This month marks the 154th birthday of Druid Hill Park, Baltimore’s centerpiece of urban greenery, and one of the oldest city parks in the entire United States. To celebrate that birthday — and also to comply with new federal mandates requiring cities to have more on-hand drinking water — the park is about to get an upgrade. What do we have to look forward to? In three words: Waterfalls and rowboats.
Okay, so the Druid Hill redevelopment is about a lot more than just pretty, gushing streams. The city’s Department of Public Works is trying to figure out how to work the existing lake into plans to comply with the federal regulations and provide the city with more potential drinking water. Figuring out how to do so has been both an engineering and an aesthetic challenge. The original plans drew ire from the Friends of Druid Hill Park, among others, who worried that it would be “devastating to the park and it’s [sic] future.”
The new plan calls for underground cisterns, a restored fountain, a new amphitheater, a widened walk/bike path around the lake– oh yeah, and a waterfall (to help water circulate) and rowboats (for fun). But hold on a minute before getting your rowboat outfit all ready — the $120 million project is still years away from being completed, and DPW estimates that they’re only 30 percent of the way through the design stage.
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