New public park planned for Queenstown
QUEENSTOWN — Plans are in the works for Queenstown to have a public park with a boardwalk, walkways, trees dedicated to people and a handicapped accessible kayak launching point.
Patricia Bowell, chairwoman of the town government’s Finance Committee, sat down for an interview about the plans on Friday, Sept. 23 with her husband, Mike, who is a town commissioner.
The park, free to the public when opened, will be located next to the wastewater treatment plant on Main Street in Queenstown. There’s construction going on there now in support of the treatment plant. But it’s the site of the park, which currently has no official name. Its unofficial name is The Park at Skipjack Cove.
There are trees planted there with plaques by the Lions Club of Queen Anne’s County, and there’s a very rough road where the park will be located. The town government owns the entire parcel.
The park is being built in two phases. “It’s an enhancement to the open space in the town. We have a wastewater treatment plan that was designed to look like part of the neighborhood. The park enhances the additional space surrounding the plant,” Commissioner Bowell said.
Nobody would know there’s a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant there, he said.
“Two years from now, you’ll be able to look at a boardwalk with a living shore line,” Mrs. Bowell said.
Phase one will include a boardwalk which goes along the water at Skipjack Cove, which flows into the Queenstown Creek, and then into the Chester River. The walkay will connect a new handicapped kayak launch along the water from Main Street to Second Avenue.
This part was approved by the Maryland Department of Public Works and funded by the state Department of Natural Resources with a grant of $120,000. Construction of the park will begin quickly as soon as the final permitting is finished with the Maryland Critical Area Commission.
“We need to get final permitting, and then we’ll go out to bid and begin construction,” Mrs. Bowell said.
Also planned for the park is a “living shore line,” which includes a grassy area that supports a habitat for frogs, crabs and other marine life. “It’s a living shore where aqua life can be sustained .... People can come down and observe the natural habitat,” Commissioner Bowell said.
A conceptual plan for phase two of the project was approved by the town’s commissioners on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The next step is to seek funding from the Department of Natural Resources, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Trust and other groups. “There’s funding out there. We will apply to a number of resouces,” Mrs. Bowell said.
The second phase will include memorial tree plantings where people can select a tree and have it planted as a memorial to someone in the park. Benches will also be placed as memorials.
“We will form an ad hoc committee of interested townspeople to develop the criteria for selecting who may be memorialized in the park,” Mrs. Bowell said.
This committee will determine which trees and benches are to be used in the park, she added.
Parking will be allowed at the park, but the spots are nestled between plantings rather than a big black top.
Patricia Bowell, chairman of Queenstown government’s Finance Committee, talks about the features of a park planned next to the wastewater treatment plant on Main Street in the town.