SILVER SPRING, MD—Today the Montgomery County Planning Board unanimously approved a 5.8 acre addition to Rock Creek Regional Park in Derwood which comes as a gift from Dr. Thressa C. Stadtman and just in time for the holidays!
“I am pleased to recommend to you today to authorize the acceptance of this generous gift of real estate from Dr. Thressa C. Stadtman, which will expand Rock Creek Regional Park,” said Department of Parks Land Acquisition Specialist Bill Gries, during today’s Planning Board meeting.
Department of Parks staff asked the Planning Board today to accept the addition of 5.8 acres, more or less improved, from accomplished biochemist Dr. Thressa C. Stadtman, the wife of the late Dr. Earl R. Stadtman—a long time Montgomery County resident and regarded as one of the greatest biochemists of the 20th century. Dr. Earl Stadtman passed away in January 2008. Both Drs. Earl and Thressa Stadtman worked for the National Institutes of Health for more than half a century and were beloved mentors to many there.
The condition of Dr. Thressa Stadtman’s gift is two-fold: the Deed of Conservation Easement requires that the land is not developed and managed in perpetuity as conservation parkland to maintain the existing natural resources; and the Gift Deed conveys the land to the Department of Parks outright and at no cost with the request that the gift tract be named “The Stadtman Preserve.” The Planning Board unanimously approved both conditions today as requested by Parks Department staff.
“This exciting extension to the parks system offers greater protection of the natural resources of the Mill Creek and Rock Creek Stream Valley,” said Department of Parks Legacy Open Space Senior Planner Dominic Quattrocchi. “The property, directly adjacent to an important biodiversity area, meets the criteria for designation as a county Legacy Open Space natural resources site—it’s simply a beautiful property.”
The gift property is located east of Redland Road, adjacent to Rock Creek Stream Valley Park along Mill Creek, and was valued at over $1 million in January 2006. The property features high quality mature forest, steep slopes, floodplain, high quality wetlands and a perennial stream—also, approximately 1,000 azaleas and rhododendrons, lovingly planted by the late Dr. Earl Stadtman. The site also includes a locally significant modern movement house built in 1961 in which Dr. Thressa Stadtman currently resides and for which she will reserve a life estate as a condition of the gift.
“This is really an enormous gift that will keep on giving to future generations enjoying Rock Creek Regional Park and will help protect the watershed,” said Director of Parks Mary Bradford. “We just can’t thank Dr. Stadtman enough for her generosity.”
Generous land gifts of this kind made previously to the Department of Parks have resulted in parks such as the Lois Y. Green Conservation Park, McCrillis Gardens, Rickman Farm Horse Park, Woodstock Equestrian Park, Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park and others.
For more on giving the gift of parks, visit www.MontgomeryParksDonations.org.
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Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks