Walk the Willett Branch

Sun, 11/19/2017 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Meet at the Westwood II Center parking lot.
5110 Ridgefield Road
Bethesda, MD 

Click HERE to locate on Map

Can't make the date? Take a video tour. 

Join us on a half-mile walk to tour the very industrial Willett Branch in the Westbard Sector.  We will start at the intersection of River and Ridgefield and end on Little Falls Parkway where the creek joins the Little Falls Branch.   Optional return will be up the creek.  (The creek is concrete lined and very shallow - 2 or 3 inches max.)   Wear boots that can get wet and bring a flash light if you are interested in returning along this path.  Total round trip is less than one mile. The entire trip is on pavement!  There is a steep slope to enter and exit the creek.

The Willett Branch runs through the Westbard Sector in a concrete-lined channel passing through some of the most commercial districts in Bethesda. The creek starts in downtown Bethesda, runs through the Little Falls Park, then it goes under the WES soccer field, roads and several parking lots until it joins with the Little Falls Branch on Little Falls Parkway, The sides of the creek are covered by graffiti and the banks are littered with trash, abandoned cars, tires, shopping carts and more.  

The tour will also take us past the post-Civil War African American Cemetery and the site of the River Road Colored School.  We will have LFWA historian David Kathan along to point out the former River Road Community landmarks and to talk about the history of the area.  

The Westbard Sector Master Plan has an innovative and ambitious plan for turning the area into a park with a naturalized creek.  It can be a show place for the county and an amenity to serve the area for decades to come.   

Central to undertanding the need for this new park is see what is there now. 

We will need many letters to the Planning Board, Planning Staff, County Council  and other government officials to bring this to fruition.  Visit HERE to learn how you can help and to automatically send an email to these folks.  

LFWA's recommendations for the Master Plan are HERE.  More information about the Westbard Sector Master Plan is HERE.


Map of Willett Branch with Cemetery Marked