Little Bennett Regional Park
Little Bennett Regional Park is the area’s largest regional park and a major destination in upper Montgomery County. The 65-acre project area consists primarily of rolling hills and open meadow and is framed by hedgerows and stream valleys which provide valuable habitat for wildlife. The land form, its ecology and culture offer a distinctive setting, but as the park has no entrance from Maryland’s Route 355, there is limited access and public awareness of the full extent of the park.
In an award winning effort, AMT provided master planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering and surveying services for the park that has been recommended as a day-use area for Little Bennett Regional Park.
We collaborated with Montgomery County Parks to develop a comprehensive facility plan for new day use area and gateway to the greater park to improve access and awareness. The creation of this gateway area uses design elements to welcome visitors to the largest regional park in the area and to offer passive recreational and interpretive opportunities that connect visitors to both the beauty of the regional landscape, as well as to the specific attributes of the site.
Program elements for the day use area were carefully planned to be sensitive to the land and its natural inhabitants. While providing recreational and interpretation opportunities for visitors, the concept attempts to leave a good portion of the meadow intact to pre-serve its biodiversity. AMT performed a natural resources inventory, and forest conservation plan to minimize construction impacts to the site.
The design focused on nature-based recreational activities to highlight the site’s unique ecological and cultural heritage. The program includes entrances, an access road, parking, interpretive trails, a sledding hill, group picnic areas, a playscape complex, amphitheater, group fire ring, a picnic shelter, overlooks and a small multi-purpose classroom pavilion.
In 2012, the park won the coveted Traveling Award from the Maryland and Potomac Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects.