Blooming Azaleas Bring Family Fun
Snap Colorful Photos in Five Acres of Flowers
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laurel – May 2, 2014: Enjoy this long-awaited spring in the midst of 26,000 gorgeous azaleas at WSSC’s Brighton Dam. The five-acre garden, planted beginning in 1959, is now open. It’s a spacious spot for a stroll any day, and a great destination for colorful family photos on Mother’s Day.
WSSC’s Brighton Dam Azalea Garden
6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily, including Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11th
2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookeville, MD
The Azalea Garden is FREE and open to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Elderly or disabled visitors can drivethrough the garden Mondays through Fridays only, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors can bring food to enjoy at the nearby Brighton Dam picnic ground, which also features a children’s play area.
The garden within a hardwood forest is also home to the Maryland state champion fringe tree. Kousa dogwood trees were added in the 1990’s. WSSC has planted several new azalea beds, including three devoted to deciduous azaleas and a bed filled with the Gable hybrid azalea “Karen.” The Azalea Garden can be rented for events.
The garden is part of the 5,600-acre Patuxent Watershed. Four-thousand of those acres create a riparian buffer around Triadelphia and T. Howard Duckett (Rocky Gorge) reservoirs which store water that ultimately becomes WSSC drinking water. Recreational uses are a secondary benefit to the community.
WSSC Commissioner Raymond Bellamy proposed the garden in the late 1950’s. WSSC Watershed Manager Paul Hancock led its planting. Ben Morrison, who served as both director of the National Arboretum and chief of the Plant Introduction Section, developed the Glenn Dale azalea variety to honor the section’s hometown. Glenn Dale, Kurumi, and Gable are among the varieties planted in the 1960’s.
For more information, visit http://www.wsscwater.com/azaleas or call Brighton Dam at 301-774-9124.
For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.