Watkins Regional Park
Master Park Development Plan
The Maryland-National Capital Park Planning Commission selected L/KLA and team consultants to prepare a master plan for Watkins Regional Park located in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, MD. Park inventories and analyses, facility and maintenance surveys, staff interviews, public meetings, and on-line surveys provided direction and perspective in solidifying a framework and vision for the park. Areas of focus included park circulation and neighborhood connections; parking; revenue and use analysis; park amenities and siting; events and programming; inventory and protection of natural resources; and infrastructure needs.
Watkins Regional Park was initially developed in the late 1960’s. Improvements have been made over the years, but many facilities remain as installed over forty years ago. This 835-acre property receives over one million visitors per year. More than half of the park is protected by various environmental and policy constraints from active development.
Infrastructure (athletic fields, farm, picnic facilities, restrooms, etc.) is in need of upgrading, and pressures for additional uses continue to challenge the park’s operations. Areas of focus include park circulation, parking, revenue and use analysis, park amenities and siting, events and programming, inventory and protection of natural resources, and infrastructure needs.
The plan recognizes the strengths of the existing park and builds off its successes through enhancements to playground and family oriented gathering spaces, nature center, farm/agriculture, and sports facilities. Recommended improvements to picnic and play features include the introduction of social hubs with seating and food options, a sprayground, and parking renovations. An outdoor pavilion is recommended for accommodating special events and revenue-generating programs. Enhancements to the “northern athletic complex” will be supported with new fields, parking, trails, and picnic shelters at the “southern
The Watkins Regional Park Master Park Development Plan was developed with an open and collaborative public engagement process. An array of outreach methods were used, including: public meetings and focus groups; working with an appointed stakeholder group; interviews with key staff and agency representatives; an on-line survey; a participatory dot poster survey with displays at the Watkins Nature Center (WNC) and the Largo/Kettering/Perrywood Community Center; and attendance at park events.
A copy of the Watkins Regional Park Master Park Development Plan is available online here.