Funds earmarked for Queenstown boardwalk
QUEENSTOWN — The Town of Queenstown has been notified that funds are included in the state’s capital budget for Fiscal Year 2017 to create a boardwalk and kayak launch along a portion of the town’s waterfront.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently informed Town Engineer Bob Rauch that $120,000, funded by General Obligation Funds toward the project, is part of the budget that still must go before the state Board of Public Works. It’s unclear when the board might consider the project.
“We do not know if the $120,000 will cover the cost of the entire project,” Rauch said in an email. “With the approval of the BOPW, we will complete a final design and identify phasing to determine how much of the project can be built with the available funds.”
A proposal to build such a boardwalk and kayak launch was first brought before the Queenstown Town Commissioners in March 2015. In addition to the boardwalk and kayak launch, the project is to include observation areas along the shoreline of Little Queenstown Creek, Rauch said.
“Access to the boardwalk will be from the existing town boat ramp (at the end of Skipjack Cove Lane), run along the shoreline adjacent to the site of the new wastewater treatment plant, toward Second Avenue, joined by a pedestrian bridge to access the Town Dock on Second Street,” according to Rauch.
The boardwalk and kayak launch will be handicapped accessible and will have two ramps equipped for handicapped launching, as well as a conventional sand ramp, he said. Also proposed in the plan is a 160-foot living shoreline designed to protect the shoreline from erosion and provide habitat, according to the proposal that the town submitted to the Department of Natural Resources’ Community Parks and Playground unit.
Educational learning stations will be located at the observation areas, and two small marsh areas will be re-established to “provide habitat for many aquatic species which, in turn, attract larger animal species, including wading birds,” the proposal states.
Rauch called it a “living classroom” concept that will “foster better stewardship practices and create heightened appreciation of the environment.”
The proposal sent to the state for funding also states that access to the shoreline of Little Queenstown Creek has been an objective of Queenstown’s Comprehensive Plan.
The new wastewater treatment plant that is adjacent to the location planned for the boardwalk and kayak launch began operations earlier this year.
This is a concept plan for the proposed Queenstown boardwalk and kayak launch. The boardwalk would begin between the existing boat ramp and the wastewater treatment plant near the bottom of the illustration. It would then wrap around the shoreline and connect to Second Street with a bridge at left.