Maryland’s Sweet 16 Fact Sheet

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Maryland has 16 Community Colleges: also known as Maryland’s Sweet 16.

1. 70% of Maryland freshmen and sophomore college students are enrolled in one of Maryland’s 16 community colleges.

2. Each year, Maryland’s community colleges enroll a diverse population of nearly 500,000 students – 150,000 in credit programs and 350,000 in continuing education and workforce development courses.

3. At the very core of the missions of community colleges is accessibility to a diverse population. Community colleges effectively cater to those working full-time jobs, caring for an aging or ill family member, those serving in the military, and many other life circumstances. We do so through innovative day, evening, weekend, and 24/7 online opportunities.

4. More than 50% of Maryland’s community college students transfer to in-state colleges and universities to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

5. Maryland’s community colleges have dozens of transfer agreements with colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state, that guarantee the maximum number of credits will transfer and save students thousands of dollars in achieving their bachelor’s degrees.

6. There are 156 non-credit program options at Maryland’s community colleges that meet professional licensing and certification requirements for in-demand jobs within our local communities – to over 100,000 students annually.

7. The average student-to-faculty ratio at Maryland’s community colleges is 16:1, which encourages a collegiate environment of increased student/faculty engagement.

8. Maryland’s community colleges engage diverse student populations through enriching co-curricular activities, service opportunities, and clubs. Students participate in successful, competitive men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs as part of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MDJUCO) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

9. 88% of alumni from Maryland’s 16 community colleges remain within the state and they contribute to their local and state economies by purchasing goods and services and as engaged tax-paying citizens.

10. Since 2009, there has been a 40% increase in community college completions. During this time, the cost of higher education has skyrocketed becoming the 2nd highest consumer debt behind mortgages. Students who start at a Maryland community college can save 60% compared to public four year colleges, 76 % compared to forprofit colleges, and 91% compared to Maryland private colleges’ tuition costs.

11. Community College students learn from an accomplished faculty that is student-focused. Additionally, student support is one of the ways community colleges stand out among other higher education institutions. Typical services include academic and career advising, counseling, tutorials, health care, financial aid, and library and computer lab services.

12. Nearly $10 billion is pumped into Maryland’s economy every year by our 16 community colleges. (equivalent to employment of 150,000 people)

13. By 2020, 69% of Maryland’s jobs will require a postsecondary education. Community colleges are the largest single workforce trainer in Maryland.

14. Due to Maryland’s community college students and their completion, Maryland will see avoided social costs amounting to $494 million annually, equal to the sum of avoided costs related to health, crime, and unemployment.

15. Maryland community colleges offer degree, certificate and skills training programs to support workforce development for the region’s fastest growing industries such as nursing, allied health, cybersecurity, and hospitality.

16. Graduating from one of Maryland’s community colleges has proven to have a profound impact on earnings. The median income for graduates more than doubles three years after completion when compared to student earnings one-year prior to graduation.

Garrett College Foundation’s 9th Annual Spring Scholarship Benefit to be held on May 10th

The Garrett College Foundation is preparing for this year’s upcoming spring scholarship benefit. The 9th annual fundraiser will take place on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Twin Tails Event Farm in Oakland, MD beginning at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails followed by dinner and entertainment. All proceeds from the event will support scholarships for Garrett College students.

The “New and Magical Experiences” event will be held in a quintessential country setting, along Maryland’s Scenic Route in iconic Pleasant Valley with rolling hills, green pastures and the setting sun over the mountain tops. Twin Tails Event Farm features upscale elegance with a touch of country, with spaces throughout the venue as unique as the venue itself. Custom touches combined with age-old structures bring a new meaning to farmhouse charm.

