Montgomery Parks wins five “Best in Maryland” awards from the Public Relations Society of America, Maryland Chapter

Per Montgomery Parks: Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), received top awards in creative marketing campaigns and initiatives from the Public Relations Society of America, Maryland Chapter (PRSA Maryland) at its 2022 Best in Maryland Awards on December 8, 2022, where 28 awards were given across over 20 categories. Each year PRSA Maryland presents awards to communication professionals who have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

“It’s exciting and an honor to be recognized for these projects that have been so impactful for park users,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “The pandemic years were challenging for everyone and we are proud of our efforts to bring awareness of all the benefits of our park system to the community during that time.”

The department received one of the highest honors in the industry, winning an outstanding five “Best in Maryland” awards in the following categories:


  • Discover Your Happy Place: Short-form videos, in English and Spanish, showcasing the breadth of resources the parks offer the community.


  •  Strolls for Well-Being at Brookside Gardens is an evidence-based program that promotes emotional healing through focused time spent in nature. A key component of the program is a full-color, 110-page journal that was created in-house as a collaborative effort between Brookside Gardens’ staff and the marketing team.


  • Josiah Henson Museum and Park Opening, the first museum in the United States dedicated to the Reverend Josiah Henson, opened on April 23, 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This forced staff to reimagine plans for an opening celebration and visitation process. Overall, in its first year, the museum hosted 2,682 visitors through ticketed admission. An additional 1,300 visitors attended free in-person or virtual public programs.

Events and Observances

  • Garden of Lights: In 2021 the popular annual holiday walk-through winter light display at Brookside Gardens made several operational changes, including requiring the purchase of advance tickets online to ensure the event remained safe for visitors. The marketing campaign educated returning visitors about the significant changes in the ticket process and drove event awareness, sales, and attendance. A total of 60,369 people attended the event in 2021, resulting in a 50% revenue increase vs. 2019.
  • Montgomery Parks Urban Wood Sale: In 2021 Montgomery Parks held its first Urban Wood Sale. The marketing campaign had three main goals; to inform the public of the department’s wood recycling program, market a first-time event, and raise funds. The event attracted more than 200 customers and 176 individual sales were made, exceeding expectations.

About Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 420 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. in a new tab)

Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Program Access Office at 301-495-2581 (Voice/TTY), MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 or [email protected](opens in a new tab) to request a disability modification. Visit Montgomery Parks Accessibility(opens in a new tab) for more information.

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