County Looking To Secure Spring Grove Land for Park

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said he would like to open a new regional park on 8 acres.

Baltimore County is trying to secure a part of Spring Grove Hospital Center to develop a regional park.

Kamenetz said he has begun the process by talking with state officials.

"In December the county was informed that the state was initiating an intergovernmental review of more than 8 acres of property at Spring Grove Hospital Center," Kamenetz said in a statement. "I immediately directed the county's planning department to submit a formal request for the property on behalf of Baltimore County for use as a regional park."

The press release also said that, on Jan. 7, the county got notice from the state's Assistant Secretary of Planning Linda C. Janey saying there's land on the site along with a building that can be considered surplus. They also recommended "joint uses of the property, by the University System of Maryland and Baltimore County." 

The county will be looking for authorization from the Department of Natural Resources for the use of Open Space funding—from the state—to knock down the Hamilton Building and create the park. 

"It is far too early to talk abouit the specific scope of the project," Kamenetz said in the statement. "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."

Local politicians were delighted at the fact that there could finally be a regional park coming to this area, something that's been desired for a long time. 

"This is a great first step in the process of securing a regional park for the southwest part of the county," said Baltimore County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who represents the 1st District. "Bringing a regional park to the Catonsville and Arbutus area has been one of my main priorities. This action on the part of the administration brings this park one step closer to reality."

Del. Adrienne Jones also hailed the news, saying it would improve the lack of recreation space in southwest Baltimore County.

Mike Milani is a longtime member of the Catonsville Recreation Council and local sports advocate. He said building a new regional park would be a dream come true.

"The families of the thousands of boys and girls that participate in our programs will do everything they can to work with County Executive Kamenetz to get this project completed," Milani said in a statement.

Geoffrey Atkinson February 18, 2013 at 09:14 PM
This is state government land for state government use. This land should be kept by the state and used as a state government campus. No need to buy new land, no need to clear out more forest, and some of the buildings can be reused. If the County needs new facilities, then perhaps they can build there too if the state decides to let them. The folks talking as if Spring grove is closed should also consider that SG is a fully functioning hospital. No parks, no stores, no promenades. But then again, why should we expect responsible stewardship of our tax dollars?
Jim Jones February 19, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Mr. Atkinson, AMEN! Many of the buildings there can be reused. We don't need another failed mall, or park. Look at the urban blight that has crept out of Baltimore City. Westview Mall, Security Mall, Edmondson Village, and the many parks throughout the area have been turned into hangouts for juvenile delinquents, drug abusers, prostitutes, and other criminals. Even TowsonTowne Center is a hazard. It's our money. Keep the hospital open, and expand it. Bring jobs back to the grove.
nurse at spring grove February 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Its all political and financial
Dean Tippett April 01, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Oh Come On! A measley eight acres of that huge property set aside for what we really need. This is crazy!. A nice parking lot will take up the whole eight acres. How many playing fields could actually be built? one? maybe two? We need several and another turf field as well. We will need viewing stands, locker rooms, concession stands, bathrooms, etc. We will need a nice press box, score board and storage for goals, and other equipment. Eight acres is not enough. Start over, read the earlier comments look at how big the Howard County parks are! We need a bigger park with all the required amenities. Please everyone contact your public officials and leave a comment here, in the Catonsville Times and the Baltimore Sun. Can the Promenade be built on just eight acres? Support Catonsville!
Jim Jones April 01, 2013 at 11:38 PM
To all those who want a recreational area to take place at Spring Grove. Ok, let's say we have all these fields, basketball courts, and other sports amenities. Who is going to be resonsible for the upkeep and security? Has anyone seen the way Baltimore County Government "takes care" of the parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields we already have? Piss poor to say the least. Broken bottles, trash, drug paraphernalia, vandalized basketball hoops, and graffitti have ruined the best of intentions. And if Spring Grove is allowed to be transformed into this sports Shangri La, what makes you think that it won't happen there either? No matter which way this issue is going to go, one thing remains constant. Steve Whalen will still be a land baron. Nuff said.


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