Food and beverage offerings will tempt all the senses while being served at active stations throughout the various spaces of the venue. Magnolia Catering Company, Twin Tails Event Farm’s exclusive in-house catering company, will present in The Hayloft of The Traditional Bank Barn, an elaborate Grazing Table, while pairing it with fine varietals of red and white wines. An impressive carving station adventure on The Veranda will showcase prime beef tenderloin, Berkshire pork tenderloin, and Venison from Strip District Meats in Pittsburgh, to be served with southern buttermilk biscuits, an au jus swim, warm chimichurri sauce, and Jezebel Sauce. Cold, local brews will flow from the taps of the Original Corn Crib Draft Bar, each paired perfectly to suit the hearty meat selections. The brand new food atrium located at the entrance to The Bank Barn will feature a Mash-Tini station serving golden Russet mashed potatoes blended with fresh cream and roasted garlic served “straight up” with toppings such as southern white gravy, rosemary julienne chicken, and Maplewood bacon. To compliment the theme, Martini Mike will be “shaking” handcrafted martinis such as The Dirty Bird, The Chicago Gin, and The Bikini Martini. The fun and funky Milking Parlor will take you on a trip south of the border with street tacos of beef barbacoa, ancho chicken, and pork carnitas served with all the fixing’s, making you believe that all you really do need is LOVE and a taco! Fresh seafood ceviche and house-made guacamole will pair nicely with lime and strawberry margaritas. It will be a participation station where you will build your own tacos and enjoy! A much-anticipated treat for Garrett County residents will be Chef Reece Duncan from The Slippery Mermaid of Sewickley, PA, and a Southern Garrett County High School alumnus, entertaining guests with a “live” sushi experience. The “live” station will be interactive and informative with offerings to include favorite sushi rolls, sashimi, nigiri, and crudos. Dessert has not been overlooked at this event. The uber popular Lake Side Creamery will be dipping its most popular flavors, Heidi’s Bakery will provide homemade cookies, and there will be a Sweet Tooth Station headlining New York style cheesecake with delectable garnishes from warm chocolate drizzle to amaretto-infused fruits.

Michael Cantori, one of the region’s premier illusionists from the Washington, DC area, will present class-act entertainment for the event along with Sound Fusion who will provide an evening of music and dancing as well as The Three Weeks band who will be performing during the reception on the Veranda.

This will truly be an evening of magical experiences for everyone!

The cost of the evening is $100.00 per person until 4/26/19 and $125.00 per person after 4/26/19.  The ticket price includes a tax-deductible gift to the Garrett College Scholarship.

For additional information on the upcoming event, including tickets or sponsorships, persons may contact the Garrett College Foundation office at 301-387-3100.

AAUW-Garrett Branch to Celebrate Over 70 Years with an Anniversary Celebration Dinner

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) – Garrett Branch is celebrating its 70th(+3) anniversary as one of the longest running women’s organizations in Garrett County.  To celebrate its history in Garrett County, the AAUW-Garrett Branch will be hosting an anniversary dinner on April 12 at Ace’s Run Restaurant & Pub.  Advanced registration with AAUW is required.

Those who have been members of AAUW at any time or who wish to celebrate a mother or grandmother who was active in AAUW are invited to attend the anniversary dinner, as are any member of the community wishing to join in the celebration.  The evening planned will bring guests back to the 1940’s and will feature a delicious meal, cash bar with signature cocktail, a brief presentation of our branch’s history, and the chance to dress up in the style of the 1940’s.  Tickets for the dinner are $30/person, and reservations must be made by April 1st.

The dinner will also kick-off the AAUW-Maryland state convention held on Saturday, April 13, at Wisp Resort.

In the mid-1940’s, two Garrett County women, Polly Hanst and Donna Littman, dreamed of forming a Garrett County Branch of AAUW to bring college educated women together.  The purpose of the group would be educational and cultural, promoting opportunities for local women to make use of their talents and abilities.  In September 1946, their goal was realized when they were granted Maryland-AAUW state affiliation and held their first meeting.  Local women in attendance included Angela Smart, Miss Sybille (Painter) Sharps, Mrs. Leo Helbig, Mrs. S.T. Naylor, Mrs. Roser Bennett, and Miss Ruth Keller, who served as temporary chair and would become the first president of AAUW-Garrett Branch.

