Balto. County hopes to build new park for youth recreation

Park to be located on surplus state land at Spring Grove Hospital in Catonsville.

Baltimore County today announced tentative plans to use some of the 8.8 acres of land declared surplus state property at Spring Grove Hospital in Catonsville to open a youth-oriented regional park.

The county is seeking authorization from the Department of Natural Resources to use state “Open Space” funding to demolish the Hamilton Building, located on the surplus land, to create the park.

This follows the recent recommendation by the Maryland Department of Planning that the hospital acreage – together with the Hamilton Building – be used jointly by Baltimore County and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

County Recreation and Parks Director Barry Williams said the park should include recreation facilities for kids, saying the demand for recreation in the southwest part of the county “far exceeds current availability.”

Other county politicians, including First District Councilman Tom Quirk and 10th District Delegate Adrienne Jones, are lining up in favor of the project.

“The addition of a regional park in the area will be great for the thousands of boys and girls participating in recreation programs,” Jones said today.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz cautioned that it is too early to talk about the specific scope of the park.

In a written statement, he said, “There are significant funding issues to address, and we have not had any discussions with UMBC officials yet regarding shared use of the property. However, I did not want this opportunity to pass, and I look forward to working with the state and community members to move this project forward.”

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