Balto. Co. gets state funding for parks

Board of Public Works awards $3.8 million from Program Open Space

January 24, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Baltimore County was awarded $3.8 million yesterday from the state's Program Open Space to complete construction of two regional parks, one in fast-growing Owings Mills and the other in Chase.

The funds were approved by the Board of Public Works.

"These projects will go a long way toward meeting the growing demand for recreation areas in Baltimore County, while enhancing the green infrastructure that currently exists in the county's natural areas," Gov. Parris N. Glendening said in a statement.

In Owings Mills, the state will reimburse the county for $2.5 million it is spending to develop 45 acres of Northwest Regional Park.

John F. Weber, director of the county's Department of Recreation and Parks, said the park is scheduled to open in June. It is one of five regional parks being built to serve several communities.

The county has acquired 322 acres for Northwest Regional Park, which will include three athletic fields, four ball diamonds, roads, parking lots, pavilions, bleachers and community gardens with raised beds and landscaping.

The park, at Deer Park and Lyons Mill roads, is expected to bring in 235,000 visitors annually.

The county Planning Board has recommended rezoning 25 acres of the park, west of Deer Park Road, for a training facility for the Baltimore Ravens. The facility would feature four football fields, a training area and administrative offices. The Program Open Space money will not be used for this project.

The county also will get $1.3 million to finance development of 52 acres of Eastern Regional Park, adjacent to Chase Elementary School on Eastern Avenue.

The Chase park, scheduled to open in the fall, will have four lighted ball diamonds, six lighted athletic fields, a 9,000-square-foot indoor recreation center with gymnasium, activity rooms, concession areas and restrooms. The park will also get four picnic pavilions and a trail system.

The Chase park is expected to serve as a destination point along a proposed greenway that would run from Gunpowder Falls State Park's Hammerman area to Chase Elementary School's recreation center. Eastern Regional Park is expected to serve 250,000 visitors a year.

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