Tag Archives: Silver Spring Community

The Latest Silver Spring Cares Event Recap

We are proud of the impact Silver Spring Cares continues to make in our community. Their latest effort, the “Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive,” collected specific items to assist families and students as they begin the new school year. The drive benefitted 8 Silver Spring schools.

Read more from Silver Spring Cares in the recap below:

Our Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive was aimed at allowing all children in our community to start the school year with confidence and dignity. Our efforts provided a helping hand by collecting specific items for 25 families (think new shoes, lunch boxes, underwear, clothing, and backpacks) as well as general items to be distributed to teachers, counselors, and students including hygiene products, graphing calculators, water bottles, books, puzzles, art supplies, and more!

Thanks to a partnership with Silver Spring Cares and the YMCA Youth & Family Services/Linkages to Learning, we assisted families in five elementary, two middle schools, and one high school – all right here in Silver Spring!

 The drive benefitted students/families in the following local schools:

  • Montgomery Knolls Elementary
  • New Hampshire Estates Elementary
  • Rolling Terrace Elementary
  • Broad Acres Elementary
  • Oak View Elementary
  • Green Castle Elementary
  • Eastern Middle School
  • Silver Spring International Middle School
  • Blair High School

Silver Spring Cares works to strengthen the Silver Spring community through the power of connection. In addition to the Not Your Traditional Back to School Drive, Silver Spring Cares has connected over 4,000 donors and volunteers to a robust network of 30 local nonprofits, delivered over 3,000 meals through our Casseroles for a Cause program, and warmed over 350 families through our Warm Clothing Drive.

Photos from the Not Your Traditional Back To School Drive:

Want to participate in the next Silver Spring Cares community event?

Visit their website here

The Area’s Best Local Summer Festivals

The official start of summer is right around the corner but doesn’t mean the summer spirit hasn’t around come into full gear! We’ve put together a list of the most fun and most entertaining summer festivals and events in the area. Get out your dancing shoes, check out some art, try an array of great food and much more at these fun summer festivals. There’s a little bit of something for everyone!

Silver Spring Thursday Night Summer Concert Series

Put on your “dancing flip-flops!”  Silver Spring’s Thursday night Summer Concerts are a perfect, free night out for the whole family. You can groove to the tunes on long summer nights while your kids enjoy games and face painting.  Silver Spring’s long running and popular Thursday Night Concerts kickoff on June 20 with a mix of crowd favorites and new offerings in the Silver Spring Season.  The concert series features a raffle with free prizes for adults as well as toys and gifts for kids.   

Event Info:

When: Thursdays from 7pm-9pm // June 20 – August 8th
Where: Silver Spring Civic Building, Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place.
Cost: Free!

World Heritage Festival

Taste delicious ethnic food from Nigeria, Jamaica, Thailand, Greece and get refreshed with a scoop of ice cream or shaved ice or even a fresh smoothie!! Enjoy a cultural performance show with folk dances from Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and much more! You will have an array of vendors to choose from with more than 60 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between.

Event Info:

When: Sunday, June 23rd
Where: Silver Spring Civic Building, Veterans Plaza, One Veterans Place.
Cost: Free!

K-Town Food Truck Night 

Don’t want to cook dinner? Go to Food Tuck Night in Old Town Kensington every 1st and 3rd Thursday night. Theres great food and music for the family to enjoy!

Event Info:

When: Every 1st and 3rd Thursdays May thru October from 5 – 8pm
Where: 10417-10419 Armory Ave., Kensington, MD 20895
Cost: Free!

Silver Spring Arts & Crafts Summer Fair

Come out to the annual Arts and Crafts Summer Fair to see over 60 arts and crafts vendors, cultural dance performances, and food vendors.

Event Info:

When: Sunday, July 14, 2 – 8pm
Where: 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Cost: Free!

Kensington Summer Movie Nights

Kensington Fire Department puts on this great family event. Bring your kids to the park for a night viewing of classic movies, including ‘The Princes Bride’! There will also be food trucks before the movie!

Event Info:

When: Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, July 23 at 6:30pm – 10pm
Where: St. Paul Park, Kensington, MD 20895
Cost: Free!

Latin Heritage Fiesta

A celebration of Latin Heritage with amazing food, over 60 art vendors, and dance performances. It will be a big party that the family will love!

Event Info:

When: August 11, 2 – 8pm
Where: 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Cost: Free!

4th of July Parade and Fireworks

Go see Takoma Park’s 130th Independence Day Celebration! This year’s theme is Community Heroes and leading the parade will be our Grand Marshals, Takoma Park’s First Responders. This event is a great way to start your 4th of July celebrations!

Event Info:

When: Parade starts at 10am. Evening activities starts at 7pm
Where: 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912-4939
Cost: Free!

Shorts and Sundress Summer Jam

Break out those shorts and sundresses the weather is going to be great for dancing! DJ Lineup: TMF, The Underground, DJ Cel, Handz on Radio, and Tommy Wickens aka A Plane, Cyberjamz Radio. Food and drinks will be provided by Nich’s Kitchen.

Event Info:

When: Parade starts at 10am. Evening activities starts at 7pm
Where: Polka Dot Park, 4320 Hamilton Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781
Cost: $8

Riverdale Park Station Summer Concert Series

Celebrate the start of Summer with the 2nd annual Summer Music Concert Series. This series will feature local artists from the DMV area every Friday from 6pm-8pm in Bear Square.

Event Info:

When: Friday evenings from 6pm-8pm
Where: Riverdale Park Station, 6621 Baltimore Avenue, Riverdale Park, MD 20737
Cost: FREE!

