Montgomery Parks officials hope to have a revamped Willard Avenue Neighborhood Park finished by this summer, a refreshing development for many who gathered on Thursday night in Friendship Heights at a public meeting.

Parks planners and residents agreed the Park, now 24 years old, isn’t used as much as it could be and suffers from a lack of visibility. Parks had to remove the old playground because it had rotted out. The Park, near the intersection of River Road and Willard Avenue, sits in a flood plain and includes steep slopes and a stream.

Parks presented two options for replacing the playground and providing new exercise equipment along the existing trail. The department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will also clear out some space along River Road to make the park more visible.

Most residents seemed against the idea of an expanded parking lot that they said would allow the 5.1-acre space draw from a wider area. One man suggested a turf soccer field. A group of teenagers asked about the possibility of a small skate park, perhaps similar to the skatepark at the Woodside Urban Park in Silver Spring.

Park Project Manager Kathy Dearstine said staff would look into that possibility. The small basketball court is slated to remain.

Photo via Montgomery Parks