Carroll County officials held a ceremony Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of the first phase of the county’s newest park, Westminster Veterans Memorial Park on Crest Lane.
The 33-acre park features a walking trail, playground, picnic pavilion and free play area, according to Carroll County Recreation & Parks Director Jeff Degitz. Many other county parks include dedicated sports fields that are often occupied with practices or games for organized sports. Free play areas allow for families and children in the neighborhood to use a large open space to kick a ball or fly a kite, Degitz explained.
By spring 2023, the county plans to open the next phase of the park, a memorial garden that will feature a walking path and benches as well as five stations dedicated to each branch of the U.S. military. The space is designed to honor local veterans. At its center will be a large rock upon which a Blue Star Memorial plaque will be mounted, Degitz said. The Blue Star Program honors all men and women that serve in the U.S. armed services and is administered by National Garden Clubs Inc.
Construction on the second phase of the park will begin in the fall and likely be completed in the spring, Degitz said. The park is being constructed using funding from the state’s Program Open Space as well as by local impact fees and money from the county’s capital improvements budget, Degitz said.
“We are very excited to celebrate this new park and to do it during the month of July, which is proclaimed as Park & Recreation Month by the Carroll County commissioners as well as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan,” Degitz said in a news release.
During the celebration Tuesday, Edward Boyd, president of the Windmere Farms Homeowners Association, which represents neighborhoods surrounding Westminster Veterans Memorial Park, spoke to the gathered crowd.
“We hope that the trees will grow taller and faster than the rolls of the fallen that are honored here,” Boyd said.
Commissioner Dennis Frazier, a Republican who represents District 3, which includes the park, said the county is fortunate to have an excellent recreation and parks department.
“Parks and recreation are essential to the quality of life for our communities, from protecting open space and natural resources to providing active living experiences to help improve physical and mental health and increased physical activity,” Frazier said in a news release.
For more information about programs and parks in Carroll County, including a calendar of local activities for Park and Recreation Month, go to ccrecpark.org.