by bryan p. sears
If so, Baltimore County wants to hear from you.
County residents are invited to bring their wish lists and address county recreation officials on projects great and small at a public meeting May 19 at 7 p.m. at the lodge at Oregon Ridge.
Officials say input from the session will be used to help develop short-, medium- and long-range goals for county recreation as part of the 2005 Baltimore County Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan.
"They can ask for anything," said Patrick McDougall, a planner with the recreation and parks department.
"From the very specific, like a tot lot (or) open space in a community, to the very general, like 'the county doesn't do enough to protect stream valleys.'"
McDougall said the idea of the meeting is to help identify community needs and county priorities.
This is not the first time such a plan has been prepared. Baltimore County crafts a new parks and recreation plan about every five years.
What has changed is the nature of the plan, and how it's being put together.
In the past, McDougall said, the plans dealt with generalized goals such as increasing the amount of park land or park renovation.
Now, the plan will essentially be a blueprint for the next five to 20 years, with specific projects outlined for each section of the county.
"This plan will be much more comprehensive, much more specific," McDougall said.
Joe Tassone, director of land use and planning for the state Department of Planning, said the county document will be used to guide requests for parks and land preservation.
The plan also will require the county to assess land preservation goals and efforts, and detail which state programs are being used to fund them.
The state law guiding land preservation - Program Open Space - was established in the 1960s, Tassone said.
"Since then, there have been a whole lot of new programs and new revenue resources to pay for them that have been established," he said. "We want to make sure they are all being used."
The Oregon Ridge meeting is the first in a series of opportunities for public input. Residents also will have the chance to participate in hearings with the Recreation and Parks Board, the Planning Board and the County Council.
The May 19 public meting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Oregon Ridge Park Lodge, 13401 Beaver Dam Road. For information, call 410-887-3305.
E-mail Bryan P. Sears at email@example.com.