Yappy Hour at Republic

Grab your pup and join The Big Bad Woof for Yappy Hour at Republic! This event takes place on the last Sunday of each month through October. There will be treats and samples for the pups and tasty food and drink specials for the humans.

Event Info:

When: June 30 from 3pm – 5pm
Where: 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Cost: FREE!

Dockless Bikes have ARRIVED!

image via TheWashCycle

Guest post by Silver Spring resident, Lauren Lee.

You’ve seen them around – maybe lined up in an organized row in downtown Silver Spring, maybe in a heap of a pile blocking a sidewalk or a bus stop. They come in all different colors! Green, Yellow, Orange, Red! Two things are for sure, they are making their way around the community and there are lots of opinions.

How do these bikes work? Generally, you download the app for the appropriate bike rental company – LimeBike for example, put in your information, create and account, etc.  Then when you are interested in riding – you scan a bike, and it gets unlocked releasing the wheel.  After your ride, you scan it again to lock it up and complete your ride.  You don’t have to leave it in the same place as where you picked it up. For the rider looking for a quick trip from work to an appointment, or a ride to the bus stop from home these bikes seem like the perfect solution.

But of course there couldn’t be convenience without a dissenting inconvenience.

There have been bikes reported as being in the middle of sidewalks, fallen over, blocking a path for pedestrians, people with strollers or those in wheelchairs. Other bikes seem to have been left in more off the track places making them less apt to be ridden and often stay there for quite some time.  WTOP just this weekend reported people parking bikes on the frozen C&O Canal. WHAT IS GOING ON?!

photo via TwoWheelsDC

Dockless bikes aren’t for everyone it seems. There is a percentage of people that generally can’t use the bikes, those that travel and are responsible for young kids can’t easily run errands on dockless bikes. There’s also a risk that you get stranded and someone picks up the bike you left for your way back home. An argument also is that those that are avid bikers likely own bikes already.

Vicki King Taitano, a Silver Spring resident, is frustrated that a bike has been in her yard for over two weeks. The burden then falls on her to call the company and have them remove it. She mentions that she thought about putting in her narrow street but is afraid of causing an accident. “It sort of illustrates the point that this company expects me to participate in its business whether I want to or not. I don’t have the app and no one in my family rode the bike to my house, yet there it is unless I do something about it,” Taitano states.

After riding dockless bikes several times from her home to run errands in downtown Silver Spring, Liz Brent started a Facebook group called “Silver Spring’s Battle of the Bikes.” In this group, members frequently comment on both the positive and negative impact of these bikes.  The pictures of kids riding the bikes and the convince of getting around downtown Silver Spring has been highlighted and lauded.  It seems to be getting people to ride a bit more than normal.  The environmental benefits also do not go unnoticed. Downtown Silver Spring is notorious for being frustrating to navigate in a car, especially during rush hour. By adding an easy bike option, many can get around without polluting or contributing to traffic.

Furthermore, it’s been noted that just because there are complaints and frustrations with the way that some of the companies handle the bikes being strewn about or where they are located, that doesn’t automatically translate into disliking the dockless bike programs as a whole.  A general sentiment is that it’s a cool program but has lots of kinks to work out. Hopefully, the business model will only improve and expand to address needs and concerns.

“I think it’s odd that the rollout for the dockless bikes was in October, just as things would be getting cold here. On the other hand, on average our winters are usually so much milder than this, and the companies may have been counting on that,” notes Sandra Schmidt, a new rider and downtown Silver Spring resident. One would think that anyone familiar with the DC area knows how unpredictable the weather can be and how could it can become, deterring the casual bike rider.

As of now, there are many unanswered questions that we look forward to figuring out in the coming months as the weather warms, and bikers are more inclined to ride again.  Will there be more bike accidents as drivers and riders get used to one another? Will a lack of helmet-wearers impact this? Will there be a more mainstream plan to move disruptively located bikes?

What do you think about the influx of dockless bikes in our community? Do you have a success story or an interesting anecdote? Let us know! If you’re interested in learning more about the different types (yes, there are plenty!) take a peek at their websites for more information. Montgomery County is open to questions or comments regarding the Dockless Bikeshare Program; residents can contact MC311 or email Commuter Services at mcdot.commuterservices@montgomerycountymd.gov.







The Launch of Silver Spring Cares

Liz Brent

We are excited to announce the launch of Silver Spring Cares, our new local non-profit. Founded earlier this year, Silver Spring Cares is the brainchild of Liz Brent, Associate Broker of Keller Williams Capital Properties and founder of Go Brent Team. The Long Branch apartment building fire and explosion in the summer of 2016 showed how powerful the generosity of Silver Spring residents could be. Always a people-connector, Liz sprung into action thinking of different ways to easily connect the needs of our more vulnerable neighbors with those with the ability to give. Hence, Silver Spring Cares was born.

Silver Spring Cares works to strengthen the Silver Spring community through the power of connection. Whether you are looking to donate items, donate funds, or donate time, Silver Spring Cares is your destination for information on our community’s needs and opportunities for service. By engaging the diverse needs and resources of our residents, we can create a community in which all of us may thrive.

Heather Foley

Silver Spring resident Heather Foley will serve the non-profit’s Director. Heather was a Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market for 9 years. In addition to marketing, she was responsible for community engagement and managing all corporate donations including The National Zoo, National Geographic, and countless others. Heather has severed on several non-profit boards and most recently has worked with the DC Diaper Bank and Shepherds Table.

Check out the website for a list of participating non-profits, to find out about volunteering or donating, or learn about SSL hours. Silver Spring Cares is still growing and adding new organizations daily; if you know of a great organization that should be a part of Silver Spring Cares, please email us to let us know. You can also “Like” Silver Spring Cares on Facebook to stay up-to-date with local organizations and upcoming opportunities.

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