Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan Update
Montgomery Parks updated the 2017 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan to guide the future development and management of our park system. Parks, recreation, and open spaces provide active, social, and leisure opportunities that are essential to the high quality of life for Montgomery County residents. The focus of the 2022 PROS Plan was to provide equitably activated, central community spaces that meet recreational needs and protect and manage natural and cultural resources for future generations.
PROS and THRIVE Montgomery 2050
The PROS Plan update was correlated with the developing THRIVE Montgomery 2050 General Plan update for Montgomery County which showcases how great places with equitable access to opportunities produce strong communities and people. THRIVE uses a placemaking-first approach to inspire people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces at the heart of every community.
Placemaking is a collaborative process that strengthens the connection between people and places they share to shape the public realm for all to enjoy. More than just promoting better park facilities, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. Placemaking is a holistic approach to planning parks and open spaces as part of a larger community, rather than zeroing in on individual facilities. It replaces the fragmented planning processes of yesterday with a broader perspective to address various common problems, such as traffic congestion, little-used parks, and loss of outdoor school fields, among others.
- Parks serve multiple functions
- Enhancing parks and facilities in urban areas
- Serving an increasingly diverse population
- Serving senior citizens, teenagers, and young adults
- Making physical activity irresistible
- Innovating and staying abreast of trends
- Fostering social cohesion
- Telling the story of our history, culture, and natural resources
- Providing sustainable access to our best natural areas, and
- Maintaining our commitment to environmental stewardship
Plan Process and Schedule
- April 2021: Project kick-off
- Summer / Fall 2021: Community engagement
- December 9, 2021: Preliminary recommendations reviewed by the Montgomery Planning Board
- December 31, 2021: Draft PROS Plan submitted to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
- June 16, 2022: Final recommendations reviewed and approved by the Montgomery Planning Board
- July 1, 2022: Final PROS submitted to DNR and Maryland Department of Planning (MDP)
- August 26, 2022: The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved PROS
A majority of the public input for the 2022 PROS Plan was based on a statistically valid survey, online survey, intercept survey and planning board meetings.
During the summer and fall months of 2021, staff collected community feedback as part of the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) 2022 Plan.
The PROS Plan and its impact on the community
The state of Maryland requests an updated Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan every five years. The PROS Plan is used to develop strategies to deliver the “right parks in the right places” and bring those places to life through events and public programming. Montgomery Parks last completed a PROS Plan in 2017.
The 2022 PROS Plan serves as the planning policy for parks and recreation in Montgomery County to the year 2027 and beyond. Additionally, the PROS Plan will fulfill the requirement of the Department of Natural Resources Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP) to receive state funding.