Master Plan for Brookside Gardens
Proposed parking lot improvements
Our new plan to improve accessibility and increase capacity in the Visitors Center parking lot goes before the Montgomery County Council on February 9, 10, and 11. These public hearings will consider the FY11-16 CIP (Capital Improvement Program), which includes funding of Brookside Gardens’ parking lot improvement project (as part of our larger Master Plan).
If you were unable to attend the January 7 public meeting presenting the plan, Here is a short summary. The parking lot improvements include:
• Addition of 63 parking spaces that will help to alleviate overflow parking into the surrounding neighborhood and traffic back-up onto Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue during high attendance events.
• Conservation measures to retain stormwater on-site, preventing potential for polluted runoff to enter surrounding waterways. Two specific methods to control stormwater runoff are use of pervious paving and inclusion of rain gardens in green areas of the parking lot.
• Improved safety for pedestrians and better circulation patterns for vehicles.
• Limited loss of green space, as trees and landscaping have been integrated into the parking lot design. Great care has been taken to create an aesthetically pleasing parking lot – one that enhances the visitor’s garden experience, rather than detracting from it.
Please click here to view the parking lot plan online.
For more information contact:
Montgomery County Department of Parks
9500 Brunett Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Master Plan December 2004
Brookside Gardens Master Plan 2004 Revision was presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Jan. 6, 2005 and approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board on March 3, 2005.
Table of Contents
The Brookside Gardens Master Plan was initiated by staff to articulate the need for a renewed facility to meet the needs of present and future visitors. The Plan creates a timeline to guide our work, including prioritizing essential maintenance, planning renovations to existing structures, and anticipating the development of new amenities and facilities.
Brookside Gardens has enjoyed 31 years of continuous use, offering visitors beautiful gardens to stroll, superior plant collections, and inspiring educational programming. Despite devoted care, the years, and visitors, have taken their toll. Changing programs, changing uses and users, and an aging infrastructure all pointed to the need for a critical assessment of the facilities and their functions before the necessary capital expenditures could be justified.
Since November 2000, a staff committee has worked closely with the firm EDAW, Inc., to oversee and guide the Plan. An integral part of the planning process has been to solicit input and feedback from not only Brookside Gardens and Commission staff, but from our community of users, including volunteers, neighbors, Friends of Brookside Gardens, and peer professionals in related horticultural, educational, public service and cultural arts fields. To this end, a series of three public meetings were held to invite the scrutiny of the Garden's most frequent users. These meetings were held in January, March and May 2001.
The Brookside Gardens Master Plan was presented to the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, October 18, 2001. A public hearing was held on Thursday, November 15, 2001.
Summary of the Brookside Gardens Master Plan 2001
The Plan proposes a sequence of phased development over a 25- to 30-year period.
- Conservatory & Renewed Visitors Center
The Plan focuses on a new Conservatory and renewed Visitors Center as the physical and functional "heart" of Brookside Gardens. Geographically the center of the Gardens, the Visitors Center offers the essential functions of orienting, informing and serving the visitor. Reconfiguration and a small expansion will connect the Visitors Center to a new Conservatory. The new Conservatory will be a flexible, energy-efficient and universally accessible space that furnishes a visual and physical link between the indoor and outdoor gardens.
- Maintenance Area
Maintenance, propagation and support functions will be reorganized and expanded at their existing location. Scattered offices, growing facilities, storage, and parking will be consolidated. Sustainable design practices will maximize efficiencies in new growing areas and minimize environmental impact.
- Event House
Montgomery County has encouraged Brookside Gardens to maximize earned revenue. An Event House, designed to accommodate both Gardens educational programs and special events as well the growing rental program, will occupy the footprint of the former Conservatory. A terraced courtyard adjacent to the Event House will accommodate outdoor ceremonies and events. Locating large events at a specific venue the east end of the Gardens will allow privacy for events without disrupting the garden experience of other visitors.
New and renewed gardens capitalize on the topography of the site to create a variety of styles and experiences. As befitting the name "Brookside" a number of water features are recommended, including enhancement of the natural water features at the Gardens' perimeter and the renewal of formal water features along the central spine of the Garden. New gardens will be universally accessible. Design guidelines will be established to direct and insure quality and types of materials, scale, and architectural styles.