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Day 189: Would Norman Rockwell have painted this park?

Woodacres Park

After I was born I came home from the hospital to a small brick colonial located on Newburn Drive in the bedroom community of Wood Acres.  The Wood Acres neighborhood is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the west, River Road to the east and Goldsboro Road to the north and along its southern edge residents here enjoy a very unique and special park.  There are not many neighborhoods in Bethesda that have a park in the middle of the neighborhood and there are fewer still that have a park that is adjacent to the elementary school (recently renovated Wood Acres Elementary).  The proximity of the park next to the large ball fields of the elementary school results in park that meets a wide variety of outdoor needs including soccer, softball, baseball, and a number of special activities held here.  To enter the park take Massachusetts Avenue to Wynwood Road and drive to end where it dead ends into Woodacres Park.

Zip Line

In 1999, the residents of Wood Acres formed a citizens group called Friends of Wood Acres Park to raise funds to renovate the 10.4 acre park that includes two tennis courts and a basketball court. The park renovation and fundraising was a huge success with funding topping over $100,000.  Contributions from the Wood Acres Citizens Association, neighbors, friends, and businesses made up nearly 70% of the funds raised to renovate the park.  The result is a wonderfully updated park featuring an array of new playground equipment, benches, swings, slides, and a bike friendly “highway” that circles the park.  The newly renovated park was re-dedicated on July 4, 2001 during one of the highly acclaimed annual Independence Day celebrations that Wood Acres has become famous for.  The annual 4th of July parade, complete with competing floats from various streets and local political leaders, culminates at the Woodacres Park where citizen volunteers await to serve soft drinks, hot dogs, ice-cream and other treats.  Seriously, as my brother Matthew says of Wood Acres, “It’s Norman Rockwell come to life.”

Woodacres Park

My kids love to come here and climb all over the equipment (especially the play equipment that resembles a train), chase each other around the rubberized highway, jump on the “zip line”, and have me push them high on the swings.  Situated under the canopy of large mature trees, this park gets just the right mixture of sun and shade all year-long,  The park, as well as the community’s spirit, are truly one of Bethesda’s treasures and would have made great canvass for our beloved Norman Rockwell. ~Brian

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