05/28/13 Study shows smart growth benefits local financial health

Blog post from Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America

Building Better Budgets quantifies average savings and revenue of smart growth development

Building Better BudgetsLocal governments across the country have compared development strategies to understand their impact on municipal finances. These studies generally compare two or more different development scenarios, and help local leaders make informed decisions about new development based on the costs or revenues associated with them.

Many municipalities have found that a smart growth approach would improve their financial bottom line. Whether by saving money on upfront infrastructure; reducing the cost of ongoing services like fire, police and ambulance; or by generating greater tax revenues in years to come, community after community has found that smart growth development would benefit their overall financial health. Many of these findings have been made publicly available.

No national survey has examined these savings as a whole until now.This report is the first to aggregate those comparisons and determine a national average of how much other communities can expect to save by using smart growth strategies.

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development surveys 17 studies that compare different development scenarios, including a brand-new study of Nashville-Davidson County, TN, commissioned specifically for this report.

The report looks at the costs associated with smart growth development and conventional suburban development, as well as each strategy’s revenue potential. When compared to one another, we find:

bbb-infra 1. Smart growth development costs one-third less for upfront infrastructure.

Our survey concluded that smart growth development saves an average of 38 percent on upfront costs for new construction of roads, sewers, water lines and other infrastructure. Many studies have concluded that this number is as high as 50 percent.

bbb-services 2. Smart growth development saves an average of 10 percent on ongoing delivery of services.

Our survey concluded that smart growth development saves municipalities an average of 10 percent on police, ambulance and fire service costs.

bbb-revenue 3. Smart growth development generates 10 times more tax revenue per acre than conventional suburban development.

Our survey concluded that, on an average per-acre basis, smart growth development produces 10 times more tax revenue than conventional suburban development.

An opportunity for municipal leaders

Local leaders everywhere can use this information to make better fiscal decisions about development in their region.

The evidence presented in this report suggests improved strategies for land use and development can help local governments maintain and improve their fiscal solvency. As this report shows, smart growth development can reduce costs and in many cases increase tax revenue. This combination means that in some cases smart growth development can generate more revenue than it costs to operate.

These findings are true for any rural, suburban or urban community, anywhere in the country. Local governments throughout the United States are already facing unprecedented challenges in providing high-quality infrastructure and adequate public services to their residents on a tight budget. Choosing financially responsible development patterns can help communities across the country protect their fiscal health for generations to come.

Download the report

Click here to download

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development (PDF)

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/building-better-budgets.pdf

 

 

 

3/11/13 Are the outer suburbs (or “exurbs) dying?

Check out this radio show from May 2012 – old but still relevant!

Copied from the website:

Census Bureau data from April shows that outer exurbs are dying and urban cores are growing.

From The New York Times:

 

“The country’s outer suburbs, often referred to as the exurbs by demographers, were at the forefront of the country’s population growth for most of the last decade. New houses mushroomed in those areas as young families bought homes on credit that was easy to get, following the tradition of moving to the suburbs to begin adult lives. 

But when the housing market collapsed, growth in those areas slowed drastically. The economic recovery has not revived population growth in those areas and, according to an analysis by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, has only served to flatten it further.”

 

What are the reasons for this trend? Can the exurbs make a comeback?

Tanya Snyder, Streetsblog’s Capitol Hill editor, will join The Daily Circuit Friday to talk about the future of exurbs.

“The latest numbers, capturing the year (actually 15 months, April 2010 to July 2011) since the last Census, showed a major shift away from the settlement patterns from 2000 to 2010,” Snyder wrote on Streetsblog. “That’s not exactly how it happened. The shift didn’t suddenly happen in 2010. The 2000-2010 numbers encompass a decade whose first two-thirds were the heyday of an economic boom that buoyed greenfield development. The real break was in 2007, when the housing bubble burst and the artificially inflated value of the outer suburbs crashed.”

Charles Marohn, executive director of Strong Towns, will also join the discussion.

