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Home / Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park – Park Improvements

Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park – Park Improvements

Project Description

The Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park is located at 12121 Skylark Road in Clarksburg, MD. The park’s active recreation area currently includes ballfields, playgrounds, and trails.  An overall concept plan was developed to expand the active recreation area to create a special space for family activities and a central gathering spot for Clarksburg and surrounding communities.

The proposed elements include an amphitheater, community green, and kite lawn, carousel, picnicking, water play, adventure playground, teen adventure play, skateboarding, fitness/track facility, and dog park. Future improvements to the athletic fields could include lighting and irrigation.

Background

Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park is a 290-acre park located in the Clarksburg Planning Area east of Interstate 270 and south of the Clarksburg Town Center. The park was a donation from Hallie Wells in 1981 in honor of her spouse, Ovid. Included in the deed, as a part of the gift was a stipulation that a carousel, currently serving Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton, Maryland, is permanently relocated to the Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park.

A park master plan was adopted in 1995 and updates to the plan were approved in late 2014. The master plan divides the site into three segments by geographic features from West to East: Active Recreation, Natural Area, and Organic Farm Demonstration.

History

Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park was donated to The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) in 1981 by Hattie Wells, in memory of her husband, Ovid Hazen Wells.  The carousel has had a connection to the park and the Wells family since the park was first acquired.

Hattie and Ovid’s nephew Jim operated the 1915-built carousel on the National Mall for many years, until it was purchased by M-NCPPC in 1981 for eventual placement at the newly acquired park.  The original Deed of Conveyance from Hattie Wells to M-NCPPC specifically references her intention to have the carousel placed at the park, stating “at such time as (Ovid Hazen Wells Park) is serving sufficient numbers of park users to justify the placement of a carousel on the property, (the Commission) agrees to relocate the Ovid Hazen Wells carousel to (Ovid Hazen Wells Park) provided that this carousel has not been destroyed by fire, vandalism, act of God or other means.”

The Parks Department placed the carousel at Wheaton Regional Park in the 1980s with the intention that it be relocated to its intended home once Clarksburg and Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park were sufficiently developed.  The 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan and later plans for the Clarksburg area all describe the carousel’s intended placement at Ovid Hazen Well Recreational Park upon build-out of the community.

As Clarksburg became established, residents and elected officials representing Clarksburg began to call for the relocation of the carousel to its planned location.  In their testimonies calling for the placement of the carousel, many Clarksburg residents spoke to the appeal of the park and its planned expanded amenities as a contributing factor in their decision to move to Clarksburg.

The Planning Board approved 2015 Facility Plan for the expansion of the Ovid Hazen Wells Active Recreation Area identified the specific location for the carousel within the park’s active recreation area.  Funding for the project includes creation of a roundhouse building to house the carousel, picnic areas, playgrounds, walkways, overlook swings, a skatepark, and additional parking.  The project was added to the Parks Department’s capital improvement program by the Montgomery County Council soon after that 2015 Facility Plan approval, and construction is expected to begin in the coming months.

Status/Project Update

A facility plan for the 80-acre active recreation portion of the park, fronting Skylark Road, was approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board on September 24, 2015. The project is proposed to be phased, and an initial phase of the active recreation portion is included in the Department of Parks’ Fiscal Year 2019-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for design and construction.

This first phase will meet ADA accessibility requirements and include:

  • Utility infrastructure
  • Landscape architecture
  • Carousel roundhouse with restrooms and ticketing
  • A new playground, group swings area, group hill slide area, and group picnic area
  • Trail connections
  • Additional parking spaces
  • Skate park
  • Free Wi-Fi service in designated areas of the park

Skate Park update: February 2024 two concepts for the skate park were developed by Spohn Ranch Skateparks, a Los Angeles-based design/build firm with more than 30 years of experience. The concepts were developed based on extensive community feedback. The design which receives the most votes from the Open Town Hall survey will be selected and the construction documents will be finalized. Montgomery Parks anticipates the skate park will be completed and open to the public in the spring of 2025.

Option 1: The surface area is 10,000 square feet and has a traditional street or plaza-style layout with perimeter flow. It contains traditional elements such as a kidney bowl feature, kinked rail, hubba (or a concrete downward sloping ledge), banks, curbs, quarterpipes with transitions, volcano, radius wedge, manual pads, hips, grind box, kicker with jump ramps, ledges, and a unique semicircular 6” grind curb with pad. There will be a seating area with picnic tables and a circular shade structure, and we are looking into possible locations to add more seating.

Option 2: The surface area is 10,000 square feet and has a modern free-form style layout. It contains standard features but is a little more unique. It contains elements such as a kidney bowl feature, stairs with a handrail, hubba (or a concrete downward sloping ledge), funbox, ledges, banks, curbs, quarterpipes, radius wedge, manual pads, hips, grind box, and a planter. There will be a seating area with picnic tables and a circular shade structure, and we are looking into possible locations to add more seating.

Calendar and Meeting Notes

*Dates and times are subject to change. Please contact the Project Manager for the latest update.

DatesDiscussion and Meeting NotesLocations
January 2015Facility Planning began; different locations for siting the carousel and other amenities were exploredPast Event
June 3, 2015Community Meeting #1
To solicit community input
Rocky Hill Middle School
22401 Brick Haven Way
Clarksburg, MD 20871
Summer 2015Develop 30% plan and cost estimatePast Event
September 24, 2015Planning Board Meeting
Park staff presented the findings of the Facility Plan – Approved. Detailed design of Phase 1 Expansion begins.
M-MCPPC Montgomery Regional Office
Auditorium
8787 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
January 2023Project PermittingIn Office
Winter 2023Anticipated start of constructionOn-Site
September 13, 2023Virtual Presentation: Update on Phase 1 Expansion

View a recording of the September 13th Phase 1 Expansion presentation


View questions and responses from the meeting (accessible pdf)

Online: Zoom
October 14, 2023Hybrid Skatepark Design Meeting: View a recording of the meeting

Hallie Wells Middle School Cafeteria, 11701 Little Seneca Pkwy, Clarksburg, MD, 20871

March 4 – April 5, 2024Two concepts were developed based on extensive community feedback. The design which receives the most votes will selected.
2025Skate park construction to begin
Last Updated: June 12, 2024