Little Bennett Regional Park – Day Use Area

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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 camp fire ring, amphitheatre, 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 Council approved funding for final design and construction documents in Fiscal Years 2017-18 this May.  Construction funding is planned for Fiscal Year 2019 and beyond.  The facility plan has received an Honor Award in 2012 from the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

As recommended by the 2007 Little Bennett Regional Park Master Plan, an interim project to provide a public park entrance along MD Route 355 was planned and funded with State grants and matching Park funding from the FY 12-14 CIP program.  It is considered Phase 1 and includes a vehicular entrance, signage, access drive, parking area, terrace and picnic area.  The intent of the project is to design and construct the interim entrance within the initial budget that will work toward permanent improvement of the Day Use Area and provide a safe and functional visitor access to the site from MD Route 355.  The interim project is complete.


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 program of requirements
Procurement of multi-disciplinary consultant
Spring – Summer 2010 Schematic Design, develop design approach and concept
Sept. 29, 2010
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Community Meeting to obtain input from the community Cedarbrook Community Church
23700 Stringtown Road
Clarksburg, MD 20871
May 23, 2011 Project presented to the Clarksburg Civic Association for comments
June 15, 2011 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 Phase I construction began
Fall 2014 Phase I completed

M-NCPPC Staff Contact

Ching-Fang Chen, Project Manager/Landscape Architect

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Last Updated: August 9, 2016