Zimmerman Park Improvements
The Town’s plans for Zimmerman Park continue to evolve. The current concept for the Park includes:
- The Lee Wick Dennison Sustainable Garden, the recently installed sustainable garden in the south end of the park. More information on the completed Garden is available here;
- A multi-use space at the north end of the park;
The Town Council has agreed not to proceed with planning for a path and staircase to East-West Highway in the northwest corner of the park due to public accommodation, public safety, and cost considerations. The concept of a Dog Exercise Area (DEA) within Zimmerman Park continues to evolve. The current concept is creation of a fenced multi-use space that would be used occasionally (frequency to be determined) as a DEA. The sections below that include the months since January 2020 provide further details regarding the Town Council’s plans for a multi-use space at Zimmerman Park.
Below is a chronological review of the events and documents associated with development of the Zimmerman Park master plan. The most recent dates appear at the top. Links to all the related documents are included at the beginning of this page for quick access.
Abbreviations used in this web page:
- Dog Exercise Area (DEA)
- Land Use Committee (LUC)
Related document list:
- October 2019 Concept Master Plans for Zimmerman Park
- April 4, 2019 Presentation on Improvements to Zimmerman Park
May 2020 Town Council Meeting
The Town Council during its May 13 meeting discussed a second set of concept plans for Zimmerman Park. The landscape architect presented three new concept plans that incorporated some of the changes that the Council had agreed upon during their April work session. As requested, the open space for the village green was enlarged. The village green sizes ranged from 9,700 sq. ft. to 14,300 sq. ft. In addition, 30’ wide sections of folding fencing were added to each drawings. The folding fencing would only be closed/unfolded when the park was to be used as a dog exercise area.
As follow up actions the Council requested the following for the upcoming meetings:
- The concept drawings be enhanced by slightly expanding the lawn area to the north and adding a picnic table in the playground area;
- Ms. Fendrick develop a final proposed concept plan, engage the Town’s consulting engineer to review the proposed grading and drainage plan, and obtain initial cost estimates for the proposed park improvements.
Ms. Fendrick thought some of the material would be ready for the June meeting but felt that it would take until July to complete all the requested work.
April 2020 Town Council Work Session
The Town Council held a work session on April 23 to review three concept plans for a multi-use space in Zimmerman Park. The plans presented to the Council were developed by landscape architect Lila Fendrick. At its January meeting, the Town Council approved a contract with Ms. Fendrick for the work.
Following Ms. Fendrick’s presentation of the concept plans and discussion by the Council members, there was general agreement regarding the following:
- The plans that had the greatest open space at the north end of the Park were the most desirable;
- The plans with the least fencing were the most attractive, especially the plan that limited the fencing to the area immediately surrounding the village green;
The Council asked that the designs include more movable or temporary fencing;
January 2020 Town Council Meeting
On Wednesday, January 8 the Town Council unanimously approved a contract for an engineering survey of Zimmerman Park. In addition, the Council unanimously approved a contract for a landscape architect to develop a landscape master plan for a multi-use space in Zimmerman Park. That space would include:
- Improved drainage and turf for the open lawn area at the northern end of the park;
- A natural children’s play area, located between the new garden and the open lawn area;
- An attractive fence to enclose a majority of the lawn area, protecting children and pets from East West Highway and Maple Avenue;
- An occasional (frequency to be determined) off-leash dog exercise area with a temporary fence to fully enclose the lawn area;
- A dense vegetative buffer on the hillside below East West Highway, designed to obscure the road and traffic from the park and nearby homes;
- Benches, tables and walkways.
January 2020 Land Use Committee Meeting
To solicit community feedback, two town residents met with the Land Use Committee at their January 9, 2020 meeting. One resident represented a coalition of dog owners within the Town and the other represented residents living near the Zimmerman Park. The two provided the Committee with their thoughts on the proposed multi-use space at Zimmerman Park.
December 2019 Town Council Meeting & Work Session
On Monday, December 9 the Town Council held a work session prior to the regular Council meeting to discuss Zimmerman Park amenities and improvements. The Council asked the Town Manager to retain a landscape architect to develop conceptual plans for a multi-use, shared park space to include stormwater management improvements, a play area for children, benches, tables and plantings to provide screening along East West Highway. The plan would include a fence around three sides of the north end of Zimmerman Park, with the south end left open without a fence. A temporary fence would be place across the open south end, on some to be determine frequency to allow off-leash exercise of dogs. The Land Use Committee was asked to solicit community feedback about the conceptual plans. The Council decided to defer further discussion of a trial dog exercise area.
