Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks is looking at 10 county-owned sites for possible new or expanded parks and seeking the public’s input on what they would like to see built.

Using the “Plan Your Park” survey, residents can choose from three preliminary concepts for possible park designs for each site that were developed by the county and its planning consultants. Members of the community can also rank amenities and provide recommendations and feedback.

Jessica Leys, the county’s recreation and parks director, believes that seeking preliminary feedback from the public before planning will ensure the success of future parks.

“This is your park. This is your community and your voice matters in the planning process,” Leys said. “It empowers the residents and the community members into building the parts that they want to see rather than the part that comes out of a survey or out of a feasibility study. It’s more of the elements that they would like to see in their community.”

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Sites will be evaluated for potential development of park and recreational uses. Some of the locations are undeveloped as parks and others would be an expansion of current amenities. They include the following parks or sites: Bacontown Russett, Central Avenue, Crofton, Jessup Elementary, Marley Creek, Riva Area, Rock Creek, Stoney Creek, Sullivan and West County.

Crofton Park is one of 10 park sites that Anne Arundel County is reimagining. The county is seeking public input on how to expand or build new parks. (Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks)

The proposed sites were selected using criteria from the Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan, which was adopted in 2022 and serves as a countywide master plan for land preservation, recreational programming, park acquisition, and facility development. Using the elements from the master plan such as equity, demand and proximity, developers matched the county with 10 sites already owned by the county and that have available space.

The “Plan Your Park” survey identifies more ideas and needs other than what was quantified in the master plan, according to Leys.

She has received a lot of feedback from community members about wanting more skate parks, an element identified in the master plan but not listed as a high priority in the plan.

“That’s a great benefit of the public outreach in the early planning stages that maybe there’s something out there that isn’t highly rated in the pipeline but is definitely desirable by the community,” Leys said.

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Once Recreation and Parks receives community feedback, then staff will start the planning process and putting together a budget that may or may not include some of these parks, according to Leys.

The survey launched Friday, Oct. 6 and ends Thursday, Nov. 30.

“I’m optimistic the results will be positive,” Leys said.

royale.bonds@thebaltimorebanner.com

Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter. 

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