At a Glance

Hours: Sunrise to sunset.

Cost: Free.

Tips: No restrooms. ◾ Do not trespass on the private Izaak Walton League property adjoining Lois Green to the north; the League property is signposted. ◾ Note that when you leave the Lois Green parking area, you must turn right – left turn is prohibited.

Best Seasons: Fall, winter, spring.

Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Gaithersburg CE

Local MOS Chapter: Montgomery Bird Club

Lois Y. Green Conservation Park

8711 Snouffer School Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20879
(301) 495-2595

The Lois Y. Green Conservation Park  (aka Green Farm Conservation Park) consists of a 200-acre parcel that Mrs. Green gave to Montgomery County Parks in 1975, plus an additional dedicated stream buffer area of 50 acres. When Mrs. Green donated the park, she specifically directed that the park was to “be used as an open space, for parkland, and for recreation in such a manner as to evidence the conservation of soil, water, woods, and wildlife… and shall be maintained essentially in its natural condition…” Today the Park is a remarkable oasis in a highly developed area of Montgomery County. The expanse of the park’s grasslands, topography, tree-lined stream, large ponds, wetlands, and woodlands create a feeling of respite and retreat.

The park offers a good diversity of habitats, with a large expanse of meadow, woodlands, and a stream valley. The trails are well-maintained; be aware that there are some steep sections. There are two small ponds that can be attractive to waterfowl in the colder months. Walk the grassy trail from the parking lot, beneath the takeoff/landing path for the adjacent air park, and watch/listen for activity in the woods to the left and overgrown field to the right.  Use any of the three loop trails farther along; these are shown on the trail map at the link at left. Approach the ponds stealthily to avoid flushing waterfowl.

Note that on the trail map, trails designated as “Shared by All”  are used by hikers, bikers, and equestrians, while the Butterfly Loop Trail is restricted to foot-traffic.

Birdlife:

Over 170 species have been reported on eBird from Lois Y. Green Conservation Park, a remarkable number in such a highly developed suburban neighborhood. Dabbling and diving ducks are found in both ponds in winter.  Look for passerine migrants in the hedgerows and forested areas. Breeding Field Sparrows and Eastern Bluebirds are found in the more open, overgrown field areas.  Prairie Warblers breed here in spring and Palm Warblers pass through in fall. Raptors can be seen in both spring and fall.  Sparrows, juncos and towhees are regular in fall, winter, and spring.

Special Features:

The native plants create excellent habitat for butterflies and other pollinators in the warm months. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Montgomery Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with informative programs, all free and open to the public. ◾ The Montgomery Bird Club has published A Birder’s Guide to Montgomery County, Maryland; this comprehensive, detailed printed book covers 17 major birding sites plus 18 “little treasures” in the county. To order, see https://mdbirds.org/join/merchandise/a-birders-guide-to-montgomery-county/. ◾ Montgomery Parks has an interactive map available at https://mcatlas.org/parks. As you zoom in on a county park, detailed features such as trails, parking, picnic areas, trail-heads, and restrooms will be displayed.

Parking:

Paved lot off Snouffer School Road.

Directions:

From I-495/DC Beltway: Take I-270 north for about 6.7 miles, to Exit 8 for Shady Grove Road northbound. Stay on Shady Grove for approximately 3.5 miles, then turn left to go west on MD Route 115/Muncaster Mill Road. At the intersection with Woodfield Road, the name of the road will change to Snouffers School Road; continue straight ahead. From Shady Grove Road, it is about 2.2 miles to the entrance to Lois Y. Green Conservation Park, which will be on the right (north) side of the road, just past Centerway Road on the left.

Nearby Sites:

Montgomery County: Black Hill Regional Park, Blue Mash Nature Trail, C&O Canal – Pennyfield, Violette’s & Riley’s Locks, Little Bennett Regional Park, McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area (Hughes Hollow), Rock Creek Regional Park – Lake Needwood, Rock Creek Regional Park – Meadowside Nature Center & Lake Frank, Seneca Creek State Park, Wheaton Regional Park – Brookside Gardens, Brookside Nature Center, Pine Lake Area

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Suburban Neighborhood Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Freshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirRivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Free - No Entry FeeHiking/Walking TrailsHorseback RidingNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsParkingPets AllowedWater ViewYoung People / Families

Type:

Community and Urban Parks