Preserve at Piscataway Recreation Center and Hiker/Biker Trail

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Project Description

Client/Builder/Developer:  Woodlawn Development Group
Location:  Accokeek, Maryland
Market: Recreation, Residential
Size: 858.7 Acres
Zoning: R-L, L-A-C

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The Challenges

The Preserve at Piscataway is a 1,000+ home residential community with extensive private recreation facilities.  The development consists of five separate villages placed strategically on what were once forested ridges and open fields of the former Bailey Plantation.  GLW was brought in to resurrect the development after a major downturn in the housing market due to the economic recession of the mid-2000’s.  Two of the five villages had been designed and mostly constructed and GLW was tasked with providing design, engineering, surveying and permitting services to complete the development including the recreation facilities.  GLW amended the approved Site Plan to remove a proposed golf course which was no longer a viable enterprise.  A main goal was to provide both active and passive recreational opportunities for the residents of all ages utilizing the vast open space, a putting green, a hiker/biker trail and other facilities were offered as a substitute.  These amenities were a major part of the successful marketing of new homes to be built in the community.

 

The Solution

GLW provided landscape architecture and engineering services for the recreation center and an extensive pedestrian system that weaved through open space and connected the villages via sidewalks and nature trails.  The hiker/biker trail is 2.2 miles long and was designed to minimize impacts to environmental features such as specimen trees, steep slopes, mature forest and streams.  Scenic vista points, sitting areas, open canopy forest, and village connectivity are features made available to residents while still being sensitive to their concerns such as privacy and noise.  At the resident’s request, GLW revised the recreation center to construct a picnic area and shelter in place of the basketball court and to add a putting green and a large, open, multi-purpose play area for active recreation.

 

Maple Lawn Farms Community Center

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Project Description

Client/Builder/Developer:   G & R Maple Lawn
LocationFulton, Howard County, Maryland
Market: Community Building and Fitness Center
Size5.01 Acres
Zoning: MXD-3
DensityNA

The Challenges

The Maple Lawn Community Center is a 14,000 square foot facility, designed to be the central focal point and hub for the Maple Lawn residents.  It offers a host of indoor community rooms and workout spaces, a five acre park that surrounds the center and includes a formal garden, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, swimming pool, kids pool, picnic pavilion and a two-acre open field for active recreational use.  GLW’s role was to design a facility that incorporated this diverse recreational program (courts, pools, etc.) with onsite stormwater management. Further, to utilize landscaping and site furniture throughout the grounds to address user comfort, and to artfully blend the outdoor hardscapes with building structures.

The Solution

GLW’s solution for the Community Center design was to create a graceful layout of recreational spaces, logical pedestrian circulation, integrated grading and stormwater management systems, and beautiful landscaping.  GLW’s circulation plan used a logical wayfinding design to bring people from parking areas to building to recreation areas.  Lawns, gardens, trees, pergolas, and benches helped create comfortable microclimates for people traversing from area to area. For example deciduous trees provide shade in the hot humid summer months, but also allow for light and warmth during the colder months.  Stormwater management facilities were planted appropriately to create a landscaped amenity while still allowing drainage to seep back into the aquifer. The impervious hardscape surfaces required careful, detailed site grading to direct drainage into numerous stormwater micro-bio facilities to keep these areas dry, safe, usable and clean.  Water-loving native plants were used to create visual amenities that blended the micro-bios into the overall landscape.  Ultimately the final design has a logical and visually attractive layout that allows comfortable, purposeful use of the recreation complex.

 

Miracle Fields

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Project Description

Client/Builder/Developer:   Miracle League of Montgomery County / G.E. Fielder & Associates
Location:  Germantown, Montgomery County, MD
Market: Recreation
Size:  9.1 Acres
Zoning: R-200
Density:  N/A

The Challenges

Miracle Fields is a specially equipped and designed sports park complex in Germantown that gives all children, specifically those with mental and physical challenges, the opportunity to play baseball and software. The park serves communities in Montgomery County, and surrounding counties, Virginia, and Washington DC. Prior to partial redesign of the east-central portion of the sports complex, site amenities included a playground, a basketball court, soccer fields, a tennis court and two parking lots. The Miracle Fields design called for adding a baseball field and two softball fields, removing and expanding parking lots, relocating a basketball court and providing ADA accessible connections to all areas. As part of a design team, GLW was tasked with stormwater management design and site grading of the various playing, parking, and walking surfaces.

The Solution

GLW designed the on-site stormwater management using environmental site design (ESD) practices and principles. ESD’s are techniques, structures and practices that minimize stormwater runoff by mimicking natural water cycles processes. By carefully grading the site, keeping in mind the different uses, access points and water flow, nine drainage areas emerged. In each area appropriate ESD best management practices were chosen to treat at minimum one inch of runoff, the average runoff for a typical rain event. The ESD’s included four grass swales, five bio-swales, and several ponds. The swales were gently sloped to convey water away from playing fields and parking lots. The bio-swales contained vegetation, soil media, and riprap to help slow, collext, inflitrate and filter stormwater. ESD calculations helped determine how much water the swales and ponds could hold for average rain events. GLW’s environmental site design solutions aesthetically integrate into the overall design of the park, while providing essential services such as keeping the baseball and softball fields dry for increased playing time, and decreasing wear and tear.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods

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Project Description

Client/Builder/Developer:  Inner Arbor Trust
Design: MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY
LocationColumbia, Howard County, Maryland
Market: Recreation, Public Sector
Size16.8 acres
Zoning: Downtown Columbia, Merriweather-Symphony Woods Neighborhood
DensityNA

The Challenges

Merriweather Park is a multi-phased recreational park redeveloped to activate an existing semi-urban passive recreation area.  The park has excellent access being located adjacent to an existing major roadway, Little Patuxent Parkway and near a major highway, US Route 29.  Design challenges for GLW engineers included limiting impacts of development to an adjacent stream and stream buffers preserving the extensive tree canopy, and addressing handicap access throughout the park.

The Solution

GLW has extensive knowledge of the Downtown Columbia Site Development Plan process and was brought in to provide engineering and surveying services.  The park’s redevelopment was planned to increase active and passive recreational opportunities for a variety of non-programmed and programmed events and activities.  Connectivity to the Park from adjacent neighborhoods was provided by sidewalks suitable for pedestrians and bicycles.  To address tree preservation and stay out of stream buffers, site grading was very limited and required careful planning.  Grading was accomplished by identifying and avoiding critical zones without trees and critical root zones, root pruning as necessary and placing paths and drives on existing grade where possible.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods will offer the following:

  • 78% of the Park is made up of restored streams, forest and lawn.
  • 94% of the Park is pervious, handling stormwater as nature intended.
  • The Park, at full buildout, will offer two miles of walkable surfaces, suitable for walkers, stroller pushers, joggers and cyclists to enjoy.
  • Ample seating for 2,000 people will be available throughout the Park in 74 different locations.
  • A 1,835 foot long boardwalk will make portions of the park accessible from the Park’s entrance across the street from Howard County’s main library at full buildout.
  • Of the 473 trees on site, 31 will be removed at ultimate buildout for safety reasons and development conflicts. Another 200 new trees will be planted throughout the Park to restore the forest.