Watkins Regional Park Master Development Plan

Male toddler walking down "yellow brick road" in Watkins Park holding an adult's hand


The Draft Watkins Regional Park Master Park Development Plan has been completed is available for public review. To view and download the plan document, see links below. Park Planning staff will be collecting comments until January 31, 2019. For more information and to submit comments, please email Joseph “JJ” Arce.

What is a Master Park Development Plan?

A Master Park Development Plan will establish a comprehensive vision for Watkins Regional Park by developing a blueprint that balances competing demands on the parks' resources. The blueprint is shaped by recommendations generated from an analysis of information collected through civic engagement, an evaluation of existing site conditions, and a robust level of service assessments. The plan identifies priorities and opportunities to responsibly guide development through the next 20-25 years. Many of the proposed elements will still need more detailed planning, design, and engineering before implementation.

Why is it Being Developed Now?

Watkins Regional Park has grown organically over the past 40 years; infrastructure, activities, and programs were developed as opportunities presented themselves. Over the years, Watkins has established itself as a natural, cultural, and recreational jewel of the county. The park serves over one million visitors annually by providing a diverse collection of programs, activities, and options for passive recreation.

The Department of Parks and Recreation recognizes the changing demand for facilities within the park and is working to define steps to allocate proper resources for both conservation and development. A more holistic planning approach is needed to identify the limitations of the parks' assets while continually enhancing the role of Watkins Regional Park in the county.

Guiding Principles

The following principles were established with community members and key stakeholders to guide the planning effort for Watkins Regional Park. They provided a framework for decision making and influences the recommendations for future development:
  • Create a Sense of Place: A compelling mix of destinations and experiences will enhance the comfort, ambiance, and choice of activities at the park.
  • Education and Environmental Learning: Celebrate the park’s natural resources through a more focused lens on environmental discovery and understanding. Special habitat and wildlife features will be protected and explained.
  • Infrastructure Expansion: Improvements that prioritize aging infrastructure and stronger internal and external connections to the park will achieve better connectivity, safety, and function.
  • Family Fun: New park facilities and programming, will open up opportunities for new audiences and age groups to visit and enjoy the park. The park will offer spaces, activities, and events that support family togetherness and fun for a whole day in the park.
  • Personal Health and Fitness: Trails for recreational use will be expanded to improve fitness and health programming.
  • Habitat and Wildlife: The preservation of the landscape, stewardship and sustainability, and incorporation of cultural elements that express Prince Georges County’s character and identity are one of the plan's priorities.

Resources and Community Feedback

Please review the documents below and join in the conversation regarding the future of Watkins Regional Park! We invite you to contact the Park Planning and Development Division at 301-699-2517 with any questions or comments.

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