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Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan

Wheaton Regional Park,
Montgomery County’s Regional Park, NEXT DOOR!

Cover of 2022 Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan

Wheaton Regional Park is getting a facelift! Most of the park’s facilities were designed and constructed from 1960 through the 1980s. Since then, a lot has changed about the community and the larger county. With the plan update, the park will better reflect the community’s diversity, values, and interests.

In June 2022, the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the 2022 Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan. The 2022 plan comprehensively updates and amends the 1987 Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan to reflect the many changes that have occurred over the last 30-plus years. The new master plan will also guide future renovations and growth.


A park master plan offers guidance to the Department’s six-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which implements the recommendations of the plan among other projects and public investments. A park master plan establishes priorities for park improvements over the next 15-20 years to better serve existing and future park users and the surrounding communities.

This plan provides an overall vision for Wheaton Regional Park to modernize the county’s premier, large park in the eastern down county. It is already a destination for families and sports enthusiasts, and with the plan update will now better serve the broad diversity of people living in this area of the county, as well as their diverse recreational interests.

The Park Today

Comprised of 538 acres, Wheaton Regional Park is in the lower, eastern part of the county. It is near the Wheaton, Glenmont, and Kemp Mill communities and adjoins Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park to the east. Wheaton Regional Park provides large-scale facilities to serve the entire county, such as the adventure playground, the ice rink, carousel, and miniature train, as well as forest/woods, and both natural surface and hard surface trails.

Shorefield Area 

  • Picnic Areas
  • Adventure Playground
  • Wheaton Miniature Train
  • Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel
  • Exercise Station
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian trails
  • Pine Lake

Brookside Gardens

  • Visitor’s Center with The Shop at Brookside Gardens
  • Two conservatories for year-round enjoyment
  • Ponds
  • Hard surface trails
  • Gardens with several distinct areas: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk
  • The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden

Brookside Nature Center

  • Nature Center with wildlife observation area, children’s discovery room, live animal exhibits
  • Nature exploration area
  • Pond with an accessible interpretive boardwalk
  • Pollinator and Bay-friendly gardens
  • The Thomas Harper Homestead

Wheaton Riding Stables

  • Indoor and outdoor riding arenas

F. Frank Rubini Athletic Complex

  • Four softball fields
  • Two baseball fields
  • Basketball court
  • Four handball courts
  • Wheaton Indoor Tennis – six heated and air-conditioned courts as well as pickleball courts
  • Outdoor Tennis – Six outdoor tennis courts
  • Wheaton Ice Arena
  • Wheaton Sports Pavilion – a 200 ft. X 85 ft. indoor field with futsal, lacrosse, and soccer lines
  • Dog park

It is the only regional park with access to the Metrorail system; it is walking or biking distance from both Glenmont and Wheaton metro stations. It is also accessible by bus transit along Georgia Avenue.

The communities surrounding the park are very diverse. Of the more than 100,000 residents who live within two miles of the park, nearly three-quarters are non-white and nearly half speak a language other than English at home.

Planned Changes to the Park

Before updating the master plan, Montgomery Parks conducted extensive community engagement between 2019 and 2021 which included – collecting thousands of comments through an online survey, conducting dozens of staff and stakeholder meetings, and spending many hours in the park reaching out to park visitors. Staff then analyzed the data and existing conditions to develop a plan to provide recreational facilities and services for the entire county, including the many residents who live near the park and consider it their local park.

The recommendations in the Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan emphasize providing regional-quality facilities that meet the local needs the planning team heard about during the planning process, such as skateboarding opportunities, access to nature, soccer fields and courts, community gardens, and refreshing and upgrading many existing amenities. Much of this plan focuses on modernizing and upgrading existing facilities, with recommendations for several new facilities to better meet the needs of an urbanizing, diverse population.

Summary of Plan Recommendations

  • Retain at least two-thirds of the natural/wooded area of the park, developing no more than one-third.
  • Develop a new action sports complex with a skate park, parkour/extreme fitness facilities, a climbing/bouldering wall, bicycle skill elements, and social gathering spaces with seating/swings.
  • Add comprehensive wayfinding signs to help park visitors efficiently navigate the parks’ numerous activity areas.
  • Improve bicycle, pedestrian, and transit access to encourage more sustainable, healthier travel to the park.
  • Incorporate multi-use natural surface trails to allow mountain bikes while continuing to serve hikers and horseback riders.
  • Maintain limited-use natural surface trails for hikers and equestrians.
  • Add new dedicated pickleball courts while maintaining several tennis courts.
  • Add new amenities to the dog park, including lights, shelters, and water fountains, as well as separate areas for large and small dogs similar to dog parks at Cabin John and Olney Manor.
  • Renovate and redesign the Adventure Playground to be fully accessible and inclusive of all ages and abilities.
  • Add new basketball courts and soccer courts to provide some active recreational facilities in the Shorefield Area.
  • Add new food truck areas and associated picnic pavilions to allow for longer park experiences.
  • Add a new community garden in the Shorefield Area.
  • Add a mountain biking skills area in the Shorefield Area near the Adventure Playground.
  • Restore streams to improve water quality draining into Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River.

Last Updated: April 8, 2024