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Norwood Local Park Dog Park Plan

Division: Park Development Division

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to explore the feasibility and concept planning for a dog park within Norwood Local Park. The proposed dog park will provide a dedicated, fenced area for dog exercise with separate small and large dog areas. And may include amenities such as a shade structure, seating, and water source for dogs and maintenance.

As identified in the 2017 Park Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan and the 2011 Vision Montgomery 2030 Strategic Plan, dog parks are one of the most needed facilities in Montgomery County’s park system, particularly in areas of high density. A Site Suitability Study for Dog Parks was approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board in June 2019, and Norwood Local Park was chosen as the first dog park in Bethesda to address area needs.


Norwood Local Park is a 17-acre park located at 4700 Norwood Dr, Bethesda, MD.  It is a thriving community park with intense usage that serves the growing urban areas of Bethesda and Chevy Chase. The Little Falls Trail borders the south side of the park, and park paths connect to the larger trail system to the west through Little Falls Stream Valley Park.

The bucolic nature of the park reflects its historic significance: Norwood Local Park was the site of the federal government’s agricultural experimental farm during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the late 1930s, the land was transferred to the M-NCPPC for use as parkland.

One of the challenges for the park is to balance the demand for new facilities while protecting the extensive open space in the park. Existing amenities include community activity buildings, active recreation fields, open lawn areas, a basketball court, two playgrounds, an open-air grass stage and amphitheater, and tennis courts.

Status/Project Update

  • Montgomery Parks staff will present the proposed dog park facility plan to the Planning Board on May 6, 2021. Visit the Planning Board Agenda webpage at the end of April for the time of this item.
  • The M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, to gather public input about the Norwood Dog Park project planning process.
  • Community members were invited to provide input by visiting Parks Open Town Hall. The deadline to submit comments was extended to January 14, 2021.
  • Community meeting Q&A transcripts posted into calendar meeting notes.

Calendar and Meeting Notes

Links to review meeting notes and presentations will be attached to each applicable calendar event as it is scheduled and completed.

Fall 2020 – Project initiation
– Survey and preliminary assessment of site conditions
November 10, 2020  Virtual Community Meeting

Montgomery Parks will be using Microsoft TEAMS to host the meeting.

  • Watch the community meeting live online.
  • Listen live via phone by calling: 443-961-1463 (Code: 436 630 638#)
November 10, 2020 to January 14, 2021

Community members are invited to provide input by visiting Open Town Hall

Winter 2021

Parks staff reviews community feedback and prepares recommendation on how to proceed with dog park proposal

May 6, 2021 Presentation to Montgomery County Planning Board for a final decision on the dog park proposal

Spring-Summer 2021 -Parks staff reviewed public testimony and Planning Board feedback and is moving forward with plans for the dog park at Norwood Local Park.
Fall 2021-Spring 2022 Detailed Design and Permitting
Spring 2022 Project is on HOLD indefinitely as alternative sites are being considered by Montgomery Parks.

Dates and time subject to change. Please contact the project manager for updates.

M-NCPPC Staff Contact

Christie Ciabotti, Project Manager
(301) 650-4365

Last Updated: November 28, 2022