The Energized Public Spaces (EPS) Plan is a countywide functional master plan that defines a program to create more parks and public spaces to serve areas of the County most in need. The Plan will provide a comprehensive approach to how and where we create parks and public spaces in the parts of the County where more people live and work.
The EPS Plan uses a new methodology to identify and prioritize public space and park needs in-relationship to population and the existing supply of park amenities. A key element of the methodology evaluates walkable access to all public spaces to measure the relative supply of parks and public spaces. Park design, maintenance, and safety will be taken into consideration, as well as measures of social equity. The Plan will help Montgomery Parks better identify needs, anticipate trends, and promote important goals such as health and social equity.
This Plan also provides tools to make recommendations on parks and public spaces for areas not undergoing a master plan process. In the long-term, an interactive inventory of accessible public spaces and mapping of the areas with the highest needs will result in better prioritization of scarce park resources.
The Vision & Goals
The plan vision and overarching goals are to create outdoor spaces in the highest populated areas of the County where people of all ages and incomes can meet, play, relax, exercise, enjoy nature and more in a range of parks and public spaces. The plan will:
- Identify where parks are needed most
- Prioritize parks and public spaces for implementation using social equity and other factors
- Propose innovative tools and new funding sources
“Urban parks serve as critical public places for recreation and civic engagement, essential to quality of life in urban centers. Parks help provide solutions to a myriad of national and community issues: providing healthy places to exercise, managing stormwater runoff and helping clean the air, catalyzing economic and community development, and providing safe, close to home recreation options.” – the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
During the planning process, the public submitted comments online through our Town Hall public survey. Additionally, public testimony from the Planning Board Public Hearing was compiled for the work sessions and public testimony was taken at the County Council Public Hearing – review the video record.
Public outreach for this project included this project web page, a working group, public meetings, focus group meetings, media releases and email campaigns to individuals and registered Homeowner and Civic Associations.
Notices and updates have been sent out through the Commission E-newsletter, our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #FutureParks and via the Parks Department Media Center.