Two include some new parks.
Frederick, Md (KM). The discussion centered around Frederick County’s parks and recreational facilities during County Executive Jan Gardner’s public information briefing on Thursday. She encouraged residents to take some time to enjoy what each of the parks has to offer.
Even though it’s still winter, Gardner said it’s not too early to register children for summer camps. She says information can be found in the “Recreater” brochure which will be mailed out 70,000 homes this week. There are a number of camps which deal with sports, history, art, cooking, nature or other programs.
Frederick County has 19 parks and recreational centers totaling about 2100 acres. An average of two-million people visit one of these parks each year.
The County Executive announced during her public information briefing that the county has received a donation of 180-acres in the Thurmont area from Richard Kanode for use as an equestrian park. “And he will allow us to use this property in perpetuity as an agricultural and equestrian park. And he generously established a $1-million fund to support the ongoing operation and maintenance of this property,” she said.
Also during the briefing, Parks and Recreation Division Director Jeremy Kortright described six park projects which will get underway this spring. He said groundbreaking is expected to take place March 1st for the Point of Rocks Community Commons Park located west of the MARC station parking lot on Clay Street. Completion is expected by the fall.. “When completed, it will feature park amenities such as a picnic shelter, walking trails, outdoor amphitheater, parking lots and a vaulted restroom;” he said. “In addition, this park will also include historical elements such as a storyboard and an obelisk.”
Kortright also says work will also be completed on Section Four of the Ballenger Creek Trial. “The trail will connect the Kingsbrook Community to businesses and stores located at Westview South,” he says. “In addition, beginning later this year, a developer-funded portion of the trail will complete Section Two which will, eventually, connect Westview South to the Ballenger Creek Park and Tuscarora High School.”
Kemptown Community Park has facilities that are about 30-years old, and Kortright says they are starting to show their age. As a result, a rehabilitation of that park will get underway this spring. “Specific improvements include the resurfacing of existing roadways, parking lots and trails; as well as shelter repairs and upgrades; the replacement of wood steps and even signage; the newly installed LED lights in the shelters as well. And we anticipate this project being completed in early summer of this year,” says Kortright.
Crews are expected to begin work on Phase One of the Othello Regional Park located along Route 180 north of Brunswick. “Phase One of this project includes an entrance road to the new park, parking lots, restroom facilities, shelters, ball fields, trails and a playground,” says Kortright. “We anticipate this construction project will take approximately 18-months to complete.”
Phase Two of the Utica District Park will start up this year, says Kortright, and will include “shelters, two synthetic turf fields, one natural multi-purpose field, extensive walking trails, a variety of playgrounds, roadways and a restroom,” he says. “Currently, it’s estimated this project will be completed in 14-months after we start construction.”
There will also be a park school alt Sugarloaf Elementary School in Urbana, when it opens in August, 2018.”And like the other seven recreation centers, it will provide much needed indoor recreational space that includes an oversize gym, and a multi-purpose room for fitness and activities,”: says Kortright.
County Executive Gardner said these projects probably wouldn’t have proceeded as quickly as possible without an increase in the percentage of the recordation fee set aside for parks and recreation. She said the County Council approved an ordinance increasing that amount from 5% to 12.5%, bringing in an additional $2.5-million.
By Kevin McManus