The 9/2/21 editorial (Maryland Parks Deserve a Second Look: Are they adequate?) and (9/9/21 Studying state parks a ‘win-win-win proposition) The Sun Readers Respond submitted by NeighborSpace of Baltimore County regarding the importance of our parks and open spaces were breaths of fresh air! (Pun intended.) During the pandemic we have become even more aware and appreciative that our parks and open spaces are truly “unsung heroes” that contribute immensely to the physical, emotional and mental health of legions of our citizenry without regard to race, religion, sexual preference or political affiliation. Can you think of anything that is more fair or democratic than a park or open space?
While the purpose of the Glendening commission is noble and should be applauded, hopefully, we will not lose sight of an ongoing tragedy that has been haunting the community of Dundalk. For nearly 10 years, Baltimore County government has spearheaded an ongoing effort to sell parkland/open space for commercial development at the 27.8 acres North Point Government Center Park.
The ONLY reason this recreational oasis has not been commercially developed is that the state Board of Public Works has withheld its consent, which is required by the previous deed. A debt of gratitude is owed to Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot for the political courage they have demonstrated on this issue.
The conventional “political wisdom” is that Baltimore County, whose recent silence has been deafening, will sit on this political football until after the next election in hopes of a more favorable Board of Public Works being in place. Hopefully, all citizens, political candidates and elected officials who profess to love our open space will stand up and be counted NOW on this important issue before it’s too late! Dundalk does not have an adequate amount of parkland/open space. The developer, Len Weinberg of Vanguard, should know by now that the North Point Government Center Park is priceless to the Dundalk community. As Mark Twain once commented about land, “They ain’t making it anymore”!
The writer is a former director of Baltimore County Department of Recreation of Parks, and a former state delegate.