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Yesterday the Planning Board discussed a draft Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan (PROS Plan) that lays out a strategy to ensure access to open space for County residents:

The purpose of the 2012 PROS Plan is to estimate the future needs for park and
recreation facilities and natural, historic and agricultural resource preservation
and to develop specific service delivery strategies to meet future needs through
the year 2022 and beyond.

This broad-ranging Plan covers traditional park and trail facilities on public and private land, but also delves into preservation and enhancement of historic, cultural, and agricultural resources.

Like the recently created Parkscore system established by the Trust for Public Land, important parts of the PROS Plan are establishing:

  • a methodology to determine where open space is lacking,
  • strategies to rectify identified problem areas, and
  • guidelines to implement the creation of new open space.

A quick overview of our urban areas shows that significant green spaces are lacking in our densest areas.

Parkscore has rated Washington, DC 5th among the 40 largest cities ranked.

And with the metrics used, the County should rank quite well.  Many of the County’s parks, however, are right outside our metro station areas.  For example, I regularly visit Wheaton Regional Park, which is only a 1.7 mile walk from my home in the southern part of the Wheaton CBD.

Brookside Garden on an Evening Winter Walk

Still, opportunities exist within the central core to provide green space and respite for residents, employees, and visitors.  How these open spaces are created is, of course, the question.  And it is one that the PROS Plan begins to answer.

The record remains open until June 1st, so please contact the project manager at