Recently, the County Executive released a recommended budget that cut $21.7 million from our proposed six-year capital budget.
This reduction impacts our ability to adequately support our park system and would delay, reduce, or defer several significant capital projects located in all parts of Montgomery County. In particular:
Our program to improve the quality of athletic fields at Montgomery County Public Schools’ elementary and middle schools will end.
The Little Bennett Day Use Area project will not be funded in the six-year program.
The next phase of Ovid Hazen Wells Park will be delayed 2 years.
The next phase of planned improvements to Brookside Gardens will be delayed 1 year.
Our program to replace aging infrastructure in countywide parks will be reduced by $1.5 million.
Our program to restore historic structures will be reduced by nearly $1 million.
Our park acquisition program, Legacy Open Space will be cut by $1.6 million.
These, or equivalent impacts will occur if the County Council does not restore funding to the Parks Capital Improvements Program (CIP). Furthermore, no project in our requested CIP is immune from potential cuts given the magnitude of the Executive’s reduction. Priorities that we want to protect include:
Annual funding for lifecycle replacement of park infrastructure and amenities including playgrounds, trails, tennis courts and basketball courts.
Annual funding to support expansion of our trail network and our Vision Zero project.
Annual funding to improve the quality of park athletic fields.
Annual funding to add activating amenities in urban parks.
Annual funding for park refresher program.
Annual funding to meet mandates including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Water Act.
Specific projects including the Josiah Henson Museum, 2nd Cricket Field at South Germantown Recreational Park, Northwest Branch Trail, Renovation of Hillandale Local Park, Wheaton Regional Park Infrastructure Improvements and Black Hill SEED Classroom.
In the past, we have been able to count on the support of our elected officials thanks to the continued advocacy of parks supporters and the Montgomery Parks Foundation. Individuals who wish to join the campaign to support the Montgomery Parks capital budget should contact the Montgomery Parks Foundation.
Last Updated: February 5, 2020
Montgomery County Department of Parks
9500 Brunett Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20901