Update: March 23, 2021

Watershed properties remain open, however as of March 15, 2021, permits are required.

All 800 plus Watershed Users that purchased a 2020 Seasonal Watershed Permit prior to the Watershed closing in March 2020 have been sent their complimentary permit or have received instructions on how to generate their permit on-line.

All 2020 Watershed Permit holders that purchased a 2020 Seasonal Boat Mooring Stake prior to last year’s closing were mailed their complimentary Watershed User Permit and their 2021 Boat Mooring Stickers on
March 8.

Complimentary permits cannot be completed online at this time.

Patuxent Watershed staff are reaching out to the watershed users that were unable to obtain a boat stake last year to process their purchase for the 2021 boat mooring stake.  Anyone purchasing a boat mooring stake must complete their purchase at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center with a check or cash only.

All in-person transactions at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center are being done with minimal contact with users directed to stay in their cars.

The cashier’s window at the WSSC headquarters remains closed to the public. 


Watershed Permits:


As per WSSC Water Watershed Regulations:

WSSC Water reserves the right to close a portion of, or the entire watershed without prior notice if:

  • water quality is negatively affected,
  • water levels drop to unacceptable levels,
  • the health and safety of the watershed, WSSC’s Water systems, customers, or permitted watershed users are at risk.

At its sole discretion, WSSC Water may change these regulations for any other reason as needed

Please call (301) 206-4386(4FUN) before making any watershed permit purchases to ensure the reservoir that you’d like to use is currently open for recreation.

History

Established in 1959, Brighton Dam’s Azalea Garden is home to over 22,000 azalea bushes over 5 acres in a hardwood forest.  Kousa dogwood trees were added in the 1990’s and the garden is also home to Montgomery County’s champion fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus).     

The idea for the garden was from WSSC Water Commissioner Raymond Bellamy.   WSSC Water Watershed Manager Paul Hancock led the work as the garden was planted in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.   An updated gazebo was installed by WSSC Water watershed staff in 2012. Ben Morrison was the former Chief of the Plant Introduction Section and Director of the National Arboretum, United States Department of Agriculture. Glenn Dale, MD is the location of USDA’s Plant Introduction Section and Morrison named the variety of azalea in honor of the community.

The majority of the azaleas in the garden bloom around Mother’s Day.

Azalea Garden Photo Gallery

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Specific Varieties of Azaleas in the Garden

GLENN DALE AZALEAS

  1. Glacier - Very large, leafy green plant, white bloom - midseason.

KURUME AZALEAS

  1. Coral Bells - Shell pink, shaded darker, early.
  2. Hino Crimson - Single, brilliant red, non-fading, early.
  3. Hinodegiri - Single, brilliant scarlet, heavy bloomer, early.
  4. Hinomayo - Single, soft pink, foliage small, plant tall, early.
  5. Pink Pearl - Salmon rose, with light centers, early.
  6. Salmon Beauty - Salmon pink, light green foliage, early.
  7. Salmon Queen - Large plant, salmon colored blossoms - very late.
  8. Snow - Snow white, very compact growth, early.

JOSEPH GABLE AZALEAS

  1. Herbert - Semi double, large frilled and ruffled, dark crimson, purple, midseason.
  2. Royalty - Double, bright purple, midseason.

MOLLIS AZALEA HYBRIDS

We have a few deciduous varieties planted near the main entrance to the gardens. These plants are upright and tall, with very large flowers and a very striking range of colors from yellow orange to orange red. They are midseason bloomers.

AZALEAS - MISCELLANEOUS, HYBRIDS AND OTHERS

  1. Indica Rosea - Large flowers, flushed pinkish white, midseason.
  2. Indica Alba - single, pure white, broad grower, late.
  3. Indica magnifica - Single, large flowers, spotted and flushed with pink, late.
  4. Macrantha - Single, salmon red, very late. 

Where can I find more information about azaleas?

Check out the Azalea Society of America web page at www.azaleas.org. Another good source for information about azaleas can be found at www.theazaleaworks.com. A broader source of information that includes rhododendrons as well as azaleas can be found at the American Rhododendron Society web site at www.rhododendron.org or at the Rhododendron Species Foundation web site at www.rhodygarden.org/index.html.

If you are looking for a particular azalea variety, check the Plant Sources Page for tips on locating a source. 

Last Modified: April 13, 2021, 9:17 am EDT