Maryland Planning Commissioners Association Partners with Walktober Program for 39th Annual Conference

MPCA Corner

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

This October, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) is partnering with Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) in support of Maryland’s Third Annual WALKTOBER – a month-long celebration and educational event surrounding all-things-walking-related – with tie-ins to our 39th Annual Conference.

Together, with help from local, state, and national partners, Walktober offers in-person and virtual events across Maryland will spotlight pedestrian safety, health, and infrastructure issues, as well as new programs and initiatives that encourage walking and support walkability.

The theme of MPCA’s 2022 annual conference is “Planning for Challenges on the Horizon” with sessions covering topics related to how planning commissions and boards can collaborate with planning staff, elected officials, and other stakeholders to address and prepare the challenges facing our communities, such as climate change, hazard mitigation planning, infrastructure planning, post pandemic recovery, and more.

MPCA is doing its part to address the challenges of walkability and pedestrian planning at the planning commission/board level. We are looking forward to a number of exciting sessions and activities, including:

  • A keynote presentation by Eli Glazier, Multimodal Transportation Planner Coordinator with the Montgomery County Planning Department, on the developing the county’s first Pedestrian Master Plan
  • A tour of Frederick’s City’s renowned (and very walkable) downtown along Carroll Creek
  • Participation by sponsors such as MDOT’s Commuter Choice Program at our upcoming conference on October 25-26.

Photo: Eli Glazier, Montgomery Co. Planning Dept.

Throughout Walktober, MDOT and its partners will share information and resources, including a series of free webinars, or Walkinars – hosted by the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) – that are open to all.

October 5th is Walk Maryland Day, an event-filled day designed to encourage all Marylanders to step outside and enjoy walking or some other form of physical activity. As in previous years, Marylanders can register as a Walk Leader or to join a walk as a participating Sole Mate to celebrate Walk Maryland Day.

To register or learn more about MPCA’s 39th Annual Conference, click on the links above or contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager at And be sure to enjoy more coverage about this year’s Walkinar topics, presenters, and Walk Maryland Day options in this edition of Planning Practice Monthly.

Maryland Planning Commissioners Association 39th Annual Conference Sponsorship Opportunities Available

MPCA Corner

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

The 39th Annual Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) conference is right around the corner! Make sure you register and join the MPCA in the City of Frederick on October 25 and 26 for two days of citizen planner education, camaraderie, and networking. Don’t delay, the early bird registration rate ends August 31st!

Continue reading

It’s Time to Recognize Maryland’s Citizen Planners

MPCA Corner 

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

Do you know a citizen planner or entire planning board (planning commission, board of zoning appeals, historic district commission) that deserves recognition for their work in 2021 or 2022?  

Continue reading

39th Annual MPCA Conference Registration now Available 

MPCA Corner

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

In our May 27 edition of Planning Practice Monthly, we announced that the MPCA was accepting session proposals for its 39th annual conference. You can now register to join the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) for its 39th annual conference in Frederick on October 25-26.

Continue reading

Maryland Planning Commissioners Association Seeks Session Proposals for its 39th Annual Conference!

MPCA Corner

by Joe Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) will host the 2022 fall annual conference in Frederick City on October 25 and 26. The theme of this year’s conference is Planning for Challenges on the Horizon. The MPCA has conducted its past two conferences virtually and is very excited to meet up with everyone again in person. The MPCA will monitor the pandemic and adjust as necessary. 

Last year’s theme and session topics focused on getting back to planning in a world still impacted by uncertainty, but also one in which citizen planners needed to forge ahead. That uncertainty remains, but so do the challenges on the horizon. In a planning community navigating its way through the pandemic while simultaneously tackling the difficult issues of the 21st century, the benefits of a functioning and thriving citizen planning board are more apparent than ever.  

Building on the Planning Commissioner Training Course and Open Meetings Act training sessions the MPCA holds on the first day of the conference, the MPCA, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning, is requesting session proposals for the conference by July 15.  

Sessions should focus on the work of citizen planners, but can incorporate the work of professional planners, other officials and stakeholders, and residents. The conference audience is primarily composed of planning commissioners, boards of zoning appeals members, and historic district commissioners, but also includes staff members from Maryland counties and municipalities. The MPCA encourages submissions that creatively address the conference theme.  


For your topic or session to be considered, please email the following information to Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager for the Maryland Department of Planning, at no later than 5:00 pm on July 15:  

Proposal Elements 

No more than 200 words, and should include: 

Proposal Elements

  • Topic and session name and how the proposal relates to the 20221 MPCA Conference theme, “Planning Challenges on the Horizon”
  • Brief abstract of information to be covered
  • How the session will inform and elevate citizen planners’ knowledge of the subject matter
  • Suggested speakers (no more than 5)
    • Include name, title, and contact information (if available, can be  general category of speaker, such as “municipal planning commissioner”) 
    • Indicate session leader
    • Other information as needed 
  • Session length (45 mins or 1.5 hours): Pick One
  • Session style (panel of experts, presentation, question and answer, etc.)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Inclusion of elements listed above
  • Applicability to theme
  • Relevance of approach to citizen planning
  • Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include at least one citizen planner on the panel
  • Bonus: Session’s applicability to Frederick City/County or the Washington Metro/Western Maryland regions 

The MPCA anticipates selecting session proposals by July 22. 

See last year’s session presentations at 

More on the MPCA 

The MPCA is a statewide, nonprofit educational organization of municipal, county, and regional planning commissioners and boards of zoning appeals members. MPCA members work to improve the quality of life for all Marylanders through planning, environmental protection, historic preservation, and growth management. 

Submission Goals and Scope 

Submissions should formulate a presentation team (one or more persons), focus on an applicable topic expanding upon this year’s theme: Planning for Challenges on the Horizon, include a visual presentation or physical take away, and facilitate a session of either 45 mins or 1.5 hours. If you believe your session topic could be eligible for AICP CM credits, please note this so that the MPCA and Maryland Department of Planning staff can work with you to make them credit eligible.