Other early members of the AAUW-Garrett Branch included Mrs. Robert Hoffman, Edith Brock (who remained a member until her death a few years ago), Mrs. Berve Mussard, and Miss Susie Smith.

The early years of the organization featured programs in music, art, education, local history, international cultures, conservation and environmental protection, and family and community concerns.  All monies raised by the group went for college scholarships for women, a tradition AAUW-Garrett Branch continues today.

The national AAUW organization formed in 1881.  At the time, a prominent male physician had declared that “education for women is abominable” and asserted that an educated woman would “produce malformed offspring”.  To dispel that type of thinking, 17 young graduate women representing 8 universities gathered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and voted to organize an association of women college graduates.  These first college-educated women had stepped into a world that was largely unprepared for them.

The state of Maryland formed a statewide organization of AAUW in 1942, with Garrett County following in 1946.  In 2017, a student chapter of AAUW formed at Garrett College.  As the number of women seeing advanced education grew, so too did membership in AAUW with over 170,000 members and supporters today.  AAUW-Garrett Branch is one of over a thousand branches throughout the country, and the student chapter at Garrett College is one of approximately 800 student chapters.

Over three-quarters of a century, AAUW nationally, including AAUW-Maryland and the Maryland branches, has been instrumental in advancing the status of women, advocating for legislation focusing on women’s equity, working for high standards and continuing improvement of higher education for women, and providing grant and scholarship opportunities for women of all ages to attend college.  This remains a priority of the AAUW-Garrett Branch, which currently funds over $4,000 each year for local women to attend college.  Other present day priorities include mentoring middle school girls and providing leadership and career development opportunities to women and girls.  Although circumstances and opportunities have changed throughout the last 73 years, the group’s greatest work, especially in education and women’s equity issues, is still to come.

To register for the anniversary dinner and/or learn more about becoming a member of AAUW-Garrett Branch, please call Judy A. Carbone, Branch President, at 301-616-5036.

Garrett County Commission for Women – HOF and Scholarships

One more week! March 29 is the deadline for nominations to be postmarked for receipt by the Garrett County Commission for Women for the Women’s Hall of Fame and for the Commission’s scholarships.

The Commission is seeking nominations for outstanding Garrett County women for induction into the Hall of Fame on May 4. Nominees should be women who are role models for tomorrow’s female leaders and who have made substantial or outstanding contributions to the economic, political, and cultural life of Garrett County. Both contemporary and historical women can be nominated.

The Commission also awards five general scholarships of $500 and one $5,000 scholarship. The general scholarships are for women who have lived in the County for at least 5 years, are at least 20 years of age and accepted into or attending an academic or vocational program. The $5,000 award is the Maureen R. Sharps Scholarship for similarly qualified women who are pursuing a degree in Education or a related field.

More information for both the Hall of Fame nominations and the scholarships is available on the Commission’s Facebook page and the website – Or you can contact any Commission member or Scholarship Chair Lisa Thayer Welch.

Tuesday March 19

Yesterday we experienced some snow showers early and some flurries in the afternoon. Today will be sunny, with a high near 39 and a low around 26.

Cyclists from all over the world are enjoying 355 uninterrupted miles of beautiful scenery and fascinating history on one of America’s most treasured biking destinations. Consisting of two connecting trails, the C&O Canal Towpath (Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland) and the Great Allegheny Passage (Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA), there’s a nice documentary called The Great Ride that really brings it to life.  I know lots of people that ride the trail and they all love it.

The Deep Creek Dunk is still “on” and in fundraising mode and they are down to the FINAL WEEK of fundraising for incentives! You can get cool new stuff AND help them reach their goal of $200,000 for the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. They raised over $23,000 from the Cool Schools Dunk and $160,000 overall, I believe.

It’s Trivia Night at MoonShadow this evening from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. They also run happy hour and specials then.

A timeshare for the month of August has just been listed in our online marketplace. Time to start planning your summer trip to the lake!

Here’s an interesting “mix of things” at the Garrett County Fairgrounds on March 30th and March 31st. There will be boats, food trucks, RVs and power sports. Here’s a link.

