from the community. This is the first project that we’re trying that with.”
When it comes to feedback, Lewis said the department did not receive any complaints from residents about the park, but rather a large amount of kudos.
“When we put the information on Facebook, what we were happy to see is folks responding with a tremendous amount of things that they would like us to add as well which is what we’re looking for when we’re developing future plans for the park,” Lewis said. “People had suggestions about adding different things to the park like art, things for teens or an amphitheater. Just any ideas that they could possibly come up with.”
As far as a timeline for the master plan, Lewis said the conversation is timely. Consultants will begin working with park planning and development officials to compile all ideas and see which ones are feasible and can be blended together. That information will then be presented to M-NCPPC leadership and shared with the community again for additional feedback, she said.
“A complete timeline is not available at this point but that would be the next steps,” she said. “What will fit, what will work and of course what’s fiscally, meaning financially, possible to do. They’ll put together a master plan with all of that in mind and then that will come back to the community.”
Because Watkins is one of three regional parks in the county, Lewis said no preference will be given to the responses and data from residents in one area — such as Upper Marlboro where Watkins Regional Park is located — over those who live in other areas.
“People come from all over. We’ve had people come from as far as Pennsylvania and the Eastern Shore to Watkins Park,” Lewis said. “We just got the new, wonderful Wizard of Oz playground which opened there last year. It’s a great fanfare and that’s one of the biggest attractions we have at the park right now. They also just put in a new access road that comes from [Route] 202 into the heart of the park which eases the traffic from the other entrance on [Route] 193.”
Some of the other attractions at Watkins Park include a second imagination playground, the Old Maryland Farm, a carousel, train rides, ball fields and even a tennis bubble, according to Lewis.
“Watkins is one of our busier parks and it’s full of plenty of attractions,” Lewis said. “This is not so much a renovation of the park in as much as adding to all that that park could offer to the community.”