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Wall Park – Renovation Plan

Division: Park Development
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UpdateBackground | Public Input | Calendar & Meeting Notes | Contact Us

Update

Planning Board Review – October 24, 2013, Agenda item #6Staff Report (PDF) . Key elements of the plan are mixed use development, public use space, and land area for a public parking garage.

Public Meeting Summary
September 18, 2013 – PowerPoint Presentation (PDF, 100KB)

Staff presented a concept plan (JPG, 60K) with the surface parking relocated to the parking garage on the Gables property. Several attendees expressed concerns about the safety of the parking structure, particularly in early morning hours, when many of the children’s swim lessons are scheduled. Staff asked attendees to vote on the top 6 amenities they would like to see within the park. The park amenities that received the most votes included the large lawn area, the recreational fitness loop trail, the park café, picnic seating areas, multi-age playgrounds and various types of gardens. Many people at this meeting also supported the expansion of the indoor pool. Specific comments included:

  1. Design the parking structure and its connection to the Aquatic Center to be as convenient and safe as the current surface parking is today.
  2. Consider relocating the entrance to the end of the building closer to the garage.
  3. Provide lighting, and perhaps covering, the walkway from the building to the garage.
  4. If sight lines from the building to the garage are not possible, consider cameras to monitor them.
  5. Keep adequate accessible parking spaces and drop-off areas near the building entrance.
  6. Try to keep the pool open during construction of the building expansion.
  7. Try to avoid programming large events in the park at the same time as the pool and recreation center so as to not overburden parking options in the area.
  8. Make sure the parking is still free to park and facility users. Prevent Metro riders from using the garage spaces.

If you were not able to attend the meeting, please to contact the project coordinator with your ideas and feedback.

Project Background

The purpose of this plan and public outreach is to identify a list of interim and future amenities for the renovation of Wall Park into a new urban park for White Flint.

  • Inform the public, especially those who regularly use and/or live near Wall Park about upcoming changes to the park, the plans for a new recreation center, and an expanded swim center.
  • Solicit ideas from the public for future amenities
  • Answer questions and record comments regarding the project
  • Generate awareness of the project

The new park is envisioned to be the primary public open space for the new mixed use community, currently under development west of Rockville Pike. Ideas from the public have already been pouring in and will be welcome throughout the planning process. There will be many opportunities for public input.

Wall Local Park today

As part of the adopted White Flint Sector Plan in 2010 and the White Flint Public Amenities Report in 2011, Wall Park is expected to be the location for:

  • a new community recreation center,
  • an expanded swim center. and
  • a large flexible open space for numerous recreational activities.

The flexible open space will be created when the existing surface parking lot is relocated to the private development to the north of the property. This innovative public/private partnership has resulted in conceptual plans that show how this idea can work and allow for more green space in the park.

Montgomery Parks staff has been working with other County Departments staff, members of the public, and private developers to identify and begin solving the major obstacles to having this much needed park developed within the rapidly urbanizing area of White Flint.

The Park Vision

Guiding Elements

Create park amenities that attract people to its spaces and allow them to socialize, play, learn, recreate and improve their mental and physical health.

  • Provide a variety of settings and infrastructure for various levels of formal and informal sport and recreation, for all skill levels and abilities e.g. picnicking, walking, dog training, running, cycling, ball games, photography, and bird watching.
  • Provide settings for people to enhance their networks and personal relationships from couples to families, to social clubs and organizations of all sizes, from casual picnicking to event days and festivals to camping.
  • Make nature available for restoration from mental fatigue; solitude and quiet; artistic inspiration and expression; educational development (e.g. natural play and cultural history).
  • Preserve the natural environment for contemplation, reflection, and inspiration; invoke a sense of place; facilitate feeling a connection to something beyond human concerns.
  • Mitigate consequences of an urban landscape. Reduce air and water pollutants, cool local climate, conserve energy. Foster human involvement in the natural environment (Friends Groups, etc.).

White Flint Sector Plan Directives

  • Re-locate parking spaces to nearby public parking lots.
  • Consider the properties (Gables, Wall Park and Bank) as one large development for better synergy.

