City of Baltimore Awards Contract For Gwynns Falls Trail

Baltimore, MD, 12/19/01: The Trust for Public Land today announced that the City of Baltimore has selected the contractor for Phase II of the Gwynns Falls Trail. In a bid approved by the Board of Estimates, Peak Incorporated of Columbia, Maryland was awarded the $4.2 million contract for the project, which will add four miles to the existing 4.5 miles of the Trail. The Gwynns Falls Trail, a visionary hiking and biking greenway that runs through West Baltimore along the Gwynns Falls stream valley, will eventually span 14 miles, from Leakin Park/Gwynns Falls to the Inner Harbor. Phase I, completed in 1999, runs from Franklintown Road to Leon Day Park. Phase II construction, expected to begin in early spring, 2002, will extend from Leon Day Park to Carroll Park. Phase III, which will connect Carroll Park to the Inner Harbor and the Middle Branch, is expected to be complete by late 2003.

Through a unique partnership project spearheaded by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, the Gwynns Falls Trail will provide a continuous off-road recreational corridor connecting neighborhoods with parklands, cultural resources and historical landmarks. The Trail will also provide unique access to existing recreational and cultural sites including the Carrie Murray Nature Center, Outward Bound facilities, and Chesapeake and Allegheny steam train rides in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. The route will eventually connect to the B & O Railroad Museum, Mount Clare Museum House, the Baltimore Rowing and Water Resource Center, M&T Stadium, Camden Yards, and the Inner Harbor.

Of the $4.2 million appropriated, approximately $3 million was allocated from the federal transportation program TEA-21, the state allocated $110,000 in local POS funds, Baltimore City allocated $900,00 in Motor Vehicle Revenue (MVR) and $40,000 from the General Fund. Peak Incorporated president Paul Mayerman said, “We are extremely proud to be involved in a project of this magnitude, scope, breadth and creativity. We look forward to working on a project with such a community focus.”

Rose Harvey, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the Trust for Public Land said, “As a native Baltimorean, this announcement has special meaning. This is a critical link and an important next step in a 14 mile greenway providing families a place to ride bikes, play baseball and visit the nature center. The Trail will connect twenty neighborhoods from the underserved western edge of the city to the Inner Harbor. Parks have never been more important and the Trust for Public Land is thrilled to be part of this vital community link.”

The Trust for Public Land commissioned the master plan for the Gwynns Falls Trail in 1996 and has since acquired eight properties for trail linkages. Through the generosity of many foundations, TPL has donated more than $2 million toward the completion of the Trail. The Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 3,500 acres in Maryland, including acquisitions for the Gwynns Falls Trail; Montgomery County’s largest land and preservation project consisting of 800 acres; and the 300 acre Sahlin farm outside of Annapolis.

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit organization that conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in urban, suburban and rural communities and to protect natural and historic resources for future generations. Using its legal and real estate expertise, TPL has protected over 1.3 million acres of precious open space nationwide.