Walker Mill Regional Park Master Park Development Plan
What is a Master Park Development Plan?
A Master Park Development Plan will establish a comprehensive vision for Walker Mill Regional Park by developing a blueprint that balances competing demands on the park’s resources, and responsibly guide development through the next 20-25 years The blueprint will be shaped by a recommendations generated from an analysis of information collected through multiple and varying civic engagement tools, an evaluation of existing site conditions, and robust level of service assessments. A set of guiding principles will also be established with community members and key stakeholders to guide the planning process.
Why is a Plan Being Developed Now?
The south side of the Walker Mill Regional Park has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation over the past 10 years as a result of a 2004 planning effort. The upgrades included the Woodland Wonderland Imagination Playground with misting pads, restroom, the multi-use artificial turf field, skate park, renovated tennis and basketball courts, Nationals All-Star Field, trails, and a picnic pavilion. As the southern half was being constructed, a conceptual master plan for the northern half of the park was developed. The master planning effort was a three-year process that ended in 2011. Due to the changes in the market and county needs since the plan’s conception, the concepts and original recommendations envisioned for Walker Mill Regional Park north are now no longer feasible.
The Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes the changing needs and demands for facilities within the county and is working to re-envision the future of Walker Mill Regional Park. The department is using the master park development plan process to identify the limitations of the parks’ existing assets and opportunities for new investments. This holistic planning approach will define steps to allocate the proper resources for both conservation and development and prioritize improvements for future generations.
The Department of Parks and Recreation has selected LSG Landscape Architecture, a nationally recognized park planning consulting firm, to work with the department and the community to propose a path toward achieving countywide goals outlined in Formula 2040: Functional Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space, and the Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. Although this planning effort will comprehensively evaluate the park as a whole, the main focus will be on the undeveloped northern half.
Under the direction of the Park Planning and Development Division, the consultant will perform the following tasks to inform and develop a strategic framework to guide the development of the master park development plan:
- Inventory the existing site characteristics and conditions, and assess the current and future users of the park
- Inventory the natural resources
- Conduct a comprehensive public engagement process to better understand community needs and desires
- Develop a vision for the future development of the park
- Prepare a final plan document with recommendations and an implementation strategy
(Currently completing the inventory of existing conditions and natural resources)
The department and the consultant will be working hand in hand with the community to identify all of the park’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. Some of the key components given to that will be used to frame discussions for future park amenities include:
- Exploring the potential for a new Park Police facility on the north side of the park;
- Recommend a signature event and amenities at Walker Mill Regional Park – North;
- Envision adaptive reuse of the Concord Historic Site that utilizes and preserves its viewshed;
- Make meaningful connections to the surrounding trail and pedestrian network as well as to the rich history and cultural heritage of the Central Avenue Corridor;
- Propose a plan for circulation within the park for vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic, accessible to all people, regardless of physical abilities;
- Identify opportunities to incorporate summer camp and other programs at the park;
- Identify if the Walker Mill Regional Park is an ideal location to meet the outdoor aquatic space and dog park needs in Service Area 5 identified in the Formula 2040 plan;
- Identify opportunities for integrating public art into the park.
Community Engagement Opportunities
Throughout the process, the department and consultant will be continually collecting input from the community. A variety of forums will be utilized to capture the public opinion of the park’s users, including at community and county organizational meetings, through in-person and digital surveys, and during DPR events at and around the park. The webpage will also be updated regularly.
Please review the documents below and join in the conversation regarding the future of Walker Mill Regional Park! We invite you to contact the Park Planning and Development Division at 301-699-2517 with any questions or comments.