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MoCo Planning Department Tapped for Two National Awards

The Montgomery County Planning Department has won two prestigious national awards from the American Planning Association. Planning Director Gwen Wright will accept the Planning Landmark Award for the Agricultural Reserve and the Best Practice Award for the Bicycle Stress Map on May 8 at the association’s national convention in New York City.

“These awards represent national recognition for our planning efforts, both past and present, in Montgomery County,” said Wright. “We are thrilled that the planning profession understands the value of our Agricultural Reserve as a model of land conservation and our Bicycle Stress Map as a tool for developing safe bikeways that can be adapted to other jurisdictions.”

The APA Planning Landmark Award recognizes a planning initiative at least 25 years old that is historically significant and initiated a new direction in planning. The Montgomery County Planning Department was the only recipient of the APA Planning Landmark Award in 2017.

Montgomery County’s 93,000-acre Agricultural Reserve, established in 1980, is significant as one of the most famous, most studied and most emulated programs of its kind in the United States. Counties around the country, in states from California to Connecticut, have followed the Agricultural Reserve model and adopted density transfer tools to preserve farmland and promote agriculture.

The APA awards jury recognized the Ag Reserve’s success at preserving more than a quarter of Montgomery County as a co