03/11/13 – Young Voices for the Planet Films

Come out to see films from Young Voices for the Planet (YVFP). They show inspiring youth solutions to the climate crisis. The Young Voices for the Planet films are included in the 2013 Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour, in Wild & Scenic’s Program “A Climate of  Change,” and in the 2013 Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) showcase.

Upcoming Screenings

Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Team Marine

Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Host: River Alliance of Wisconsin

 

Saturday, March 23, 12-1:30 p.m.

Olivia’s Birds and the Oil Spill

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD

Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) Showcase “Women in Film: Past, Present & Future”

Host: The Annapolis Film Festival

 

Please contact us at youngvoicesforplanet@gmail.com, if you would like to do additional screenings!

 

Lynne Cherry, Producer/Director

Young Voices for the Planet film series

 

Facebook: Young Voices for the Planet

Facebook: Young Voices on Climate Change

Twitter: @YoungClimate

 

Green Economic Development saves money and makes for better living: 2 reports of interest

Across the country, communities are struggling with how to fix and replace failing and outdated infrastructure and meet new demand to manage stormwater and protect clean water. American Rivers worked with the American Society of Landscape Architects, ECONorthwest, and the Water Environment Federation to release the Banking-on-Green report to build on the current understanding of the cost-effectiveness of green infrastructure and examine how these practices can increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs, reduce localized flooding, and protect public health.

Green infrastructure, which utilizes natural processes to treat stormwater, potentially offers a number of benefits over the equivalent gray infrastructure. In a report titled Economic Benefits of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay , the authors investigate the types of benefits, and where possible, quantify and value the benefits green infrastructure provides for three case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They describe green infrastructure projects and their benefits in Montgomery County, MD, Washington DC, and Prince George’s County, MD.

CIty of Frederick considering annexation of 302 acre Keller Farm, could build over 1000 new homes

The following entities  have petitioned the city (annexation petition) to annex the 302 acre Keller Farm into its boundaries for development, and on which 4 houses/acre are proposed for build out:

Rand D Weinberg, Esquire, Law Offices of Rand Weinberg, LLC, the Keller Corporation, the Martha W Keller Family Partnership LLLP, Yankee Land Trust, Edward M Johnson and Jeanette W Johnson, Great Southern Investment, LLC (Marvin Ausherman), Julie Ann Castillo and Albert Castillo, the Charles E Keller III Qualified Personal Residence Trust (E Daniel Bittle Jr, SUsan T Bittle, Lexington T Bittle, Kelsie G Bittle).  (Note that Castillo is joining petition as an accommodation to the petitioner but city shall not impose city taxes on Castillo’s property.)  These signatories also represent no less than 25% of the persons who reside in the area to be annexed and who are registered as voters in Frederick County elections.  Those who signed are the owners of not less than 25% of the assessed valuation of the real property located in the area to be annexed.

 

The Farm is located along Yellow Springs Rd and Rocky Springs Rd, west of Walter Martz Rd

The following documents will help citizens understand more about this proposal.

Annexation Petition

  • Pg 2 section 5 of the annexation petition states that the Second Tier follows the boundary of the Potomac River Water Supply Agreement.  When will that PRWSA be extended, and how can citizens be sure that it the amount will be adequate to support this plus the other additional development planned for Frederick County?
  • Pg 4 section 9:  ”the property is subject to the City’s APFO”.  How will the city and county deal with ensuring adequate school space, since the city APFO has a loophole that allows all development to go forward in Frederick CIty (even after failing the APFO for schools) as long as the developer waits 3 years before proceeding?

Comprehensive Plan Analysis

Fiscal Impact Analysis

School needs

Traffic impacts

Water and Sewer Planning Study //Water and Sewer Planning Study – appendices

Christopher Crossing Rds Traffic Study

Additional area traffic studies for Frederick City

Efforts to preserve the brook trout in Little Tuscarora Creek (that runs through the Keller Farm)

Outline for extension of services

Letter given to NAC3 residents on 4/16/12 (page 1)

“Classic sprawl…look for problems to come”; BOCC allows development on Crum and Thatcher Farms immediately

Click here for information on the citizen complaint against the northern annexations.

