Little Bennett Regional Park – Day Use Area

Division: Park Development
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Design Approach

Project Description

This project develops a facility plan for a new Day Use Area, located at 23701 Frederick Road (MD 355) in Clarksburg.  The scope of the project includes developing a natural resources inventory, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, environmental site design and cost estimating to provide up to 30% completed construction documents.  The intent is to complete the facility plan before summer of 2011 in order to include the project in the parks FY 13-18 Capital Improvements Program and obtain funding for final design and construction.


The 2007 Little Bennett Regional Park Master Plan recommended developing a Day Use Area, approximately 65 acres on the western edge of the park to welcome people and provide them with an overview of the natural and cultural interpretive opportunities of the park.  The site consists primarily of rolling hills, open meadow areas, stream valleys and edge ecosystems that provide valuable non-forested habitats.  The culturally rich and ecologically diverse landscape provides a unique setting for the project.  The program of requirements recommended for the Day Use Area are nature-based and include a Visitor Welcome and Nature Center, group picnic areas, nature-based adventure playground, group campfire ring, amphitheater, interpretive landscape gardens, and trails.    However, the scope of the Visitor Center has been put on hold and is not included in the Facility Plan scope of work, due to lack of current resources to expand programming of nature and visitors centers within the park system.

Status/Project Update

The facility plan was approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board on October 6, 2011.  The Montgomery County Capital Budget has approved the first phase of design to begin in FY19.  Construction anticipates starting in FY21. The facility plan received the 2012 Traveling Award from the Potomac and Maryland Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

As recommended by the 2007 Little Bennett Regional Park Master Plan, an interim project to provide the northern park entrance along MD Route 355 was implemented with State grants and matching Park funding from the FY12-14 CIP program while the overall Day Use Area is underway.  The 4-acre pilot project was complete in 2014 and received the 2016 President’s Award from the Potomac Chapter ASLA as well as the 2017 M-NCPPC Planning Department’s Design Excellence Award.

Project Photos
  • Photo 1 – Bamboo Environmental Art
  • Photo 2 – Convertible Picnic Table
  • Photo 3 – Tree Preservation
  • Photo 4 – Nature Play
  • Photo 5 – Terrace, Walls, and Picnic Area
  • Photo 6 – Eco-sound Barriers
  • Photo 7 – Meadow Restoration
  • Photo 8 – Parking and Bioretention Facility

Calendar and Meeting Notes

Opportunities for public participation are shown below. Links to review meeting notes and Planning Board memos will be attached to each applicable calendar event as it is scheduled and completed.

Fall – Winter 2009 Facility Planning begins. Pre-design (project preparation, survey, data collection, site reconnaissance, design research)
Spring 2010 Develop a program of requirements
Spring – Summer 2010 Schematic Design, develop design approach and concept
September 29, 2010
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Community Meeting to obtain input from the community
May 23, 2011 The project presented to the Clarksburg Civic Association for comments
June 15, 2011 The project presented to the Up-County Recreation Advisory Board for comments
Spring/Summer 2011 Finalize design, refine preferred plan, obtain preliminary permits, develop cost estimate
October 6, 2011 Planning Board Meeting for approval of facility plan (open for public testimony)
–  Facility Plan Report
– Staff Memo
– Appendices
Montgomery Regional Office Building
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
September 2013 Interim Phase construction began
Fall 2014 Interim Phase completed
Spring 2019 Phase I – Design begins
2021 Phase I – Construction begins

M-NCPPC Staff Contact

Ching-Fang Chen, Project Manager/Landscape Architect

Last Updated: November 15, 2018