Walkers, bikers and runners have another rest stop to enjoy at the west end of the Broadneck Peninsula Trail.
Before the arrival of fall, the county completed the picturesque break area, which is situated near College Parkway and Peninsula Farm Road in Arnold. The new area is less than one mile off the B&A Trail at the end of Jones Station Road.
The rest area features many convenient amenities that include two sitting benches, a picnic table, a bicycle rack, and a multipurpose water fountain for people and pets.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails dedicated the area in October 2021 as the Jean and Edgar Parker Memorial Rest Area in memory of Jean Parker, an avid volunteer who passed away from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and to Ed Parker for his many years of volunteer service and generous monetary contributions toward the facility.
The site was partially completed at the time of the dedication, but it wasn’t fully finished with all the existing amenities until earlier this year.
Parker pointed out the attention to detail regarding the features at the stop.
“The dog dish has holes to prevent mosquitos, and the picnic tables are all slotted so that water doesn’t collect on them,” Parker said.
Construction began this summer on another portion of the trail that will run from Bay Dale Drive to Anne Arundel Community College at Peninsula Farm Road.
Parker, a graduate of the Naval Academy and longtime resident of Arnold, wanted an additional option for people to easily get to and from the community college from nearby neighborhoods. Today, walking or biking along College Parkway near the community college tends to be hazardous with small and uneven sidewalks and difficult street intersection crossings.
“My initial provocation was that you shouldn’t have to have a car to get to the community college,” Parker said.
The new trail will feature some notable improvements for pedestrians along College Parkway, including enhancements to the crossing at Shore Acres Road.
“Shore Acres Road is impossible to get through,” Parker said. “When it rained, kids were getting splattered trying to cross the street.”
Although there is currently a sidewalk along the college’s perimeter around College Parkway, Parker doesn’t think it’s pedestrian friendly.
“They only put in some narrow sidewalks,” Parker said.
The new trail will feature a 10-foot-wide asphalt path to provide plenty of room for users to safely travel in both directions at the same time.
Parker has been a longtime proponent of the trail, and many years ago, he lobbied County Councilman Cliff Roop and U.S. Congressman Wayne Gilchrist for a trail.
“Roop put in a bill for preliminary study to do the Broadneck Trail,” Parker said.
Parker notes that he’s always been part of the Broadneck Trail project. After the first section of the Broadneck Trail was completed in 2012, Parker initially helped create the Segree Rest Area, a popular but smaller rest stop along the trail near Broadneck Library.
As planned, the trail, which traverses mostly along the north side of College Parkway, will cross to the south side of College Parkway along the perimeter of the community college between Peninsula Farm Road and Jones Station Road as part of Phase III of the project, with an anticipated completion in 2024.
According to the 1999 Master Plan for the Broadneck Peninsula Trail, construction of the trail would be completed in multiple phases.
Phases completed thus far include:
Phase IA: Green Holly Drive to East College Parkway/Walnut Ridge.
Phase II: Green Holly Drive to Bay Dale Drive.
Phase IV: Jones Station Road at B&A Trail to Peninsula Farm Road
Phases still to be constructed include:
Phase IB: Peregoy Park Place to Bay Head Park – construction expected to start during fall 2022.
Phase III: Bay Dale Drive to Community College at Peninsula Farm Road – construction began this summer and is expected to be completed in about 18 months.
Phase V: Bay Head Park to Sandy Point State Park – construction is fully funded and is expected to start during fall 2022.
Tom DeKornfeld, a fellow trail user, was involved with the Annapolis Striders and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra along with Parker.
Parker initially planned to leave money to the county in his will but was encouraged to give sooner to enjoy the fruits of his donations.
“Ed’s generous contributions will be enjoyed by thousands for many years to come,” DeKornfeld said.
If you live near the rest area and would like to help care for the shrubs, call flowerbed coordinator Becky Ziegler at 443-995-8130.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here