To read more on Thatcher and Crum development plans search either name on the FoFC home page search tab.

Frederick News Post article:  Annexed farmland clear for developing

Originally published January 27, 2012 

By Pete McCarthy

Annexed farmland clear for developing
Photo by Staff file photo by Sam Yu 

This June 2009 photo shows U.S. 15 running left to right with Willow Road perpendicular at lower right. The Board of County Commissioners voted Thursday to allow the City of Frederick to annex the Crum farm, to the left of Willow Road, and the Thatcher property, on the far side of U.S. 15.

The City of Frederick is about to gain some acres.For more than a year, two large farms just north of the city have been approved for annexation, but the city and previous county officials disagreed on zoning so developers were told they would have to wait five years.

The Board of County Commissioners voted Thursday to end that mandatory waiting period and allow the developers to proceed immediately.

The two farms — known as the Crum and Thatcher properties — total nearly 400 acres. Both are north of the city limits along U.S. 15.

Frederick Mayor Randy McClement was at Thursday’s meeting and called the commissioners’ decision a positive one for the city.

“We need the growth area,” McClement said. “Everything is set in place. We are looking forward to the ability to give our residents an opportunity to stay here and work here.”

The city approved annexation of the land in 2009.

The properties are ripe for development, according to Commissioner C. Paul Smith.

“I think this will be a great benefit for the city,” Smith said. “It had been planned for some time.”

Commissioner Billy Shreve said, “I think it is a good example of planning.”

Before significant construction can proceed, the developers would need to make improvements to a U.S. 15 interchange and other road enhancements.

“I think it takes care of the important traffic problems we have,” Smith said.

Construction at either site is still years away. Both developers will need a year or two to finalize their plans, according to land-use attorney Bruce Dean.

The Crum property, just north of Willow Road, is 285 acres, and the plan is to build up to 1,200 homes and a mix of commercial and retail space, said Dean, who represents both developers. Up to 400 of those homes could be built before the interchange is completed, he said.

The Thatcher farm is across U.S. 15 on Biggs Ford Road. The plan there is to build up to 1.3 million square feet of office space, which could result in thousands of permanent jobs, Dean said.

Both developers are excited to get started, he said.

“The focus was the proximity to Fort Detrick,” he said. “That is the No. 1 economic driver in Frederick County.”

Both companies should have plans developed in the next two years, but there is no way to know when construction could begin, Dean said.

“There is no huge impetus to be building a lot of houses right now,” he said. “It’s dependent on economic factors that are out of our hands right now.”

Commissioner David Gray was the lone dissenting vote.

“Classic sprawl,” Gray said. “Look for problems to come.”

Friends of Frederick County — an activist group opposed to the annexation — filed a lawsuit against the city in 2010. The group alleged the city did not properly prepare for the potential growth and did not complete an appropriate plan. The case is still pending in court, Friends of Frederick County Executive Director Janice Wiles said Thursday.

“I still have the same concerns that I had before,” Wiles said, referring to the dangers of added congestion on U.S. 15 and other factors. “Taking good farmland out of production and sprawling out into the countryside is not a good idea.”

 

Maryland Smart Growth policies support kids walking to school

Why can’t Johnny walk to school? (Soon, he might)

October 28, 2011

David T. Whitaker, AICP Land UseSmart GrowthPlanning ,, 1 Comment

State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Governor Marting O’Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

In late October 2011, Maryland’s Board of Public Works – comprised of Governor Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp – approved a little-noticed package of regulatory changes for new and replacement public school construction that could help enhance smart growth in the state.

In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation informed us, “Why Johnny Can’t Walk to School.”  This groundbreaking report highlighted how shortsighted school construction policies and short term cost considerations across the country undermine existing neighborhood schools and result in the construction of new schools located outside of communities. The reasons were many – overly large acreage standards oriented to suburban design standards; escalating land costs in existing or planned communities; lack of effective communication between local planning departments and school facility planners; and numerous state policies across the nation favoring new school construction in farm fields over sites in existing or planned communities.

