Progress made on a 23-acre park next to elementary school

September 05, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Slowly but surely, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is moving closer to opening a 23-acre park next to Laurel Woods Elementary School in North Laurel.

Negotiations between agency officials and owners of several critical parcels in the North Laurel-Whiskey Bottom area are continuing, said Kenneth M. Alban, county administrator for capital projects and park planning.

"We're progressing very well," he said. "The community knows that it's going to take us several years to assemble all of the lots, but we are moving forward with the acquisitions."

Tom Flynn, president of the North Laurel Civic Association, welcomed the new developments.

"This is something that's been a long time coming," he said. "And now it looks like it will be a fact."

The opening of a park in the area has been delayed by a lack of available land in that community. Several parcels were subdivided about 100 years ago and now are owned by dozens of people.

Alban said he did not have specific figures, but he estimated that the county has successfully purchased many of the more than 120 quarter-acre lots that could be used for the park.

Alban said the county probably will spend about $1.5 million to acquire the acreage.

"I think it's a good acquisition," he said. "The community has told us it wants a park, and we're trying to develop a park that people want and put it in a place that's accessible for everyone."

Flynn said he believes the park would be heavily used by nearby residents and their children.

"For the longest time, people have had to go to Hammond [Park] or Savage [Park] for recreational activities," Flynn said. "The county has finally realized that people who live here need access to public parkland."

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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