Driving range, mini golf course planned for Friendship Park

July 15, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Soon, you will be able to play miniature golf and watch airplanes land at the same time.

The county has chosen a Glen Burnie company called Privatization Plus to run a driving range and miniature golf course at Friendship Park, off Dorsey Road opposite Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Jack Keene, head of planning and construction for the county Recreation and Parks Department, said the additions are part of an effort to spruce up the park and improve it for families.

The 160-acre park is owned by the state, which leases it to the county for $1 a year. The lease expires in December; negotiations are under way for another 20-year agreement.

Last week, Mr. Keene briefed members of the BWI Neighbors Committee, a group of area residents and airport officials who meet regularly.

Details for the driving range still have to be made final with the Federal Aviation Administration, to make sure golf balls sailing through the air don't interfere with airplanes. Planes use a landing zone next to the park on their approach to the airport.

County officials said they hope construction on the golf activities can start this fall. Mr. Keene said the company will charge for the golf and for the use of pavilions for group picnics. General use of the park will continue to be free.

Tom Holland, representing the Linthicum/Shipley Improvement Association, questioned Mr. Keene about why a major park, like Downs or Quiet Waters, couldn't go there instead.

Instead of looking for property at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center south of Fort Meade, Mr. Holland said, a park could be built in Glen Burnie. He also said a golf driving range is around the corner now, on Aviation Boulevard.

Mr. Keene said the West County area, with its anticipated influx of new residents, needs a major park of its own. And he said Friendship Park is not big enough. Although the state owns 160 acres, about 100 are used for the airport approach zone and wetlands.

Mr. Holland then asked for a swimming pool. Mr. Keene said other county pools have been popular, but he has not heard of plans for one at Friendship Park. "You are going to need a groundswell of public support," he said.

"We already told [public officials]," Mr. Holland answered.

"I think the message needs to be repeated," Mr. Keene said.

Maryland Aviation Administration officials also announced last week that they will allow local soccer teams to use a state-owned field behind the general aviation facilities at the airport.

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