The existing permit for the operation of Deep Creek Station (the Deep Creek Dam), is due to expire on April 1st. Current operator Brookfield Power Piney & Deep Creek Lake LLC seeks to renew their appropriation permit for the operation of the Deep Creek Station hydroelectric generation facility and their application seeks to increase an existing allocation from an annual average of 94,000,000 gallons per day (gpd) to 128,000,000 gpd. Click here for a lot more detail from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Quantum Financial Advisors: Reaching Millennial Investors


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Monday March 18

The weekend was cooler and a bit blustery, but was quite nice. Snow is likely, mainly before 10:00 am this morning, with an accumulation of an inch or less forecast. The day will then turn partly sunny, with a high near 35. There will be a northwest wind of 5 to 10 mph. Looks like we still need those coats!

We just received some information on slope-side lighting and closures regarding Wisp from one of their ski patrol folks. Lift one is already closed and there is no more night skiing through Thursday. There will be night skiing Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd on the front-side only. Starting March 24th, night skiing is done for the season. North Camp closes today for the season and East Ridge closes for the season on Monday, March 25th. Please contact Wisp directly to confirm and get more detailed information.

Need needlework?  The Needlework Group is meeting at both the Kitzmiller branch and the Oakland branches of the Ruth Enlow library this evening.  Open to all and you can work any kind of needlework you wish to during these sessions. Fun and relaxing.

Congratulations go out to Southern Garrett High School Wrestling, who are state champs after a 39 – 0 season!  Congratulations are also in order for the SHS Basketball team, which made it to the state championship game this weekend, falling to lake Clifton 64 – 46.  Well done and very impressive.

Did you know that “blowing” or placing grass clippings onto the road can be dangerous and possibly illegal in some areas?  As the weather turns toward Spring and yard work, we thought we would mention it and also include a link to an article that ran late last summer.

Our congratulations to Judy Carbone of HART for Animals and numerous other endeavors in Garrett County for Being included in the 2019 Top 100 Women in Maryland as compiled by The Maryland Daily Record. Thanks for all you do to better our community Judy.

On a negative note, I want to offer condolences publicly to my business partner and co-owner of Deep Creek Times, Sarah Myers, and all in her family. Sarah lost her dear Pap on Friday. Mr. Ritchie had a full life and the love of his family and will be greatly missed.

Loar Auxiliary funds Advanced Cataract Surgery Equipment

Thanks to a donation from the Loar Auxiliary, Garrett Regional Medical Center’s ophthalmic surgeons will be equipped with the latest technology in cataract surgery.  Doctors Lauren DiGiovine, Heath L. Lemley and Stephen R. Powell of Regional Eyes Associates currently perform cataract and other ophthalmic surgical procedures at GRMC.

“We have been providing comprehensive eye surgeries for over thirty years at GRMC.  Having this surgical equipment is a game changer for our patients that we serve at our clinic locations,” said Stephen R. Powell, MD.  “With the most advanced equipment in cataract surgery, we’re able to perform complex cataract procedures that traditionally would have required patients to travel to our surgical center in Morgantown. We’re very pleased to have this technology now available in Oakland.”

The equipment, Centurion® Vision System, combines multiple, intelligent technologies and key features to provide surgeons control and improved efficiency during the cataract surgical procedures.  The technology will aid the surgeons in optimizing the overall cataract procedure process through greater pressure consistency and stability.  This will also enhance the patient experience by helping to reduce procedure and recovery time.

“Thanks to the amazing efforts our Loar Auxiliary members, we were able to raise the funds needed to purchase this surgery-enhancing equipment,” said Kendra Thayer, RN, MSN, Senior Vice President of Patient Services at GRMC.  “The ophthalmologists of Regional Eye Associates provide great care to the people of our community; we want to ensure they have access to the best equipment possible while doing procedures at our hospital.”

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than two million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States annually. Cataract surgeries are among the most common surgical procedures in the world.  A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens gradually turns from clear to cloudy, causing blurriness, discoloration and light sensitivity   Approximately 24.5 million Americans have cataracts, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S.   Cataract surgery remains the most effective way to help restore vision for those with the condition.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about Regional Eye Associates, you may call the Oakland office at 301-334-1146 or Cumberland at 301-722-3500.

