ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Department of Recreation & Parks Director Nick Mooneyhan today announced the purchase of the 16.5-acre East Columbia Library Park property located adjacent to Howard County Library System’s East Columbia branch on Cradlerock Way in Columbia. Recreation & Parks has maintained the property since 1992.
Howard County remains committed to preserving our existing open spaces. We cherish these large parcels of land and look forward to making this park more even more engaging for the East Columbia community neighbors as a place to get up, get out, get active, and have fun.
The purchase of this property from the Howard Hughes Holdings, Inc. allows the County to move forward with plans to enhance and expand the existing park. Those plans include redeveloping the three existing multipurpose fields into two lighted artificial turf baseball fields, two lighted basketball courts, a playground and a pavilion.
Additionally, the pathway will be renovated to fully connect to the Owen Brown Village Center. Finally, the project also includes landscaping work and the completion of stormwater management bio-retention facilities. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2024 and be completed the following year, weather permitting.
We look forward to taking the existing blueprint that is already there and transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility that better serves this growing community. We foresee these new amenities being used for many years to come for local sporting competitions, recreational activities, exercise, and community events.
“This purchase opens the way for the County to proceed this fall with construction of a 1-megawatt solar canopy over the library’s parking lot” said Tim Lattimer, Administrator, Office of Community Sustainability. “This helps advance the County’s “Climate Forward” action plan, as the canopy will generate about 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That’s enough to power more than 110 homes and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to taking 130 cars off the road or planting 9,650 trees.”
The property was purchased from the Howard Hughes for $415,000 with the use of Program Open Space funding provided by the state. In addition to more state funding, local funding from the County will be used during the park’s renovation.
“As the community developer of Downtown Columbia, we are proud to continue to partner with Howard County to help advance its “Climate Forward” action plan and support additional amenities and enhanced resources for our community,” said Kristi Smith, President of the Maryland region for Howard Hughes. “This project will support the healthy, active lifestyle and commitment to sustainability and innovation for which our community is known, and we look forward to it coming to fruition."
About East Columbia Library Park
The more than 16.5-acre property is adjacent to Howard County Library System’s East Columbia branch at 6600 Cradlerock Way in Columbia. The property is generally flat, has a restroom building and was previously used as grass multipurpose fields. It shares the same parking lot as the library.