the Neighborhood Design Center

Community Planning,

Engagement and Facilitation

Greenbelt Station Green Spaces

Project Background

Greenbelt Station is a 87-acre townhome and condominiuim community location in Greenbelt, MD — Prince George’s County. The neighborhood has several outdoor
ammenities such as several open greenspaces, a tot-lot, trails, and a nearby lake - Lake Artemesia.

At the beginning of 2022, NDC set an agreement with the working group from the City of Greenbelt and representatives from the Greenbelt Station and Verde Apartment community to generate a community led greenspace master plan for the future of public green space in the neighborhood.

We were asked to understand existing opportunities and constraints, and explore design and location options for neighborhood amenities and landscape improvements to possibly include community gardens, dog park, fit zone, play, gathering, sustainability/energy,
walking/biking connecting trails, placemaking and public art opportunities.

In addition to NDC staff Sophie Morley and Angelica Arias, we assembled an all-star volunteer team.


The project lasted over a year and included 3 in-person community events and 6 working group visioning meetings. Individuals who attended the workshop had the opportunity to respond and provide feedback to the list of design ideas and the example images. Some ideas included pavilions, dog parks, fitness, gardens, signage, public art, etc. The
engagement also allowed everyoine to share what they felt was missing and what people would like to see. The ideas from the Community Walks and engagement sessions helped inform these design ideas.

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Design Principles

A total of 10 Design Principles were extrapolated out of comments, observations, and notes obtained from Community Walks and engagement sessions. The NDC team clustered ideas when they observed consensus around topics and patterns in responses from the community groups about design needs. This resulted in the following 10 principles:

    • Explore opportunities for gardens including edible landscapes, native pollinators, and a community vegetable garden.

    • Enhance shade and maintain passive spaces for rest and stasis.

    • Use public art for visual appeal and interest, and create a cohesive identity for the community’s features.

    • Prioritize and facilitate community gathering spaces.

    • Maintain sports and recreation areas, while installing new signage and fitness equipment to enhance physical activity.

    • Create a designated dog park for the community.

    • More formal and informal spaces for play for kids.

    • Rain gardens for overflow protection.

    • Improve trash infrastructure.

    • Create welcoming, inclusive spaces for all ages & abilities.


Master Plans

The primary concern about the open spaces of Greenbelt Station is a lack of accommodations and spatial definition. Its current state does not provide decent infrastructure for residents to sit, gather, and play, nor does it provide any protection from the sun.

Through information gathering sessions, we identified the types of outdoor activities that residents wanted to be able to do within the neighborhood so that these wishes could guide the design process. Community gathering spaces, adequate seating, play areas, community gardens, shading, and open fields were the main findings – we then searched for precedential examples of different types of seating, pavilions, shade structures, and urban gardens.

The NDC team took these ideas and developed a master plan at two different scales: a neighborhood scale and a zoomed in site plan of the central park area.

Recommendations and Implementation

In late 2022, the Neighborhood Design Center met with the Greenbelt Station Working Group and began ranking their priority design elements. Our team developed an implementation matrix, which listed the proposed project, their defined priority, the specific design elements required, estimated cost, and the time needed to implement. Lastly in our deliverables, we included helpful info on funding resources.

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