and is the State’s largest freshwater lake containing approximately 4,000 acres.  Deep Creek Lake has evolved as a primary recreational destination for the Mid-Atlantic States and is the economic engine for the County.  In 2000, the State of Maryland purchased the Lake and its buffer zone under legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is assigned responsibility for managing the Lake and its buffer zone. Likewise, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is responsible for, among other things, sediment and erosion control of DCL, as well as for the issuance of a Water Allocation Permit which provides authorization for various entities to use specified quantities of water from the lake. The 2000 legislation included stewardship requirements and authorizations, but it did not address the potential impacts from the watershed to water quality in the Lake.

Over the past 15 years, the Deep Creek community, the County, DNR and MDE have demonstrated a growing interest in ensuring that the quality and recreational value of the Lake is maintained.  Concerns have arisen relating to sediment in coves, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), water quality, lake level fluctuations, and other issues.  Many of these concerns extend beyond the authority of the state-owned property in the buffer zone.  Consequently, a more extensive assessment of the entire watershed was needed. 

Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DNR and the Garrett County Commissioners, the State and the County agreed to work together to develop a Watershed Management Plan.  Volunteers representing various interest groups and watershed residents, along with County and State officials, were appointed to a steering committee by DNR and the County and formed subcommittees to address the variety of issues affecting the watershed.  Through this effort the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan (Plan) was developed and completed in 2014 and then subsequently approved by the DNR and the Board of Garrett County Commissioners

Additionally, a second MOU has been agreed to and will be signed by the Board Garrett County Commissioners and the Secretaries of DNR and MDE, creating the Administrative Council which will oversee the implementation of the Plan; establish the staff position of Watershed Coordinator; and address the development of financial strategies.  The Foundation will work closely with this Administrative Council to identify projects that will require funding.

The Foundation is formed to support the Plan’s goal of “improving the environmental stability and economic viability of the Deep Creek Watershed while retaining its rural landscapes and natural beauty, so that, for generations to come, local citizens and visitors have a special place to live, work, and play.” The Foundation will accomplish this goal by engaging in fundraising activities to sponsor educational programs supporting initiatives relating to the watershed, soliciting and providing funding to support scientific, environmental, and educational programs relating to the watershed, and applying for grants relating to activities in furtherance of the protection of the watershed. 

For further information regarding the Foundation, its Board of Directors, and how to donate, interested persons can visit the Foundation’s web site at www.deepcreekwatershedfoundation.org