the Neighborhood Design Center
Project No. 3309

Hyatt Park Placemaking: Supporting the City in Reimagining a Neighborhood Park

In a quieter neighborhood of Hyattsville sits the roughly two acres of Hyatt Park. Already a vibrant community of gardeners, families, and arts lovers, NDC was invited by the city to enhance this gathering space to better serve existing patrons and a larger public.

What We Did

  • Space Planning
  • Visioning
  • Research
  • Design


  • City of Hyattsville employees
  • Hyattsville City Council


  • City of Hyattsville
Before: No pedestrian or street access, no landscaping, minimal play infrastructure, lots of room for expansion.

The Challenge: Improve park infrastructure for increased use and programming

The City of Hyattsville purchased an adjacent lot to some already city-owned land to create the current park footprint. Since removing wild growth and a vacant home on the site, not much has been added in the way of park infrastructure. Now, agencies are ready to explore how the land can better serve the city. We were brought in to lead a full co-design process, bringing together city employees, neighbors, and our staff designers.

The Site: A neighborhood scale park with room for flexibility

Most of the park’s users are residents of the surrounding blocks. The community garden is so popular with neighbors that there is a waiting list to get a plot. Located on a major walking route to the subway station, the West Hyattsville Metro stop is just under a mile away, lots of commuters pass the park on their way to and from work, opening the possibility for a larger user base and the setting of city-wide events.

Exploring new possibilities with fun activities

One of our main goals with the project was to challenge the City to explore new possibilities. We accomplished this by leaving behind the age-old charette, instead favoring fun, creative activities, designed by our staff, such as a ‘dating profile’ and pairing a realistic scenario with a fantastical one to spur imagination.

“We wanted them to take the blinders off and see that parks can be so many things, our way to do that was getting people laughing.”

Allie O’Neil


The Plan: Play spaces and flexible use

The output of our engagement work was this design by staff members Allie O’Neil and Laura Kendrick featuring a tree allée and lighted walk along the Hamilton Street border, a multi-use outdoor stage, and new play equipment and seating.

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Hyatt Park’s community is proud of how the codesign process has served them. We are proud that our work has led to a better park that will bring joy to Hyattsville residents for years.