image002.png     City of Rockville Comprehensive Master Plan declared, among other things, the intention to:

  •     Protects the character of its neighborhoods,
  •    Fosters a vibrant Town Center that has a distinctive character, and
  •    Emphasizes its parks and open spaces and provide a green park within 10 minutes’ walk from home.

•             There is limited green space in or within walking distance. The Town Center Park Plaza (known as the Town Square) can hardly be considered parkland or “green space” inasmuch as it is solid concrete, some of which is covered in AstroTurf. This reality is in direct conflict with the City of Rockville Parks, Recreation and Open Plan Space, as adopted March 15, 2010.

•             The available park space in/within Town Center offers no opportunities for active engagement, such as throwing a Frisbee or football, exercising, jogging, dog walking etc. Available spaces, such as the space in front of the Red Brick Courthouse, are manicured to honor the of the historic site, and does not lend itself  to “active park”: trampling on these landscapes would feel highly inappropriate.

•             THEREFORE, the extension of James Monroe Park would provide an improved quality of life for all Rockville residents visiting or residing in Town Center. It would provide a sorely-needed active green space with an exciting variety of possible uses, such as an outdoor exercise park, a dog park, a picnic area for the area residents and office workers, or a destination park with interesting features such as a labyrinth or fountain . Further, a section of the park could be reserved for private activities for a cost as a long-term cost-offset strategy for development and maintenance of the park.  

•             Commercial/mixed-use development of 50 Monroe Place would be detrimental and harmful to the residents and office workers of the surrounding area, as well as people coming to enjoy the many other offerings of the city. The James Monroe Park as it is now will be surrounded by concrete and traffic, rendering it even less useful and pleasant than it is today.


With Rockville planning to add over 600 additional dwelling units in Town Center, in addition to the existing residential communities, the need for active green space is even more crucial. All studies of city planning to date indicate that in dense urban areas city parks that provide places for relaxation and gathering, connection to nature are essential to improve physical and psychological health, strengthen our community, and generally improve aesthetics. Rockville must learn from Central Park’s and other examples and establish at least one beautiful, active green space in it Town Center while we still can.