December 1, 2020
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
Bob Linz, Acting Bureau Chief of Capital Project, Park Planning and Construction, Department of Recreation & Parks, 410-313-4709
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Sykesville Mayor Ian Shaw, and Howard County Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme announced the completion of new improvements to South Branch Park. The park was closed since March while Recreation & Parks and HTI Construction improved parking, sidewalks, stormwater management controls and other amenities.
“These long-awaited park improvements make South Branch Park more accessible for all residents and visitors and builds on our effort to create sustainable green spaces throughout Howard County,” said Ball. “We’re grateful to the town of Sykesville and Mayor Shaw for their partnership on this project and commitment to collaboration to improve public parks.”
The project began in March of this year and is the third phase of improvements to South Branch Park. Renovations include:
- Installation of a new asphalt-surface entrance road and drive lanes;
- 56 permeable-paver parking spaces (and associated concrete curbs and gutters);
- New concrete walkways and ramps with handrail;
- New benches, bio-retention ponds and landscape improvements; and
- Newly-planted native plants and trees such as dogwoods, hollies, inkberry and black-eyed susans.
Funding for the $730,000 project was provided by Howard County’s Capital Projects budget as well as a $100,000 state bond bill. In addition, the Town of Sykesville contributed $50,000 to the project. The work was completed by HTI Contractors of Finksburg, Maryland.
"The Town of Sykesville is proud to continue our partnership with Howard County as we work together on this historic partnership to improve the amenities available at South Branch Park” said Sykesville Mayor Ian Shaw. “This partnership has been an amazing example of what is possible when local governments work together to achieve common goals. We look forward to building upon the vision that is taking shape for all the residents of Howard County, Sykesville and visitors alike to enjoy."
"These new amenities complete the site improvements to the park and are essential for the environmental protection of the watershed of the Patapsco River," said Howard County Recreation and Parks Director Raul Delerme. “With its increased parking capacity and handicap accessibility, South Branch Park can now more readily accommodate Howard County residents and better serve the visitors to this increasingly popular park.”
Running along the South Branch of the Patapsco River, South Branch Park is the historic site of early mills and canning industries in Howard County. Several of the properties historic structures remain in the park and are undergoing a restoration. The 7.5-acre park features a skatepark, children’s playground, walkways, benches and a picnic shelter. The park is popular with visitors and is often the site of special events in cooperation with the Town of Sykesville.