Ideas from the Public

Below is a list of some of the ideas for the newly renovated park the public has already identified.

  • Create a visual or symbolic connection with the Central Civic Green.
  • Bring the activity and energy of the future Market Street into the Park.
  • Create an outdoor conference meeting and gathering area to support the conference center functions and get people outside.
  • Enhance the open space in front of the building by removing the parking lot and creating a great lawn for kite flying, sun bathing and events.
  • Preserve the existing forest buffer along the Old Georgetown Road side. Consider this area for a natural buffer and possible natural play area.
  • Create gathering areas for dog owners to socialize and pets to run around off-leash.
  • Create play and exercise areas for teens (ex. Skate Park).
  • Create exercise and gathering areas for senior citizens.
  • Create picnic and seating areas in numerous areas to either watch park activities or people watch or be in beautifully designed spaces and can be quite and thoughtful.
  • Allow space for the recreation loop – walking and bicycle trail around or through the park and connect it to the Central Civic Green.
  • Create spaces for vendors and outdoor markets within the park.
  • Create a space for outdoor lectures.
  • Create spaces for gardening for those who have not yards.
  • Create a visitor welcoming area for people visiting Josiah Henson Special Park.
  • Create a wayfinding system that takes people to Josiah Henson Park such as the Walk to Freedom theme.
  • Enhance the existing Swim center with additional outdoor spray park space.
  • Create spaces for protected outdoor fitness programs like yoga, aerobics, zumba, etc.
  • Enhance the entrance to the swim center to allow for bus and visitor drop off as well as maintenance access for both the park and building.
  • Allow for bus drop off on Martinelli Street side.
  • Consider accessible parking near building entrances.
  • Create interesting park amenities for day and evening use.
  • Incorporate art or sculpture that is interactive.
  • Create a stormwater management (SWM) system that educates park users on the need to cleanse and storm water and re-use on site for gardens.

Public Input

Please don’t hesitate to contact the project coordinator with your ideas and feedback as the planning process progresses. Ideas for the renovation plans for Wall Park are welcome throughout the planning process. Interested citizens and civic groups are encouraged to become part of our e-mail lists.

Public meetings will be scheduled to take your ideas and comments on the preliminary concepts and recommendations in person. Staff will rely on this project web page to keep citizens updated on the Plan.

Outreach Strategy

Public outreach for this project will include this Project Web page, Public Meetings, Press Releases and an email campaign to Homeowner and Civic Associations in the White Flint area. Please contact the project coordinator if you want to be added to our email list. There are a number of opportunities for public outreach via this project webpage, email, U.S. mail, traditional and social media like e-newsletters. Noticing and media updates will be pushed to our Facebook, Twitter accounts along with the Department of Parks Media Center and articles in our Montgomery Magazine blog.

Calendar & Meeting Notes

Here you will find information on the project schedule, upcoming meetings, planning process updates and plan documents. The calendar will be updated as community meetings and events are planned for this project. Digital copies of the Meeting Notes, Presentations and Planning Board Memos will be attached to each calendar event after it is completed.

DATE | TIME NOTES AND PRESENTATIONS LOCATION | DESCRIPTION
2013
Summer Initiate Public Outreach
September 18 Public Meeting – PowerPoint Presentation (PDF, 100KB) Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852
October 24 Planning Board Review – Agenda item #6 – Gables White Flint Sketch Plan Key elements of the plan are mixed use development, public use space, and land area for a public parking garage. M-NCPPC – Montgomery Regional Office (MRO) Auditorium 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Media Center

This is where you will find links to press releases, print articles and community links for your convenience.  If you would like to see additional links added to this site, please contact the Project Coordinator.

  • OCTOBER 24, 2014 – ONLINE ARTICLE – Berliner Wants Interim Improvements For Wall Park
  • SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 – MEDIA RELEASE – Montgomery Parks to Host Public Meeting on Wall Park Renovation Plans: September 18, 7 – 9 PM

Contact Us

For additional information on this project, please contact the Project Coordinator,

Rachel Davis Newhouse – Rachel.Newhouse@montgomeryparks.org | 301-650-4368

Last Updated: April 30, 2018