St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Commissioners Help Cut Ribbon on Improvements at U.S. Colored Troops Memorial Interpretive Center

After nearly a year of construction St. Mary's County Commissioners joined members of the Unified Committee on Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), to cut the ribbon on improvements at the United States Colored Troops Memorial Interpretive Center at John G. Lancaster Park in Lexington Park.

The project involved the renovation of the remaining "Flat Tops" building, located in the park's south parcel. It now includes a meeting room, interpretive center, restrooms, mechanical room, an office and an area for storage. New exterior restrooms were included to serve the adjacent Memorial Park.

In 2004 St. Mary's County, along with the State of Maryland, agreed to an adaptive reuse plan for the two remaining Flat Tops buildings. One of the buildings later collapsed during stabilization efforts and an adjacent picnic pavilion replaced the building. The work was funded through a State Bond bill for $150,000 and county funding of up to $126,500. The Bond Bill match came from funding previously used to stabilize the Flat Tops building.

When complete the Center will include displays and information about the Civil War Memorial, as well as African American history and contributions in St. Mary's County. UCAC will spearhead the interpretive portion of the project.

The adjacent United States Colored Troops Memorial Monument was completed and dedicated in 2012. UCAC managed the project, which recognizes the contributions of U.S. Colored Troops, and all union soldiers and sailors from St. Mary's County, who fought during the Civil War.

Additional support for the Memorial Interpretive Center came from the Maryland Board of Public Works, St. Mary's County Legislative Delegation, W.M. Davis, Inc., and staff members from the St. Mary's County Department of Land Use and Growth Management and the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Retiring County Employees Honored by Commissioners

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County honored two employees as they embark on their retirement from county government.

Mary Winters has served for more than 33 years with the Department of Public Works and Transportation, mainly as a driver for the St. Mary's Transit System (STS). Commissioners presented her with a commendation and statuette for her years of dedicated service to the county. Ms. Winters has witnessed firsthand the steady growth of the STS system over the course of her career.

Marilyn Lash is leaving county government after 17 years with the St. Mary's County Library. Since 2005, she has served as the library's first full-time Publicity Specialist. The commissioners recognized her efforts in increasing the library's digital presence and the use of social media to promote its services. She led the team which created and maintains the library's website and Facebook page.

Today the library estimates 84% of county residents have a library card; the three libraries rank number 4 in the state for number of items checked-out per person; 2,000 persons visit the libraries each day and 35,000 persons attend library programs each year. Ms. Lash was congratulated for her effective publicity and persistent outreach in helping the library to reach these levels.

Christmas Open House Coming to Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

Visitors to the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park can enjoy a free day of admission during the museum's Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 14 from 12 noon to 4 pm. Military-themed displays fill the rooms of the keeper's quarters and incorporate a holiday setting!

Kids can enjoy the hands-on activities inside the museum as well as sign up for a chance to win a boy or girl's bicycle, donated by the Second District Kids and Community organization. Visitors can climb the lighthouse tower, view the Potomac River Maritime Exhibit, take a walk along the boardwalk and pier and enjoy the scenic view of the river, Piney Point, and St. George Island. Free holiday punch and cookies, made by culinary students of the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, will also be available.

The Lighthouse Lens Museum Store will offer an array of unique holiday gifts, including lighthouse and nautical items, sea glass jewelry, clothing and even crab pot Christmas trees! Become a museum Friends member and receive a year-round 10% discount! Gift memberships make a great gift!

The Piney Point Lighthouse, Museum & Historic Park is located at 44720 Lighthouse Road in Piney Point, MD. It is operated by the Museum Division of St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Commissioners of St. Mary's County.

For more information call the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum at 301-994-1471 or log on to

Health Department Seeking Contractors to Educate Local Youth on Health Risks of Nicotine and Tobacco Products

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking contractors to educate local youth on the health risks of nicotine and tobacco products. Use of tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke are the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. Funds for this award are from the Cigarette Restitution Fund which is administered through Prevention and Health Promotion Administration within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For more information about this request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

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