2021 Brings Proposed Park Renovation in “Ruff” Times

Christina Anderson, Staff Writer

Leading into the new year, Montgomery Parks released plans to renovate, redesign, and repurpose the tennis courts at Columbia Park in Burtonsville to include new facilities such as a dog park in hopes of approval from community members and the Planning Board. 

The proposed design for the park calls for dog park enclosures, a new tennis court, a set of pickleball courts, and a futsal court, along with two new shaded structures and the installation of drinking fountains. Currently, the area included in the renovation houses two functional tennis courts, an empty vacant court, and one shaded pavilion. 

The new design would repurpose the current tennis courts into a dual section dog park, separated for small and large dogs, each with a section of artificial turf, a drinking fountain, benches, and a shared shaded structure. 

The current vacant court sits empty with run-down fences, as it has for years, but would be refurbished to accommodate a tennis court, four pickleball courts, and a futsal court, along with a second shaded structure and another drinking fountain.  

Images of the plans have been posted at the park, as well as online, and the proposal remains open for community input on the Montgomery Parks website. The plan is predicted to be brought to the Montgomery Country Planning Board in spring 2021 for approval according to Montgomery Parks. 

The vast majority of community members appear to be in support of the redesign, with 83.3% voting in favor of the redesign via the town hall form on the Montgomery Parks website as of February 5th. The addition of spaces for new activities seems popular, as one anonymous community member comments “I am especially excited about the pickleball and dog park features!”

Others have used the form to suggest alternate changes to add to the plan. Only time will tell as we wait until spring to see the decision made by the Montgomery County Planning Board.