In 2007, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) decided to examine school construction and planning practices as they relate to Maryland. This culminated in it’s the 2008 Models & Guidelines publication “Smart Growth, Community Planning and Public School Construction,”. The publication drew national attention and many questions. Ultimately, it started a process of scrutinizing Maryland’s school construction practices with a focus on school siting procedures, capital funding processes and compact/vertical design options for new schools. A broad-based workgroup studied these issues and reported on each one. Three reports which were submitted to the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in the summer of 2009. The key recommendation of the workgroup was for “school construction funding decisions to be subject to Priority Funding Area (PFA) Review in a similar manner to state funding decisions on water & sewer and transportation infrastructure.”

On Wednesday, October 19, 2011, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a set of regulatory changes governing the Maryland Public School Construction Program.  These changes promote location decisions and school construction funding for sustainable community-based new public school construction throughout Maryland. These changes to Section 23.03.02 of COMAR, Administration of the Public School Construction Program, are focused in two areas:  The Capital Improvement Program and Site Selection for New Schools.

How does this change affect the process? Well, when a school system – more formally known as a Local Education Agency or LEA – proposes to build a new school or to increase the state rated capacity (student seat capacity) of a replacement school outside of a PFA, the LEA must request a waiver for approval of planning of the school facility and also funding for construction.

Additionally, unless a waiver is granted, a proposed site for a new school or a replacement school that adds capacity must be located within a PFA.

By requiring PFA review of school construction projects and site approval, Maryland has created a powerful incentive for communities to build new schools in existing neighborhoods, which are far more likely to be pedestrian-friendly or capable of being retrofitted than locations in outlying areas.

This significant step by the Board of Public Works marks a new era toward better decision-making by local and state governments about where new and replacement schools are built.  Schools within PFA’s – whether new or replacement – support the design of pedestrian-friendly communities in which homes, stores and offices as well as libraries, parks, recreation centers and other public facilities are well connected and possibly accessible by foot or bicycle. This as compared to sites isolated from one another and accessible only by motor vehicle travel. Schools located within communities in this manner reduce long term transportation costs and can improve the public health of the students they serve.

With improved community design guidelines that emphasize connectivity of streets and improved walking and bicycle access, schools can once again be anchors that promote the use of active transportation in Maryland communities.

From the public health perspective, experts emphasize the importance of walking or bicycling to school and other routine physical activity as vital to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. In 2007, 29 percent of Maryland children ages 10 to 17 – nearly one in three – were obese or overweight , putting them at increased risk for serious health problems.[i] The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that if current trends continue, one-third of all American adults will have diabetes in 2050.[ii] In addition, vehicle emissions, including particulates from diesel vehicles and the emissions of cars idling around schools as parents wait to pick up their children after school, are shown to contribute to the rise in childhood asthma rates.

A recent report for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) points to mounting evidence that moderately intense physical activity like walking and bicycling can help prevent disease and disability and improve overall health. Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland’s regional and local transportation agencies are now considering human health in their planning on the assumption that increasing the share of “non-motorized” trips (walking and bicycling) can yield improved public health outcomes.

From the fiscal perspective, the cost of transporting students from home to school can be reduced by locating schools in communities. School bus costs have surged in recent years – Maryland spent $225.1 million on student transportation in the 2009-2010 school year. This is a 28 percent jump from the $175.5 million Maryland spent during the 2005-2006 school year. These higher costs are not due to school enrollment growth – transportation costs per pupil rose 26 percent, from $751 to $949, during the same period.[iii] This is not a trend that can be sustained by the state or by local government budgets over the next decade.

Maryland’s new approach towards school siting and construction within PFA’s can be viewed as a significant first step to reverse these serious public health trends and annual escalation in school related transportation costs. Perhaps with an increased focus on Safe Routes to Schools and improved sidewalk and trail access connecting schools and neighborhoods, in the future both Johnny and Jenny will be able to safely walk or bicycle to schools in the communities in which they live throughout Maryland.


