Montgomery County Parks is in the process of updating and renovating Waters Landing Local Park on Waters Landing Drive. The upgrades, which cost about $250,000 include moving and upgrading the playground with new playground equipment, and improving the accessibility to the picnic shelter area.
“The biggest change we made was to move the playground from its former location next to the soccer field to a spot between the picnic shelter and tennis court,” said Aaron Feldman, the Montgomery Parks project manager for Waters Landing Local Park. “This created a little more separation between the playground and the soccer field, reducing the risk of an errant soccer ball hitting someone in the playground.”
Feldman said the County has a countywide playground renovation program in which Montgomery Parks renovates five to ten playgrounds each year. “The playground renovations are prioritized by a number of factors, including a playground’s age and its condition, as determined by our playground safety inspectors,” said Feldman. The last time the Waters Landing Local Park playground was upgraded was 20 years ago in 1996. The last part of the facelift will be a bioretention facility to treat runoff from the new playground and pathways.
“Although what was left of the playground was still safe to use, a number of components had to be removed in recent years which made the playground a lot less enjoyable,” said Feldman. “We also used this opportunity to make some accessibility-related improvements to the park to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
The work, which has been ongoing, is expected to be completed this Spring and the park has remained open. Although certain amenities might be periodically blocked off, as work is conducted.
“The new playground is open, and the old playground has been demolished,” said Feldman. “Our crews will be moving on to the asphalt and concrete work within the parking lot and on the paths next. They also need to plant the bioretention facility. A lot of this work is weather-dependent, but our crews hope to have all of the work completed this Spring.”
Germantown resident Andree Kless came to the park on a beautiful Thursday morning with his two young sons. Kless came to Waters Landing from across town because his wife told him that there was new playground equipment at the park. “It is really nice here. I would definitely being the boys back to play here,” said Kless, who usually goes to a park closer to home on Warring Station Way. “I will sometimes take the kids down to the Adventure Playground in South Germantown Recreational Park, but it is so big.” He said it can be tough to keep an eye on his little guys in the big park. Kless said the new equipment at Waters Landing is easier to keep a watchful eye on his little guys.
Feldman said the park isn’t going to have a dramatically changed look; it will largely appear as it always has. He said, “We did receive a good bit of community input regarding the play equipment that was desired for the new playground. Community members were interested in providing a play experience where components were linked to one another in a kind of play circuit. There were also requests for upper-body activities, swings and boulders to climb on. We made every effort to incorporate all of these requests.”
Montgomery Parks will also be re- -grading the asphalt paths leading from the parking lot in order to provide ADA-compliant accessible routes to the basketball court, picnic shelter, playground and tennis court. “We will also reconstruct a portion of the parking lot better accommodate accessible parking spaces,” said Feldman.
Top: New playground equipment is the real star of the new Waters Landing Local Park.
Next: Germantown resident Andree Kless helps his young son A.J. Kless down from the new playground equipment.
Next: Montgomery County Parks is spending $250,000 on the upgrades to the equipment and improvements to the trails leading to the playground and picnic pavilion.
Next: The new playground equipment includes new swings and more upper-body activities for children.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.