On June 23, 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.
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, but the purpose of this plan is to better serve the broad diversity of people living in this area of the county, as well as their diverse recreational interests.
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. As a regional park, Wheaton Regional Park provides large-scale facilities with the capacity to serve the entire county, such as the adventure playground, and destination amenities such as the ice rink, carousel, and miniature train.
But after robust community engagement over several years – including thousands of comments from hundreds of commenters, dozens of staff and stakeholder meetings, hours and hours in the park, and extensive existing conditions and data analysis – it was clear that the park serves a critical function for nearby neighbors as well. Wheaton Regional Park not only provides recreational facilities and services for the entire county, but many residents who live near the park consider it their local park as well.
The park remains vibrant and popular, but it is also aging. The comprehensive plan update was needed to reflect the many changes that have occurred over the last 30 plus years so that the park can better serve the adjacent communities as well as residents throughout the county. The new master plan will also guide plans for future renovations and growth.
Wheaton Regional Park is Montgomery County’s regional park, next door. 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, providing 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, but the plan also recommends several new facilities to better meet the needs of an urbanizing, diverse population.
Chuck Kines, Project manager