Alcohol Consumption at Some MoCo Parks Could Get 12 Month Renewal
Montgomery Parks will present the renewal of the Temporary Suspension of Alcohol Prohibition in Designated Parks at the May 27, 2021, Montgomery County Planning Board.
The temporary directive was enacted on Sept. 24, 2020 and suspended the prohibition of alcohol in nine Montgomery Parks. The renewal extends the park directive for an additional 12 months and expands the number of parks included in the pilot from nine to 13.
The park directive renewal allows people to bring and consume alcohol in 13 parks as part of the Picnic in the Park program. The program was launched in partnership with Visit Montgomery’s MoCo Eats initiative, and encourages park visitors to support area restaurants by ordering food and beverage to be delivered or picked up and enjoyed in parks.
“The pilot program allowing alcohol in a select number of parks has been very well received by the public. People have been enjoying food and adult beverages at these parks in a responsible way, which is why we are extending the duration of the program and expanding it to four more parks,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “It has also been a valuable effort to support local businesses, many of which have been struggling due to restrictions from the pandemic.”
The pilot program allows patrons, 21 years of age or older, to responsibly consume alcohol from 11am to dusk within designated picnic areas of 13 parks. The four parks that are being added to the program include Carroll Knolls Local Park, Elm Street Urban Park, Ellsworth Urban Park and Flower Avenue Urban Park. The nine parks identified in the initial directive include: Acorn Urban Park, Germantown Town Center Urban Park, Jessup Blair Local Park, Norwood Local Park, Olney Manor Recreational Park, Takoma Urban Park, Wall Local Park, Wheaton Local Park and Wheaton Regional Park. The selected parks are in areas with a high concentration of restaurants within a five to ten-mile radius of the parks.
The parks department’s top priority is always safety of its patrons, staff and volunteers. For this program, signs and maps are installed at each park location as well as on the website to show the designated alcohol areas. Park Police continue to ensure all state and county laws as well as Park Rules and Regulations are being followed.
The Temporary Suspension of Alcohol Prohibition Parks Directive is available here.