Women’s Monologues: A Celebration of Women’s History

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) – Garrett Branch is presenting a production at Our Town Theatre titled “Women’s Monologues: A Celebration of Women’s History Month” on Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 PM.  The public is invited to join in this celebration of women who made a difference for women and girls both today and throughout history.

The production will highlight a series of local women portraying famous and influential women of history — women who made a difference in fighting for and securing rights for other women during the Women’s Right Movement over the past 175 years.  Who they are and what they stood for will be presented in a short monologue in the first person with the actor dressed similarly to how the historical figure dressed.

The Women’s Monologues production has been a part of the local Women’s History Month celebration periodically over the past 20+ years.  Originally put on by AAUW-Garrett Branch in the 1990’s, the program was championed and enhanced by Dr. Terry Kasecamp, Professor of Psychology at Garrett College, until 2015, when the program was last offered at Garrett College.  This year, AAUW-Garrett Branch has taken on the project in light of women’s rights, equity and strong voices being thrust into the national spotlight across the country.

The women from history who will be portrayed include Elizabeth Cady Stanton portrayed by Sadie Liller; Sojourner Truth portrayed by Kate Smith Brodie; Susan B. Anthony portrayed by Rose Gordy; Eleanor Roosevelt portrayed by Betty Pritt; Betty Friedan portrayed by Patty Wells; Dolores Huerta portrayed by Gloria Salazar; Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrayed by Kam Gillespie; and Emma Watson portrayed by Lillia Rose.  Other women actors in the production include Sue Lisantti, Maxine Shindel, Linda Herdering, Liz Williams and Kim Alexander.

Says Judy Carbone, President of AAUW-Garrett Branch, who will also have a role in the performance: “We hope many in the community will join us for a celebration of women’s history and women who made a difference in the lives of both women and men today.  The celebration of these amazing women and the learning enjoyed by both the actors and those in the audience will be phenomenal!”  Carbone continues:  “Members of AAUW-Garrett Branch are proud to present these monologues and grateful to partner with Our Town Theatre.”

Reservations are required and can be made by calling Our Town Theatre at 301-334-5640.  Seats are limited so those interested are encouraged to call for their reservations as soon as possible. There is a $5.00 per person charge.

Sipside Lounge in Oakland is Open and Going Strong

As many have already discovered in the few short-weeks since its opening, there’s a new and unique establishment open in downtown Oakland – Sipside Lounge. This new establishment offers locals, visitors and second homeowners alike a great setting that provides a respite from the “realities” of day-to-day life via a relaxing, classic environment.

A music-themed lounge located in the heart of historic downtown Oakland, Sipside Lounge resides in a restored 100+ year old building. It features a relaxed and unique environment to enjoy beers with Maryland roots, sophisticated wines by the glass and bottle, and select specialty spirits and classic cocktails. You’ll be surrounded by music and memorabilia designed to take you back to bygone eras in order to “pause” and “unwind” while meeting new friends, including their amazing staff.

Sipside is adjacent to her sister enterprise, Flipside Sounds, which features vintage and new vinyl records and much more. Flipside offers a perfect before- or after- destination to take in classic posters, records and other memorabilia sure to bring back memories of special bands, concerts and songs. We have found that the memorabilia and decorations of these adjoining destinations, combined with the fine wine, beer and cocktails available at Sipside, make for a very enjoyable experience.

Owners Pat and Barb Frac have a lot to be proud of as their newest venture takes off. They currently have a number of “special events” planned, including a St. Paddy’s Day Celebration scheduled for Sunday March 17th from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm. They will have live entertainment, Irish-themed snacks and some special giveaways. They also plan on keeping Flipside Sounds open later to accommodate those guests that wish to visit next-door to peruse vinyl records and other cool offerings.

