2017 Park, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan Update

Project Update

The Planning Board approved the 2017 PROS Plan Public Hearing Draft (PDF, 8MB) at the June 22, 2017 Planning Board Worksession. Park staff will finalize the plan for transmission to the State of Maryland. For more information, contact the project coordinator Brooke.Farquhar@montgomeryparks.org.


Planning Tomorrow’s Parks Today!

Montgomery Parks, in coordination with the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, is in the process of preparing the 2017 PROS Plan. The PROS Plan will substitute for the state-mandated Land, Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan (LPPRP) which is required every five to six years to maintain Program Open Space grant funding eligibility.  This plan must be completed in conformance with Maryland State Guidelines. The PROS Plan was last updated in July 2012. The schedule mandated by the State requires final plan to be completed by July 1, 2017.

Parks and open spaces are essential to the high quality of life for Montgomery County residents. In the future, one of the greatest challenges will be to balance recreation facilities needed for the active lifestyles of a growing population with the stewardship of our park system’s sensitive environmental and cultural resources. The 2017 PROS Plan will serve as a guide to meet this challenge.


The purpose of the PROS Plan is to develop strategies to deliver the “right parks in the right places.” In an era of increasing competition for limited land and resources for a growing population, the PROS Plan provides priorities for park acquisition, renovation, development and preservation. The plan will include a policy framework, identify future facility needs, and resource conservation priorities. Plan chapters will include information on Policy Framework, Urban Parks, Recreation and Park Needs, Natural Resources Stewardship, Cultural Resource Stewardship and Agricultural Land Preservation.

The 2017 PROS Plan Update will prioritize urban parks funding and service delivery, while strategically planning trails and athletic fields to best meet future needs. It will include methods to achieve social equity, health, and conservation, the three Pillars of the National Parks and Recreation Association.

The 2017 PROS Plan Update supports the park and recreation goals and objectives contained in the County’s 1993 General Plan Refinement – Goals and Objectives. The new Plan will also build upon and expand the work of the current 2012 PROS Plan (.pdf, 4MB). That plan introduced a new methodology and typology for urban park planning, service delivery strategies for 27 facility types, funding priorities for historic resources, and resource- based recreation.
When completed, the 2017 PROS Plan Update will provide guidance for:

  • park and recreation recommendations in area and park master plans
  • priorities for park acquisition, renovation and development
  • recreation facility needs in the County up to the Year 2030
  • urban parks acquisition and development
  • natural resource stewardship
  • priorities for stewardship of important historic resources in the County
  • local agricultural land preservation programs

How is the 2017 PROS Plan Update different from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan?

In 2010, the M-NCPPC, Department of Parks, Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Department of Recreation completed the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan for Parks and Recreation in Montgomery County, MD, which will significantly enhance the 2017 PROS Plan update by its many recommendations and products.

The Vision 2030 Strategic Plan is much broader in scope, focusing on priorities rather than on specific needs for land acquisition and facilities. It addresses all aspects of operating the parks and recreation systems, such as programming, facility renovation and construction, maintenance, operations, policing, management and marketing. The Vision 2030 Strategic Plan also indicates the general locations of underserved areas are in the County. Together, these two documents will enable us to set clear priorities for acquisition, renovation, and development of our Park System, as well as guide our recommendations in area master plans and park master plans and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP).

The PROS Plan summarizes guiding policies. It also includes a park inventory and estimates needs for neighborhood, community and countywide facilities, natural, historic/cultural and agricultural preservation and establishes implementation priorities.

The Plan Process

A majority of the input for the 2017 PROS Plan is based on a statistically valid survey, public meetings, an online survey, and meetings with advisory boards and focus groups. The timeline for this plan is outlined in the calendar below.

Public Input

Ideas and comments from the public were welcome throughout the planning process with a number of opportunities for input. The public record remained open until midnight on Thursday, June 1, 2017.


Public outreach for this project included sharing information on the project web page, participating in public meetings, issuing press releases, conducting intercept surveys and email campaigns to Homeowner and Civic Associations. We also communicated with the public via an online comment tool, E-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter posts using the hashtags: #MoCo2017 and #FutureParks, and via the Parks Department Media Center.

Calendar and Meeting Notes

The Plan schedule and presentation materials are listed on the calendar below. You may also want to review all outreach from the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan including, surveys, public meeting notes, and focus group notes.


Jan. – Feb.

Focus Group Meetings
Staff meetings with citizen groups to gather input for the 2017 PROS Plan.
 March 22 Upcounty Public MeetingPowerPoint Presentation (3MB, PDF) Upcounty Service Center
12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown, MD
March 29 Downcounty Public MeetingPowerPoint Presentation (3MB, PDF) M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
April 27 Planning Board Working Draft Presentation
Planning Board memo (PDF, 8MB)
– PowerPoint Presentation (3MB, PDF) PowerPoint Presentation (4MB, PDF)
 Montgomery Regional Office Building Auditorium,
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
Public Review Period
The public was invited to review the Public Hearing Draft 2017 Park Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan (PDF, 8MB) in order to give public testimony at the public hearing.
 May 25  Public Hearing
Planning Board memo (PDF, 1.7MB)
M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910Sign up to testify online or call 301-495-4605. If you are unable to attend, email written testimony to MCP-Chair@mncppc-mc.org or send U.S. mail to: Planning Board Chairman, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
The public record remained open for public comment until midnight on Thursday, June 1, 2017.
 June 8 This meeting was consolidated with the worksession on June 22, 2017.
June 22 Planning Board Worksession
Public Notice Flier (PDF, 225KB), Board Memo – Item #3, PowerPoint presentation (PDF, 2.7MB)
M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910 – Please check the Planning Board agenda for updates and tentative time.
Planning Board Approval of Plan M-NCPPC Regional Office Building Auditorium, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910 – Please check the Planning Board agenda for updates and tentative time.
July 1
Development of final plan, Executive Summary and materials requested by the State
FALL Presentation to the Montgomery County Council PHED Committee

Project Coordinator

Brooke Farquhar, Project Coordinator – Brooke.Farquhar@montgomeryparks.org.

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Last Updated: June 26, 2017