Tag: druid hill park

Community groups raise concerns over 79-space parking lot proposed for Druid Hill Park

An aerial rendering of the planned renovations to the Druid Hill Aquatic Center. Image courtesy of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.

A plan to update the swimming pool at Druid Hill Park is drawing community support, but some residents are questioning the need for a 79-space parking lot.

The Druid Hill Aquatic Center is slated to undergo renovations to its main pools and mechanical systems and add a new bathhouse and kiddie splash pool. But the project would also add dozens parking spaces around the tennis courts across East Drive from the aquatic center, leaving several community groups concerned about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists amidst increased vehicle traffic.

Baltimost: Druid Hill Park

Latrobe Pavilion Druid Hill
Latrobe Pavilion at Druid Hill Park. Credit: Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

Druid Hill Park

For some, it's the history. For others, it's nature. For still others, the draw is the zoo. Or the conservatory. Or recreation. Or the wildlife.

On any given day, hundreds of people find a reason to visit Druid Hill Park, the crown jewel in the necklace of public parks owned and maintained by the city of Baltimore. 

And even as part of it is undergoing reconstruction as the city installs underground tanks to hold Baltimore's drinking water, people find plenty of reasons to spend time there and want to protect it. 

The 745-acre park opened in 1860, and survives today as the city's largest and oldest municipal green space. Along with Central Park in New York (1858), Fairmount Park in Philadelphia (1812) and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco (1871), it was one of the first landscaped public parks in the U.S.

Recreational amenities include a public pool, disc golf courses, tennis courts, a 1.5-mile walking and biking loop, ballfields, basketball courts and picnic groves. The Friends of Druid Hill Park, an advocacy group, and the city's Department of Recreation and Parks organize events that help draw people, such as a farmers' market from June to September, walking and night hikes and fitness classes.

Like all parks, Druid Hill Park technically closes after dark, but it's never really dormant. Around the clock, people tend to the plants in the conservatory, care for the animals at the zoo, clean up after visitors. And when day breaks, they're ready do it all over again. 

When Mayor Thomas Swann dedicated Druid Hill Park in 1860, he said it was meant to be a resource for "the whole people--no matter from what remote land, no matter what sect or religion they belong, no matter what field of labor, however elevated or however humble." Nearly 160 years later, it has lived up to that promise.

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Event Pick: A basketball tourney honoring Sherron Bogues at Druid Hill Park

Image via Facebook

For the third year running, Baltimore basketball legend and retired NBA star Muggsy Bogues is bringing a basketball tournament to his hometown. It’s all in honor of his sister Sherron, who helped steer Baltimore City Recreation and Parks’ basketball and football programs for more than three decades.

Ella Mai, Dru Hill, Jacquees and VaShawn Mitchell to headline two-day AFRAM festival in August

Still via YouTube/Jacquees

Baltimore’s AFRAM Festival, a celebration of the city’s African-American culture, art and life now going on 42 years, will feature “Boo’d Up” singer Ella Mai, local legends Dru Hill, Atlanta R&B crooner Jacquees and gospel singer VaShawn Mitchell, the city announced today. And it will be two days, rather than one, as first reported by The Sun on Friday.

Weekend Events Calendar: Charm City Bluegrass Festival returns, Hopkins and UMD’s lacrosse rivalry continues, jungle run 5K at Oregon Ridge Park, and more

Star Bright Farm Sale
Don’t Miss the Spring Market at Star Bright Farm on Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

On this last weekend of April, head to the country for the great Maryland tradition of steeplechase racing, pick out a gift for Mom at one of several markets or festivals, or catch some bluegrass at Druid Hill Park.

Amid construction on Druid Lake Reservoir, city to install pedestrian, bike paths connecting Remington and Reservoir Hill

The new planned layout for Druid Park Lake Drive, eastbound. Image via Bikemore.

In its present sprawling state, Druid Park Lake Drive “acts as a divider”—”a moat,” even—for pedestrians and residents living near Druid Hill Park, Councilman Leon Pinkett says. “The speed and the width of that corridor doesn’t allow communities of West Baltimore…to really access the park in the way that it should.”

But with Baltimore’s Department of Transportation already set to close off lanes along the thoroughfare to make way for construction equipment for the ongoing Druid Lake Reservoir project, the city is trying a temporary experiment that Pinkett suggests is a “win-win.”

Maryland Zoo Loses Another Giraffe

Juma the giraffe getting hand-fed. Photo courtesy of Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has now lost two members of its giraffe herd this year, according to a dismal announcement.

Greenlaurel: Carver Vo-Tech Students Build Wood Sculpture for Druid Hill Park’s ‘Nature Play Space’

Carver Vo-Tech seniors Marc Bostic and Keyashia Holt, juniors Jason Turnage and Levi Davis, and their teacher, Greg McDevitt, show off their new wood sculpture.

Using natural elements like downed trees, logs and willow branch tunnels, so-called nature play spaces parks are a new trend in playgrounds — and Baltimore has joined the movement.

Something Different for Halloweekend: A Night Hike Through Druid Hill Park

Photo by Lester Spence, via Wikimedia Commons

Even if you’ve spent considerable time in Druid Hill Park, chances are you haven’t wandered some of its oldest trails on the spookiest weekend of the year.

Unlicensed Cab Driver Shoots, Robs Customer in Druid Hill Park Just Before ‘Ceasefire’ Begins

Druid Lake Reservoir.

In case you haven’t heard, Baltimore is now in the middle of a 72-hour spell of no shooting, no killing. Last night, a “hack” cab driver shot one of his customers in the city limits, cutting it real close to the start of the three-day anti-gun violence event.