Rash Field Park at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor officially opens to the public

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(Baltimore, Md) – On November 5, Waterfront Partnership was joined by Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, corporate funders, the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP), City and State officials, community and project partners, and youth from Solo Gibbs Recreation Center for the ribbon cutting of the first phase of Rash Field Park. On Saturday and Sunday, Waterfront Partnership, BCRP and local pro-skaters will welcome residents and families to the park with free activities for all ages.

“We were so thrilled to see our vision for Baltimore families come to life today with children of all ages climbing, laughing and playing in the Park,” said Laurie Schwartz, president of Waterfront Partnership. “Truly, none of this would have been possible without the vital funding from the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland and private donors. I want to recognize and thank them all for their partnership and for prioritizing access to quality public open spaces.”

“Our administration is pleased to celebrate and support the grand opening of this transformative project, which will be a source of fun, recreation, and education for families across Baltimore City,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “All children deserve a safe place in their community to just be kids, and it is our hope that Rash Field Park will be a source of joy for young people and kids at heart for generations to come.”

“The opening of Rash Field Park has been years in the making and marks the beginning of a transformation of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor,” said Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson. “The reimagining of Rash Field Park demonstrates a commitment to making the Inner Harbor an amenity for Baltimoreans and visitors alike. Delegates Luke Clippinger, Robbyn Lewis, Brooke Lierman, and I have been thrilled to secure millions in State funding to make this week’s opening a reality.”

Waterfront Partnership has been working to advance the park project with the Baltimore community since 2015, engaging with stakeholders every step of the way, to transform the outdated, concrete-dominated space on the south shore of the Inner Harbor into a place for families from across the city to gather, and for children to explore, relax and experience fun, education and wonder.

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Starting this weekend, visitors will experience an array of park features in phase one including two play areas – an adventure park with a pair of 30-foot wooden towers and the BGE Nature Play area, a space to learn about birds and native plants — as well as Jake’s Skate Park named in memory of Jake Owen, an avid skater and sports lover who was killed at five-years-old by a cell phone-distracted driver in 2011; a shade lawn, a green overlook and the BGE Pavilion with a café to open in the spring with outdoor seating and views of the waterfront. Designed by Mahan Rykiel Associates, the park celebrates a new investment in the Harbor with spectacular water and skyline views and creates welcoming arrival points, making connections to Federal Hill Park and Key Highway walkways.

“Recreation plays a huge role in the development of our youth. Ensuring access to high quality facilities, like Rash Field Park, is a crucial way to show our investment in our youth and our communities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Rash Field Park will become one of Baltimore’s great citywide parks, on par with Patterson Park and Druid Hill Park.”

Funding for phase one came from the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, hundreds of residents, and corporations including a gift of $300,000 from T. Rowe Price to support the imaginative and interactive adventure park, and $100,000 each from Brown Advisory, M&T Bank, H&S Family of Bakeries, the Bunting Family Foundation and Abell Foundation. These companies and foundations joined Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), which committed $1 million to help fund the BGE Pavilion and BGE Nature Play area.

“BGE is a proud supporter of this re-imagined space and grateful for the opportunity to play a role in the development of BGE Pavilion at Rash Field Park,” said Carim Khouzami, president and CEO of BGE. “We all know how important recreation and outdoor spaces are to the well-being of the communities we serve. It is our hope that this park is enjoyed by residents and visitors, young and old, for generations to come.”

Phase two is expected to have a focus on recreation, fitness and wellness, with soccer fields, walking and jogging paths, exercise equipment, an open lawn, a game lawn, reimagined beach area with volleyball courts and space for families, butterfly and bird gardens and the relocation of the Pride Memorial.

“The completion of the first phase of Rash Field Park has helped to revitalize the world-famous Inner Harbor and ensures a family-friendly environment for families across our city for decades to come,” said Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello who represents the Rash Field Park area and surrounding neighborhoods. “I look forward to working with Waterfront Partnership and all stakeholders as we begin to embark on phase two.”

Mahan Rykiel Associates serves as the Park’s designer, Whiting-Turner as general contractor and construction manager, and global design and architecture firm Gensler designed the BGE Pavilion.

Free events for the public on Saturday, November 6, will include a clinic at Jake’s Skate Park with local professional skateboarders, Skate Park of Baltimore and DJ, Zumba!, an Invertebrate Meet-N-Greet for kids in the BGE Nature Play area and afternoon yoga taught by Waterfront Wellness partner Breathing Dragon Yoga. On Sunday, November 7, there will be yoga taught by BCRP, biking around the promenade, garden discovery with the Carrie Murray Nature Center and a skateboarding demo by professional skateboarder and Baltimorean Joey Jett.

For more information on Rash Field Park and for a full schedule of grand opening events, visit rashfield.org.

Waterfront Partnership, in collaboration with our government, business, and community partners, creates a clean, green, safe, sustainable and thriving urban waterfront for all to enjoy. We’re lean, nimble and effective; the only organization that wakes up every day, rolls its sleeves up and gets to work on new ways we can make Baltimore’s Waterfront even more active, attractive and appealing. We’re the hosts who greet visitors, the creators of programs and promotions and managers of our beautiful parks. We encourage investment in Baltimore’s most celebrated asset so it can continue to grow, to serve as a place of pride and the place where Baltimoreans come together to recreate and to celebrate. For more information, visit waterfrontpartnership.org.

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