The East Columbia Library Park design plans are getting a makeover.

After nearly a decade since the park’s initial design, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced new plans that include multipurpose fields, basketball courts, a playground and a pavilion. Construction for the project is anticipated to begin in spring of 2025, with a completion in spring of 2026.

Nick Mooneyhan, director of county recreation and parks, said Thursday, “the original plan for this park was designed some time ago, we realized that as communities evolve, their needs and desires for parks changes too.”

The county went back to the drawing board and engaged the community, especially residents of Owen Brown and surrounding neighborhoods like Oakland Mills, Mooneyhan said.

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“We listened to your feedback, and we heard what you wanted from a modern vibrant park and we’re proud to unveil this revised concept that reflects those wants and needs,” Mooneyhan said.

The new amenities, like the playground, offer space for children to play, while the pavilion will be a place for family and friends to gather. Residents of all ages can play basketball together and other recreational sports, while youth and adult rugby leagues can continue to use the space, Mooneyhan said.

“We understand the heart of any successful park lies in the voices of those who call it home,” Ball said Thursday afternoon.

Ball continued: “Together we’re not just building parks, we are crafting experiences … experiences that include friends and neighbors coming together for spirited games on two well maintained grass fields or two lit basketball courts. Experiences related to memories already being created by our youth baseball softball cricket players at the adjacent amenities to this park by Lake Elkhorn Middle School and Cradlerock Elementary School.”

With the revised park design plans, Ball said it will be a public space that all Howard County residents can be proud of for current and future generations.

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Mae Beale, a Village of Owen Brown board member, has lived in the village for nearly 48 years. Parks are necessary because they motivate neighbors to “live an active lifestyle and strength and increase community engagement,” Beale said.

“Myself, I currently use the park to relax, listen to music, and I also like to just read and just enjoy nature,” Beale said Thursday. “This park will play an essential role in providing an attractive, pleasing, engaging environment for our community to continue to strive and the place to play, reveal and celebrate together.”

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