Sipside Lounge is located at 119 S. 2nd Street in historic downtown Oakland and can be reached at 301.533.2960

Garrett County Health Department Issues Overdose Alert

The Garrett County Health Department issued an overdose alert after learning there has been a recent increase in overdoses related to opiates in and around Garrett County.

“While we are not certain what caused the spike at that time, there has been an increase of overdoses in Maryland due to the presence of the powerful synthetic opioid drug fentanyl,” said Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens.

Fentanyl is roughly 100 times more potent than heroin. It is being mixed with other drugs including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine to increase their potency, which also increases lethality and the likelihood of an overdose.

Signs of an opioid overdose may include constricted pinpoint pupils, a limp body in a person who does not wake up or respond to touch, low, shallow breathing, slow or faint heartbeat, and choking, gurgling or vomiting.

If witnessing an overdose, it is important to call 911, and that the individual gets immediate medical care. If a person on the scene has access to naloxone (an opioid antidote) they should administer it immediately. Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law protects a person from arrest for drug and alcohol charges if they call for help for someone else who has overdosed.

Persons interested in being trained and issued doses of the antidote, sometimes referred to by the brand name Narcan, should call the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334-7700, ext. 6514 to receive more information.

Monday March 4

We had some frozen fog on Friday evening and some significant snowfall on Sunday, with a Snow Emergency Plan put in place by the State Police 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon. Today’s weather will be mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers until about 2pm. A high temperature near 19 and a low around 5 with wind chill values as low as -10.

We’ve gotten at least 6 inches of snow this weekend. GET OUTSIDE! 🙂

Here’s a semi close-up of the frozen fog or rime ice on a small tree on my property. It basically formed crystals and then “nodules” that kept layering on top of one another.Frozen Fog or Rime Ice on Deep Creek Lake, MD Tree

We are thrilled to have begun a relationship with Jay Ferguson, Owner/Associate Broker of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and Sales and 2018-2019 Realtor of the Year.  Jay is truly engaged in the community as well as the lake-area real estate market. You can check out Jay’s new page on Deep Creek Times right here.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has contracted with West Virginia University to conduct a survey of 2,400 county visitors over the next year in an effort to learn more about visitor demographic and usage profiles and economic impact. Data will be compared to findings from a similar survey done in 2009 to ascertain any changes.  I am looking forward to seeing the results when WVU issues the report.

This one is for all you veterans, as I know we have a number of retiree veteran readers: A few weeks ago, Governor Hogan declared 2019 the Year of the Veteran.  As part of that effort he is also trying to get legislation passed in this session that would exempt veteran pensions from Maryland state income taxes.  This could be huge for our retired veteran readers so I wanted to loop-around and make sure you were all aware of this.

ATTENTION ALL READERS:  We have some vouchers for lift tickets (2), ski/snowboard rentals (2) and tube park (3) to give away this week!  We will bundle the two lift/two rental vouchers into one prize and the three tubing vouchers into another prize.  So, two (2) of our readers can WIN. If you want to enter, please complete this form or send us an email to by Midnight Friday, 3/8 with your requested prize in the subject line AND tell us one thing you really like/love about the Deep Creek Lake area. We will randomly pick one winner in each category and will also print some of the “what I like” statements in a future edition of Notes. Note: these vouchers are only good for this winter season, so if you are about to fly to Fiji for a month, you may want to pass! Good luck!

Congratulations to the Garrett County robotics teams! The FTC 2818 Team G-FORCE is going to World Championships in Detroit after winning the State Championship and FIRST Team 1629 is going to the CHS District Championships at George Mason University!

Here’s the quick list of March activities at the Deep Creek Lake State Park Discovery Center. They always have great indoor and outdoor experiential learning (and fun) things going on. We will also be including each one in our events section, as always:

Saturday, March 9th – 9:00 am- 3:00 pm Sang Run State Park –Maple Syrup Making Demonstration. 

Sunday, March 10th – 1:00 pm  Women with Wings  Join us for this special Women’s History Month program at our aviary.

Saturday, March 16th – 1:00 p.m  S.T.E.M. like a Girl Join us in the science room to discover hands on science exploration pioneered by women.

