New pub­lic park planned for Queen­stown

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

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.

PHOTO BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

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.

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