Western Grove Park Could Be Name For Chevy Chase Site


The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday will review the new name, facility plan and cost estimate for a future two-acre park on the edge of Friendship Heights. Montgomery Parks and Chevy Chase Village joined to purchase the land, sandwiched between Western Avenue and Grove Street for $5 million. It's a rare partnership between the agency and a town. Chevy Chase Village contributed $1.25 million toward the land purchase and $39,000 for demolition of a house on the property. On Thurdsay, Chevy Chase Village leaders will seek approval to change the name from the placeholder Chevy Chase Open Space Park to Western Grove Urban Park. A small landscape business called the Western Grove Nursery and Garden Center used to be on the site, as well as 10 residential lots. The park is expected to cost $1,055,150 to build, with Chevy Chase Village picking up 25 percent of the infrastructure costs and Montgomery Parks picking up the rest. The Village says it will ask for donations to add features to the park once its completed: A natural play area is proposed with stepping stone boulders, log seats, and a living hut of bent branches. Low ornamental fencing will be provided along the Western Avenue frontage amidst a grove of existing trees, to safely prevent children from dashing out into Western Avenue, but also allowing filtered views into the park. A welcoming entrance arbor with stone columns will invite users into the park from Western Avenue. A seating area with special paving, moveable furniture, Wi-Fi access, a seat wall and perhaps, a future water feature, has been carefully located to minimize grading and to take advantage of existing shade and solar orientation. An existing area in the center of the site with poor drainage will be corrected to create a "Great Lawn" area encouraging unprogrammed and informal play. The slope along the northern edge which contains "Azalea Hill" and the adjacent sledding hill will be preserved. Benches, bike racks, trash and recycling containers, and a drinking fountain with a dog bowl, will be carefully sited. Supplemental planting, concentrated around the perimeter of the park will enhance the existing wooded edges. Chevy Chase Village leaders pushed the project to provide a green space on the edge of very urban Friendship Heights. The county and Chevy Chase Village bought the land in 2002. Image via Montgomery County Planning Department

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