Marydel park to be dedicated April 29
MARYDEL — There’s a common saying around the offices of the Caroline County Department of Recreation and Parks: “It takes at least 10 years to build a park here.” In the case of Marydel Community Park, the department has beaten its own deadline.
A dedication ceremony will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the park at 18455 Lepore Road, Marydel. Following the official ribbon cutting, there will be refreshments, soccer challenges and disc golf.
Caroline County purchased the land for the park in 2008.
“It was a farm field,” said Director Sue Simmons, “but I knew it would make a great park for this northern part of the county.”
The county purchased 25 acres from Marjorie Knight Clements with a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space fund.
For the next seven years, the property remained in agricultural production, the lease funds saved to be used to help leverage additional grant funds for park development. During those years, Simmons, the county’s volunteer Recreation and Parks advisory board, community members and elected officials in the Town of Marydel and other staff worked on a park master plan and a funding plan.
With the park design and engineering plans completed in late 2014, the Town of Marydel was able to compete for a Community Parks and Playground grant for $193,000. This grant, along with the agricultural lease revenues, an allocation from the county’s capital budget and additional grant funds meant “all the pieces were there,” Simmons said.
The mayor and council of Marydel and the county commissioners officially broke ground Nov. 30, 2015. Over the next year and a half, the farm field transformed into a community park. There is a paved onethird of a mile walking trail around a regulation size soccer field/multipurpose field, and another three-quarters of a mile in mowed grass trails through a nine-hole disc golf course.
While the park officially opens on Saturday, many local residents are already walking and driving to use the park’s amenities.
Mark Lasocha, park division supervisor, has been spending a lot of time out at the park putting in the finishing touches. He’s met a few of the people who are already coming to use it.
“I talked to one lady who is walking on the track regularly to build up her strength after a stroke,” Lasocha said.
He’s also met kids who live within walking distance who are visiting the park, and as soon as the soccer goals were set up, pick up games were quick to start.
While disc golf certainly is not as well-known as traditional golf, it has a growing following. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, it is played like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee.
The game has been around since the 1970s, and there is an 18-hole course at Tuckahoe State Park. This is the first course in a county-owned park.
“This is going to be a great course for people who haven’t played before,” said Stacy Seward, program services supervisor. “All but one hole are par 3 with clear sight lines and not too great distances.”
Following the dedication ceremony, Seward and other department staff will be on hand with discs to play a round or two with those interested in learning to play.
Luke and Jake Lasocha try the new walking trail at Marydel Community Park during an earlier stage of construction. The park now includes a multipurpose field and a playground as well as the walking trail and disc golf course.