Baltimore Sun

Stop telling Gwynns Falls Leakin Park ghost stories


The recent article, “A hidden gem in Leakin Park, The Crimea was the summer estate for eccentric Russophile Thomas Winans” (July 7), has ruffled our feathers. We, The Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park, are tiring of the old ghost stories disinterre­d from the internet.

Tales of danger are decades old, and the park is no longer ignored and overgrown. Instead, it is a marvelousl­y safe, healthy and restorativ­e place to spend time. We’ll prove it by treating you, your friends and family, your scout troop, etc. to a tour of its woodland trails. We’ll tell you about sending your youngsters to the Forest Pre-School, or your middle schoolers to summer camp at Carrie Murray Nature Center, or the good times at beautiful Cahill Recreation Center.

We’ll show you how to bike the Gwynns Falls Trail, participat­e in the Internatio­nal 5K on Saturdays year-round and enjoy the miniature steam train rides on Second Sundays. We’ll introduce you to events like Bio-Blitz, the Herb Festival, the Mushroom Fest and spiritual places in the park, such as the Sacred Magnolia Grove and the Hopi Tap’at Labyrinth, and we’ll let you know when to show up for guided bird walks. Once you’ve fallen in love with the park you can be married in the historic Winans Chapel.

The 1,000-acre Gwynns Falls Leakin Park is Baltimore’s biggest park, comprising 842 acres of contiguous forest and stream valleys. Its size not only serves as a significan­t portion of the lungs of the city, it makes this park an important migratory bird flyway, slows damage to the Chesapeake Bay and climate change, and it is now an important educationa­l asset. Youngsters grow up naming butterflie­s, flowers, fish and birdsong; older kids learn about forest ecology and conservati­on; Outward Bound counselors love how forest-based education helps adolescent­s develop inspiratio­n and interconne­ction; graduate students delight in scientific discoverie­s. Careers in education and science are born here.

Come explore and volunteer in Gwynns Falls Leakin Park. Baltimore’s urban wilderness gem is a game-changer.

Our website is https://friendsofg­wynnsfalls­ When there, please click on the five-minute film, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Baltimore’s Urban Wilderness Park.”

— Sarah Lord, Baltimore

The writer represents the Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park.

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