[i]Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health; Maryland State Snapshots, Specific Health Problems and Conditions, 2007 Childhood Obesity State Report Card

[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC Division of Media Relations press release; Oct. 22, 2010;

[iii]MSDE Fact Book: Transportation 2009-2010, pp. 44-45, and MSDE Fact Book 2005-2006, pp. 48-49.

 

Maryland passes smart growth policies that support kids walking to school

Why can’t Johnny walk to school? (Soon, he might)

October 28, 2011

David T. Whitaker, AICP Land UseSmart GrowthPlanning ,, 1 Comment

State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Governor Marting O’Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

In late October 2011, Maryland’s Board of Public Works – comprised of Governor Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp – approved a little-noticed package of regulatory changes for new and replacement public school construction that could help enhance smart growth in the state.

In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation informed us, “Why Johnny Can’t Walk to School.”  This groundbreaking report highlighted how shortsighted school construction policies and short term cost considerations across the country undermine existing neighborhood schools and result in the construction of new schools located outside of communities. The reasons were many – overly large acreage standards oriented to suburban design standards; escalating land costs in existing or planned communities; lack of effective communication between local planning departments and school facility planners; and numerous state policies across the nation favoring new school construction in farm fields over sites in existing or planned communities.

In 2007, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) decided to examine school construction and planning practices as they relate to Maryland. This culminated in it’s the 2008 Models & Guidelines publication “Smart Growth, Community Planning and Public School Construction,”. The publication drew national attention and many questions. Ultimately, it started a process of scrutinizing Maryland’s school construction practices with a focus on school siting procedures, capital funding processes and compact/vertical design options for new schools. A broad-based workgroup studied these issues and reported on each one. Three reports which were submitted to the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in the summer of 2009. The key recommendation of the workgroup was for “school construction funding decisions to be subject to Priority Funding Area (PFA) Review in a similar manner to state funding decisions on water & sewer and transportation infrastructure.”

On Wednesday, October 19, 2011, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a set of regulatory changes governing the Maryland Public School Construction Program.  These changes promote location decisions and school construction funding for sustainable community-based new public school construction throughout Maryland. These changes to Section 23.03.02 of COMAR, Administration of the Public School Construction Program, are focused in two areas:  The Capital Improvement Program and Site Selection for New Schools.

How does this change affect the process? Well, when a school system – more formally known as a Local Education Agency or LEA – proposes to build a new school or to increase the state rated capacity (student seat capacity) of a replacement school outside of a PFA, the LEA must request a waiver for approval of planning of the school facility and also funding for construction.

Additionally, unless a waiver is granted, a proposed site for a new school or a replacement school that adds capacity must be located within a PFA.

By requiring PFA review of school construction projects and site approval, Maryland has created a powerful incentive for communities to build new schools in existing neighborhoods, which are far more likely to be pedestrian-friendly or capable of being retrofitted than locations in outlying areas.

This significant step by the Board of Public Works marks a new era toward better decision-making by local and state governments about where new and replacement schools are built.  Schools within PFA’s – whether new or replacement – support the design of pedestrian-friendly communities in which homes, stores and offices as well as libraries, parks, recreation centers and other public facilities are well connected and possibly accessible by foot or bicycle. This as compared to sites isolated from one another and accessible only by motor vehicle travel. Schools located within communities in this manner reduce long term transportation costs and can improve the public health of the students they serve.

With improved community design guidelines that emphasize connectivity of streets and improved walking and bicycle access, schools can once again be anchors that promote the use of active transportation in Maryland communities.

From the public health perspective, experts emphasize the importance of walking or bicycling to school and other routine physical activity as vital to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. In 2007, 29 percent of Maryland children ages 10 to 17 – nearly one in three – were obese or overweight , putting them at increased risk for serious health problems.[i] The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that if current trends continue, one-third of all American adults will have diabetes in 2050.[ii] In addition, vehicle emissions, including particulates from diesel vehicles and the emissions of cars idling around schools as parents wait to pick up their children after school, are shown to contribute to the rise in childhood asthma rates.

