Montgomery Parks Acquires Former Site of Maryland College of Art and Design to Develop Carroll Knolls Local Park
SILVER SPRING, MD—The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks announced today the acquisition of a 2.47 acre plot of land on the west side of Georgia Avenue between Forest Glen and Wheaton to create the new Carroll Knolls Local Park. The site, previously owned by the Montgomery College Foundation, Inc., and formerly home to the Maryland College of Art and Design (MCAD), was acquired through the Department’s Legacy Open Space Program for $1,140,000. An additional 1.2 acres will be incorporated into the park with the anticipated donation of an adjacent lot and the incorporation of several undeveloped road rights-of-way, resulting in a new local park almost four acres in size.
“This property is ideally suited for a park in that it provides both green open space for natural resource-based recreation and park facilities for more organized recreation in a very dense suburban community,” said Brenda Sandberg, Program Manager for Montgomery Parks Legacy Open Space Program. “We are excited to be able to create this new park after many years of consideration, and look forward to creating a space for neighboring families to enjoy the outdoors.”
The acquisition was approved by the Montgomery Planning Board in September and completed this past week. The future development of the site aligns closely with goals of Vision 2030 and the 2012 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan—plans that provide the foundation for parks and recreation needs in the county for the next decade and beyond. Aspects of Carroll Knolls Local Park which correlate to Vision 2030 and the 2012 PROS Plan include:
• Its location in an increasingly dense urban area of the county;
• The provision of community open space for informal recreation; and urban wooded areas that create natural space in an urban environment; and
• The provision of a park within walking distance (¼ mile) of a community that previously had to walk almost a mile or cross a major highway to reach parkland.
“The Plyers Mill Crossing, Carroll Knolls, and McKenney Hills communities are deeply grateful and relieved that this important green space in our communities has been saved as a local park for hundreds of current and future residents to safely enjoy,” said Beverly Sobel, President of GreenSpaceonGeorgia.org. “Residents have used this property as recreational space for decades. We are grateful that it has been saved, and we are relieved that we will not have to cross Georgia Avenue, a six-lane state highway, without a pedestrian bridge, a crosswalk, nor an intersection light to access nearby parkland.”
The park will be developed in two phases. In the first phase, the former MCAD building will be demolished, the land stabilized and planted with grass, and other debris and non-native invasive (NNI) plants will be removed. Fencing and signs will be installed as well to create a safe and usable park. The second phase of development will be determined in the coming years through a park facility planning process that will include input from local communities. Potential facilities for this new local park could include play equipment, a youth-sized rectangular sports field, sitting and picnic areas, community open space, wooded areas, courts and parking.
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