Saturday, March 23rd – 1:00 pm  Mosses and ‘Manders Hike  Learn basic moss identification and search for the salamanders that call the Appalachian Plateau home.

Saturday, March 30th – 11:00 am  Signs of Spring Hike   Join the Naturalist for a two-mile hike searching for plants, birds and animal activity that tell us it’s spring.

“Wildfulness” Podcast Brings New “Edutainment” Channel to Western Maryland

For our March cover story, we wanted to highlight Western Maryland’s first and only podcast dedicated to exploring the life, history, and culture of our region. It’s called “Wildfulness,” and while the name may not be one that is easily remembered, or rolls right off the tongue, it expresses what it’s producer/creator calls “the essence of the magic of being in the mountains of Garrett and Allegany counties – the wilderness and natural beauty, the connection to an important part of our nation’s history and heritage, and the state of ‘mindfulness’ that seems to come more easily here than in a lot of other places.”

Lisa Cole began the podcast in July of 2017, and now with 46 episodes on a wide variety of topics, and two mini-grants from the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, the effort is really coming into its own. Each episode is painstakingly researched (often with the help of her history-major son), and the sound design features bits of songs, music clips, sounds, and audio clues and cues that help make it an immersive experience. Her favorite episodes include a two-part feature on The Legacy of Coal, a feature-length episode on the B&O Train Station in Oakland, the photography of Leo Beachy, the history of barn quilts, and most recently, the fascination and magic of the Cranesville Swamp, featuring an extensive interview with an environmental ecologist from the Nature Conservancy. She also produces episodes on new businesses in the area, such as the one on the Monkey Business Aerial Adventure Park. Upcoming episodes will feature maple sugaring in Western MD, springtime birding tips and tricks, and the 3-day Chautauqua event in Mountain Lake Park this July.

The recording process is the final step in a long process of planning, info gathering & researching, interviewing, scripting, sound design, etc., followed by extensive post production.

It all started when Lisa purchased a vintage, 1955, 900 sq ft cabin in Deep Creek in October of 2012, one week before Hurricane Sandy hit, and while that was not an experience she says she would like to repeat, the six and one-half year journey since then has been an amazing adventure that has brought a lot of learning, joy, and new relationships. In addition to beefing up her audio engineering skills (she was a music major in college but had some “upgrading” to do), she has become familiar with many of the local sights, sounds, and must-see features of Western Maryland, as she continuously works to share the magic of these mountains with others, through the Wildfulness podcast, “a one-stop vacation station that will connect you to these mountains and their treasures.” Listeners say they enjoy the podcast because they can listen on their earbuds while doing other activities, such as walking, working out, driving, or even house cleaning. (If you haven’t yet caught the podcast bug, here’s a great article from the Huffington Post on why you should!)

To listen to the Wildfulness podcast, subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, or any of the major podcast or music streaming platforms, like Spotify and Alexa. Detailed web-based shownotes include videos, photos and transcriptions of the audio.  Lisa welcomes suggestions for episodes (you can leave a voicemail on the shownotes website) and is currently seeking sponsors as well. Currently publishing bi-weekly. Contact her via email at

And it all started with a humble, 1955 cabin.

STEPS Workforce Scholarship established at GC

The Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee (STEPS) Workforce Scholarship was recently established by the Garrett College Foundation.  The purpose of the scholarship is to support students pursuing a workforce related health major at Garrett College.

STEPS Workforce Scholarship at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Pictured seating from left to right are: Cherie Krug, executive director of GC Foundation; Richard Midcap, GC president; Miranda Kessel, marketing coordinator, Garrett Regional Medical Center and treasurer of the Garrett County STEPS to Better Health (Health Fair); Stephen Putnam, director of the Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex.  Back row: Julie Yoder, dean of continuing education and workforce development; Bob Stephens, Garrett County Health Officer, Garrett County Health Department and member of the Garrett County STEPS to Better Health (Health Fair).

For more information on making a gift to any fund held by the Garrett College Foundation one may visit or call the Foundation office at 301-387-3131.