Kemp Mill Urban Park

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Project Description

This project includes final design and construction for the renovation of the existing 2.7 acre urban park, located at the intersection of Arcola Avenue and Lamberton Drive in the Kemp Mill neighborhood of Wheaton.  The renovated park will incorporate recommendations presented in the Facility Plan for Kemp Mill Urban Park, completed in August, 2011.


Originally developed in the 1960s, Kemp Mill Urban Park was widely praised for its innovative, contemporary design.  Materials found throughout the park generally reflect a simple, Modernist influence with stylized Asian details.  Site elements include board-formed concrete walls and shade structures, timber retaining walls and site furnishings of wood and galvanized steel.

The focal point of the park is a 0.46 acre concrete-lined pond surrounded by complementary elements such as a pedestrian bridge, trails, a gazebo, pergola, raised planters and park benches.  These features are enjoyed by many residents who visit the park to contemplate its inviting surroundings.  Active recreation is accommodated by a playground and basketball court at the north end of the park, both popular attractions for the large number of families with young children in the neighborhood.

While many of the park’s original elements remain, the park’s infrastructure and vegetation have slowly deteriorated over time.  The pond presents significant problems with siltation, water quality, flooding and nuisance wildlife.  Temporary repairs to the park’s storm drainage system, playground, pavement, walks and stairs have been made over time to keep the park operational until a full renovation is complete.  The park’s once diverse ecological setting has since given way to exposed and eroding slopes, open lawn and a burgeoning population of Canada geese that overwhelm the park throughout much of the year.

In August of 2011, a facility plan for Kemp Mill Urban Park was completed to guide further design and construction efforts within the park.  The Facility Plan process included a topographical and boundary survey, existing conditions analysis, program of requirements, alternative park designs, cost estimate, operating budget and recommended treatment plan.  Several public meetings held throughout the course of the project informed the program of requirements, alternative park designs and the recommended treatment plan.  The recommended plan, cost estimate and operating budget presented in the final Facility Plan will serve as the basis of design for the development of construction documents for the park.  This project has been approved and funded for both detailed design and construction by the Montgomery County Council.

Status/Project Update

Construction is complete and the park is open.  Parks staff and their contractors are continually making adjustments to the water feature and planting beds to optimize the mechanical and biological filtration systems and stabilize the pond’s water quality.  Staff is also developing interpretive signage for the park’s many unique features


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.

May 20, 2009 Public Meeting #1
– View meeting summary
Kemp Mill Elementary School
All Purpose Room
411 Sission Street
Wheaton, MD 20902
October 7, 2009 Public Meeting #2
– View meeting presentation
Kemp Mill Elementary School
All Purpose Room
411 Sission Street
Wheaton, MD 20902
January 12, 2011 Public meeting #3
– View meeting presentation
– View meeting summary
Kemp Mill Elementary School
All Purpose Room
411 Sission Street
Wheaton, MD 20902
September 15, 2011 Planning Board Meeting
– Board approved the Facility Plan (23mb PDF file, allow time to load)
– View Staff Memo
Montgomery Regional Office
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
December 13, 2012 Begin detailed design work
February 11, 2013 Playground Focus Group Meeting
– View meeting summary
Montgomery Parks Headquarters
9500 Brunett Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20901
June 11, 2013 Community Meeting to review the design plans and present a project update.
– View presentation
– View meeting summary
Kemp Mill Elementary School
All Purpose Room
411 Sission Street
Silver Spring, MD 20902
Spring 2015 Detailed design is complete
May 7, 2015 Request for Proposals advertised
– View advertisement
July 7, 2015 Proposals for construction are due
March 2016 Construction began
Spring 2017 Construction completed (approximately 13 months to construct)

M-NCPPC Staff Contacts

Aaron Feldman, Project Manager

David Linton, Construction Manager

John Boyd, Park Manager

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Last Updated: October 13, 2017