In 2005, several key alliances resulted in the opening of the city's newest recreational jewel, Lakelands Park. A unique collaborative effort with the Montgomery County Board of Education and Dr. Jerry Weast led to the reality of Lakelands Park Middle School and a shared user agreement for another beautiful park in Gaithersburg. And through the generous donation of a local couple, Billy's Playground at Lakelands Park provides an unprecedented recreational experience for children with disabilities.
Our legislative partners recognize the value we place in preserving our historic center, too. In 2005, we received $400,000 from the state to help with the relocation of the Olde Towne youth center. Lt. Gov. Michael Steele visited Gaithersburg in August and announced a $430,000 state matching grant to assist in the renovation of the historic railroad cars at our community museum.
During this past holiday season, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our spectacular winter lights festival. With increased attendance it's obvious that the festival has become a treasured holiday tradition throughout the region. Our recreation staff is also poised to celebrate another milestone in 2006, the 25th anniversary of Celebrate Gaithersburg in Olde Towne, our lively street festival that allows the community to come together for a citywide celebration filled with music, food and fun.
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