A recent report for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) points to mounting evidence that moderately intense physical activity like walking and bicycling can help prevent disease and disability and improve overall health. Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland’s regional and local transportation agencies are now considering human health in their planning on the assumption that increasing the share of “non-motorized” trips (walking and bicycling) can yield improved public health outcomes.

From the fiscal perspective, the cost of transporting students from home to school can be reduced by locating schools in communities. School bus costs have surged in recent years – Maryland spent $225.1 million on student transportation in the 2009-2010 school year. This is a 28 percent jump from the $175.5 million Maryland spent during the 2005-2006 school year. These higher costs are not due to school enrollment growth – transportation costs per pupil rose 26 percent, from $751 to $949, during the same period.[iii] This is not a trend that can be sustained by the state or by local government budgets over the next decade.

Maryland’s new approach towards school siting and construction within PFA’s can be viewed as a significant first step to reverse these serious public health trends and annual escalation in school related transportation costs. Perhaps with an increased focus on Safe Routes to Schools and improved sidewalk and trail access connecting schools and neighborhoods, in the future both Johnny and Jenny will be able to safely walk or bicycle to schools in the communities in which they live throughout Maryland.


[i]Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health; Maryland State Snapshots, Specific Health Problems and Conditions, 2007 Childhood Obesity State Report Card

[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC Division of Media Relations press release; Oct. 22, 2010;

[iii]MSDE Fact Book: Transportation 2009-2010, pp. 44-45, and MSDE Fact Book 2005-2006, pp. 48-49.

 

Tonight (Monday, Oct 10th 7pm) FREE FILM and discussion: join others who care about our kids’ lunch food

Locally grown watermelon, apples and peaches are on the menu at  FCPSWHEN: Monday evening, October 10th at 7pm

WHERE: Maryland Ensemble Theater, 31 W. Patrick , downtown Frederick (basement theater of the FSK Hotel)

WHAT: FREE documentary film Two Angry Moms followed by Judith Gordon, FCPS Farm-to-School Program director.

In the documentary film Two Angry Moms, a pair of mothers team up in a movement to change the way American children eat in school cafeterias and fight for quality nutrition in our school system. (Length: 60 min.)

Judith Gordon, Frederick County’s director for the public school Farm-to-School Program, works to put nutritious and local foods on our kids’ lunch plates. Come to learn more about what she’s doing. Judith will lead our post-film discussion.

refreshments available

Not worried about school lunches? Pass it on to someone you know who might be. Thanks.

 

Call for help with stranded fish on Potomac River

The Potomac River is forecasted to severely flood in the upcoming week. The high water is predicted to crest at 32 ft @ the POR gauge. When this occurs it will crest the C/O canal in multiple locations. This high water event will cause many fish to be become stranded and trapped in the normally dry C/O canal. Then as the water receeds these fish become stranded and they will ultimately perish as the water slowly drains back out of the once dry canal. We are in need of a few volunteers to assist with recovery efforts through the Washington,Frederick and Montgomery County areas. This same exact event occured this spring as well as the spring prior and recovery efforts saved thousands of fish.

We specifically need individuals who are going to be in chest high, muddy, rock infested, logjam filled water. ( paints a pretty picture doesn’t it?) I need thick chest waders, no slip ( no felt) boots ,etc. Individuals should be prepared to get dirty and work very hard in and around boulders,downed trees and mud. This is very labor intensive work and in very difficult work environment.

WHAT TO BRING:

-Chest waders ( neoprene or breathable)

- Seine nets

- throw nets

- long handled nets

- 5 gal buckets ( working w/ Lowes and Home Depot to donate)

- change of clothes

- food and water for yourself.

- cell phone/camera ( for documentation and communication)

- plenty of sleep the night prior

- a positive attitude, regardless of how many fish are recovered per. portion of canal

Interested parties can email me at fishpotomac@ msn.com ASAP. As always..questions,concerns? EMAIL ME. If you are a user of the Potomac River then you owe it to her…its time to give back.