Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blandair Begins to Bloom

It’s taken over a decade but the first phase of Blandair Park in Columbia is now well underway. According to this story by Lindsey McPherson in Explore Howard, the first phase of the parks development “is expected to be open to the public late this fall or early next spring, according to John Byrd, the director of the county Department of Recreation and Parks.”

“Blandair will be the second largest developed park in the county, next to Elkridge's 415-acre Rockburn Branch Park, Byrd said. Recreation and Parks also manages the undeveloped Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, which spans 1,021 acres.”

It is six times larger than Symphony Woods.

It is somewhat ironic that Blandair Park will become the crown jewel of parks in Columbia. The county acquired the land from the estate of Nancy Smith who died in 1997 without a will. Up until her death Ms Smith rebuffed several overtures from The Rouse Company and other developers to acquire her property. She even fought an unsuccessful battle against the State of Maryland to keep Rouse Parkway (MD Route 175) from bisecting her property. It is safe to say that Nancy Smith was not a big fan of Columbia but it is Columbia that will now benefit hugely from her intransigence.

There will be a total of seven phases in the development program that will likely take another eight years to complete.
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