fbpx Skip to the content
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Art in the Park icon
Art in the Park
Baseball Fields icon
Baseball Fields
Basketball Courts icon
Basketball Courts
Football Fields icon
Football Fields
Picnic Areas icon
Picnic Areas
Picnic Shelters icon
Picnic Shelters
Playgrounds icon
Soccer Fields icon
Soccer Fields
Softball Fields icon
Softball Fields
Tennis Court icon
Tennis Court

This 95-acre park includes an outdoor and indoor swimming pool operated by the Montgomery Recreation Department, tennis courts, ball fields (including a synthetic turf field with crumb rubber infill), a playground, a HeartSmart Trail, and a small lake.

Help us make your visit as enjoyable as possible by adhering to the following recommendations:

  • County and park rules require that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park.
  • Visitors to the park must follow M-NCPPC Rules and Regulations, as well as any rule specific to a park facility or activity.

History: Montgomery County’s Legendary King—Mrs. Willie Pearl Mackey King

Willie Mackey King smiles while sitting in a church pew.
Willie Pearl King poses for a photograph at her church, Montgomery Hills Baptist Church in Silver Spring, MD, January 16, 2015. King was the secretary who transcribed Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail. (Toby Jorrin/Special Contributor)

Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never lived in Montgomery County, but his former secretary Willie Pearl Mackey (later King; no relation) does. She was there when Dr. King was jailed during a non-violent protest on April 12, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. And she was there when his lawyers returned to the office with scraps of his writing on newspaper margins, toilet paper, and greasy napkins.

“We were on the floor like with a jigsaw puzzle trying to put this letter together,” Mrs. Mackey King recalled in a 2021 interview. The puzzle they solved, and Ms. Mackey typed, became known as the Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Published in the Atlantic Monthly as “The Negro is Your Brother,” King’s letter responded to white clergymen who criticized his approach as “unwise and untimely.” King was blunt, writing “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed0.” But in conclusion, he left no doubt that the only way to achieve true integration was through peace and faith. 

A black and white photo shows an African American man standing next to a seated African American woman at a typewriter.
A 1963 photo of Willie Pearl King (right) with Isaac Reynolds from when she worked for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King was the secretary who transcribed Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail. (Toby Jorrin/Special Contributor)

Mrs. King continued working for equal rights and improved circumstances for minorities. In looking back on her more than 30 years with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she says, “I’m extremely proud of the job opportunities that have come out for minorities.” Mrs. King was awarded the county’s African American Living Legend award in 2021.

Hear more in this news interview from February 2023.