Acorn Urban Park

Division: Park Development
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aerial photograph of Acorn Urban Park study area at Newell Street and East West Highway  View of Acorn Urban Park

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Project Description

This project will renovate Acorn Urban Park, located at the intersection of East-West Highway and Newell Street in the Silver Spring Central Business District. The park contains significant historic resources, notably the original “Silver Spring” for which the town is named, and the acorn gazebo, which was part of the Blair plantation and moved to this location. The intent of the project is to rehabilitate the historic features and to improve and activate the park to better serve nearby communities.


The approximately 0.3-acre park is surrounded by high density residential and commercial retail development. The northern 0.12-acre triangular parcel is owned by the M-NCPPC and the remaining area is owned by The Brick Companies addressed at 8045 Kennett Street at which Discovery Communications is occupied.  The M-NCPPC is responsible for maintaining the overall park.

Status/Project Update

  • In May 2019, the Montgomery County Planning Board recommended that parks staff re-evaluate the facility plan for the renovation of Acorn Urban Park to reduce costs while focusing on the critical elements of the project that could be accommodated within the park’s existing constraints, which include limited space and the need to preserve historic resources. The board also encouraged staff to pursue a park design that would incorporate the temporary or permanent closure of Newell Street. As part of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan, which is currently underway, the Montgomery County Planning Department will work with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) to evaluate the potential for permanent modification or closure of Newell Street.
  • Summer 2020, MCDOT has temporarily closed Newell Street between Kennett Street and East-West Highway as part of the Shared Streets program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery Parks will partner with Montgomery County and the community to activate this additional space adjacent to the park. At this time, Parks staff are closely monitoring the current Newell Street closure while pursuing modifications of the Park Refresher Facility Plan in response to the Planning Board’s feedback.
  • Fall 2020, Acorn Urban Park is part of the Picnic in the Park program to provide safe outdoor opportunities for social interaction while supporting local restaurants. For more information please visit Shared Streets and MoCo Eats.
  • The Planning Board approved funding to increase amenities in equity focus areas by creating social spaces where residents can gather.  Acorn Urban Park and Newell Street was one of the prioritized parks to add site furnishings to activate the space.  The new furnishings include a game table, a ping pong table, groups of picnic tables, benches, a bag tossing game, planters and street painting.  The street painting work is scheduled to begin in late August and the furnishings expect to be installed in September.

Calendar and Meeting Notes

Links to review meeting notes and presentations will be attached to each applicable calendar event as it is scheduled and completed.

Fall 2016 – Project began
– Survey and preliminary assessment of site conditions were developed
March 2017 Community Meeting #1 – Rescheduled – To solicit community input
– Community Meeting Notes 3.28.2017
Silver Spring Civic Center
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, MD
Spring 2017 Develop park renovation concept alternatives based on existing conditions assessment and community input
November 15, 2017 Community Meeting #2 – Present and receive feedback on proposed park renovation concepts
– Community Meeting Notes 11.15.2017
Eastern Village Cohousing Common House
7981 Eastern Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
Spring 2018 Develop preferred park renovation concept based on community input
May 22, 2018
7 pm – 9 pm
Focus group discussion on the historical interpretation
– Review Focus Group Notes 5.22.2018
Newell Street Loft
Social Room
8045 Newell Street
Silver Spring, MD
June 13, 2018 Historic Preservation Commission Meeting M-NCPPC Montgomery Regional Office
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
September 25, 2018
7pm -9pm
Community Meeting #3 – Review the design development plan
– View the presentation
– View the meeting notes
Newell Street Loft
Social Room
8045 Newell Street
Silver Spring, MD
November 14, 2018
Begin at 7:30 pm
Historic Preservation Commission Meeting – Design consultation M-NCPPC Montgomery Regional Office
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
May 2, 2019 Planning Board Meeting – To request plan approval
– View the recommended Facility Plan
– View the staff report
M-NCPPC Montgomery Regional Office
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
August – September 2021 Street painting and site amenity installation

* Date and time subject to change. Please confirm the schedule on the Montgomery Planning Board Agenda webpage closer to the date.

M-NCPPC Staff Contact

Ching-Fang Chen, Project Manager
(301) 495-2572

Last Updated: August 9, 2021