Town seeks park ideas

Landscape designers to sketch proposals after workshop

`Community-based design'

Connecting plaza, area across street at library is goal


April 03, 2001|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

The small brick plaza and rectangle of grass wedged in front of the Locust Lane shopping area on Main Street in downtown Westminster have been largely the same for 20 years.

The area has a couple of concrete planters, and a few benches and trees. Last year, an artist painted a mural of the town's streets on one of the brick walls facing the park. The park, though nice, is hardly inspiring.

Westminster officials want to improve the pocket park and increase public use. They also want to tie the park into the area in front of the Westminster library branch across the street. The town is looking to residents for suggestions at a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Westminster Senior Center.

The two areas serve as Westminster's town square, and officials say they could use improvements.

"Things are looking old and dated," said Karen K. Blandford, manager of Westminster's Office of Housing and Community Development. "It's not that anything is wrong. We're just taking a look to see if things can be better. We want to make the area flow better and be more friendly."

Landscape designers Slater and Associates of Columbia will create concept drawings for the pocket park and area in front of the library from ideas gathered at the workshop.

Locust Lane, between Davids Jewelers and the Optical Solution, was created in the 1970s as a shopping area and pedestrian walkway from the Longwell Avenue parking lots to Main Street.

Westminster, which owns the Locust Lane area, intends to redevelop it to help its seven stores meet accessibility requirements. A state grant from the Main Street Improvement Program will partially fund the design.

The county and the library's board of trustees will consider ideas collected for the area in front of the library.

Blandford said previous suggestions have been to plant flowers, build a gazebo or add sculptures that children can climb on.

"What we need most right now are ideas so that the designers come up with a community-based design," Blandford said. "It needs to reflect what the community wants."

Westminster Senior Center is at 125 Stoner Ave. Food will be available at the workshop.

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