November 2019 Town Council Meeting
On Wednesday, November 13 during the Public Comment portion of the Town Council meeting 15 residents spoke, provided their thoughts both pro and con concerning a trial dog exercise area in Zimmerman Park. The Council then discussed Zimmerman Park amenities and improvements. The Council asked the Town Manager to refine cost estimates for a one-month trial of a dog exercise area in Zimmerman Park. The trial facility would be a temporary structure that would be removed following the trial.
October 2019 Town Council Meeting & Work Session
On Wednesday, October 23 the Town Council held a work session to review and discuss concept master plans for Zimmerman Park. Over the past several months, the Town has been working with Backyard Bounty to develop plans for various amenities in Zimmerman Park. One of the concept plans includes a dog exercise area, while the other does not.
The Town Council reviewed the pros and cons of establishing a dog exercise area in Zimmerman during the work session. It was ultimately decided, in a 3 to 2 vote, to ask the Town Manager to develop an estimate as to how much it would cost to have a pilot/experiment for a few months. This is not a vote to go forward with the pilot, that vote will only take place after the Town Council reviews the estimate for the cost.
An announcement about the work session was included in the October Forecast and a Town Crier message was sent out the Friday before the meeting (10/18) reminding residents of the work session.
At the Town Council meeting the Council agreed not to proceed with planning for a path and staircase to East-West Highway in the northwest corner of the park due to public accommodation, public safety, and cost considerations. The Council discussed the Town’s outstanding request to the Maryland State Highway Association for a red-light crosswalk signal at Maple Avenue, which will allow pedestrians to safely cross East West Highway to access the future Purple Line underpass.
April 2019 LUC meeting
On April 4, 2019, the Town’s Land Use Committee met with Backyard Bounty (BYB), the landscape design firm hired to develop the two master plans for Zimmerman Park (one with a DEA and one without a DEA). Also joining the Committee were Mayor Barney Rush (LUC Council Liaison), Kirk Renaud (Park Improvements Liaison), David Eason (Chair of the Public Services Committee), Bridget Hartman (representing the Lee Dennison Sustainable Garden Committee), and Council member Wicca Davidson to present results of interviews with neighbors about desired amenities in the Park. The remaining two Town Council members (Cecily Baskir and Joel Rubin) and interested Town residents attended the meeting. The focus of the meeting was to provide BYB with input needed to develop the two draft master plans for Zimmerman Park. A slide presentation discussed at the meeting is available below. Minutes of the meeting will be posted soon.
April 2019 Land Use Committee Meeting Announcement
At an April 4 meeting, the Town’s Land Use Committee will meet with Backyard Bounty, the landscape design firm hired to develop the two master plans for Zimmerman Park (one with a DEA and one without a DEA). The purpose of this meeting is to review with Backyard Bounty the resident-requested amenities for Zimmerman Park gathered by Council member Wicca Davidson, DEA details, and the alignment of any of these with the Sustainable Garden and the Zimmerman path and staircase.
March 2019 Town Council Meeting & Work Session
At its March 13, 2019 meeting, the Town Council approved the hiring of Backyard Bounty to develop two draft master plans for Zimmerman Park, one that includes a DEA and one that does not. The work preformed by Backyard Bounty will be informed by work done by the Town’s LUC and by information gathered by Councilmember Wicca Davidson about resident- requested improvements. The Council also scheduled a LUC meeting for April 4 to provide input to Backyard Bounty so they can develop the two draft master plans. At this meeting, Councilmember Wicca Davidson will report findings about the amenities residents would like to see in Zimmerman Park, details about a possible DEA will be discussed, and the alignment of these with the Sustainable Garden and Zimmerman Path will be considered. At this stage the intent is to arrange the amenities, making preliminary determinations of their orientation within Zimmerman Park. Once complete the draft master plans will be reviewed by the Town Council and next steps will be considered.
March 12, 2019 Town Crier message
The Town Council would like your ideas about possible improvements to Zimmerman Park. The Council recently approved a sustainable garden in the south end of the park as well as a pathway and staircase in the north end of the park. Councilmember Wicca Davidson is currently reaching out to residents who live near the park to get their ideas on possible amenities, but the Council wants to hear from all residents before making any decisions about what to include in the park planning process. Please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Council will review your ideas and determine which improvements to include in a park master plan, which will be the subject of a future public hearing. If you have questions or need more information, please call 301-654-7144 or email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
January 2019 Town Council Meeting
The Town Council would like your ideas about possible improvements to Zimmerman Park. The Council recently approved a sustainable garden in the south end of the park as well as a pathway and staircase in the north end of the park. Council member Wicca Davidson is currently reaching out to residents who live near the park to get their ideas on possible amenities, but the Council wants to hear form all residents before making any decisions about what to include in the park planning process. Please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Council will review your ideas and determine which improvements to include in a park master plan, which will be the subject of a future public hearing. If you have questions or need more information, please call 301-654-7144 or email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.