Creek to get bridge, trail

Project near Union Bridge wetland park is funded by $19,000 state grant

June 24, 1999|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Union Bridge residents who want to watch a new wetlands park take shape won't have to get their feet wet, thanks to a planned footbridge and walking trail over and around Little Pipe Creek.

Work could begin as soon as next week at the park, said Mayor Perry L. Jones.

"Once they start, the whole project could be completed within 60 days," he said.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the lead government agency, plans to restore the flood plain to a more natural state, including planting trees to help to control erosion and correcting the stream banks as part of a $200,000-plus project.

The project will create wetlands and assist in stabilizing that portion of Little Pipe Creek.

"The wetlands project with the park project -- we've been talking about it for two years or so," Jones said.

The footbridge is an enhancement of that project, to be built with a $19,000 grant announced this week in Annapolis.

The town sought the grant recently and it was one of 36 state recreation projects to receive money, provided through the federal National Recreation Trails Act.

Little Pipe Creek, a bucolic watercourse, usually turns ugly several times a year, overflowing its banks and forcing residents to detour.

"This will allow people to go down there and use the footbridge to get to the other side," said Jones.

The wetlands-park project already has drawn volunteers from ecology classes at Francis Scott Key High School, he said.

"The bridge is probably going to be an arch, with the high water we have," said Jones.

The new trail will wind through about half of the town-owned wetlands area, looping around between Main Street and Route 75, he said.

"It will be a good walking area, and people won't have to go out on the highway," Jones added.

Last summer, Gov. Parris N. Glendening awarded Carroll County $1.5 million to protect 1,000 acres in the Little Pipe Creek watershed at its eastern edge near New Windsor. This year, the county has asked for another $5 million to preserve land along the creek between the two towns.

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