Baltimore, Maryland

Patterson Park is a 155-acre city park, one mile east of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Population declined since 1970 and residents were concerned about security and park conditions. After a consortium of community leaders developed an area plan in late 1993, planning students from the University of Maryland worked with community leaders, the Dept. of Recreation and Parks and the Dept. of Planning to develop a plan for revitalizing the park. In 1994, city voters authorized a million-dollar bond issue for the park. The Recreation and Parks Dept. initiated and facilitated the preparation of a master plan and worked with a planning student (funded by a grant obtained by the University of Maryland) to help involve the community in the planning process. Community meetings were held and five committees were set up to examine specific issues. A study of users and non-park users was conducted by the Dept. of Parks and Recreation and planning students and faculty at the University of Maryland to find out about park users, types of activities, and heavily used areas. Study results were given to the firm hired by the city to produce a constituency-based master plan. The Dept. of Parks and Recreation set up a 28 member Citizen Advisory Committee to determine a park vision as well as identify issues, needs and priorities. Meetings were held with the consultant firm to discuss issues and review preliminary concepts, recommendations and list of priorities. The master plan was published in early 1998. State funds were allocated for improvements to the park in 1997 and 1998 and the NFL has recently donated funds to renovate a park playing field.

Precinct and Zones within the Proposed Master Plan. The plan works with the sometimes competing aims of historic preservation and recreational activity by conceiving of the park in two sections: the 19th Century Park and the Recreational Park

Patterson Park: Step By Step Master Planning Process

  1. Patterson Park is a 155-acre city park in East Baltimore, about a mile east of the Baltimore’s inner harbor. Population declined in the area between 1970 and 1990 and residents were concerned about security, conditions of the park landscape and structures and silting of the boat lake.
  2. In December 1993, The Southeast Planning Council, a coalition of more than fifty Southeast Baltimore community leaders, came out with the Southeast Community Plan to respond to development projects and to preserve and strengthen southeast Baltimore neighborhoods. The plan called for an ongoing process to ensure the continued, active participation and input of Southeast Baltimore residents in neighborhood planning decisions. One of the recommendations of the plan was to improve area parks.
  3. Responding to the recommendation of the Southeast Community Plan during the Fall of 1994, students in the Urban Studies and Community Planning Program at the University of Maryland, worked with community leaders, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Department of Planning to develop a plan for the revitalization of Patterson Park. The report was distributed to the community and to the relevant city agencies. One of the recommendations called for the establishment of a conservancy group to take on various park management duties as well as to raise additional funds.
  4. In November 1994, city voters authorized a million-dollar bond issue for Patterson Park.
  5. In February 1995 the Department of Recreation and Parks embarked upon the preparation of a master plan for Patterson Park. A University of Maryland student, funded through a grant, was assigned to work directly with Recreation and Parks to get the community involved in the planning process.
  6. Department of Parks and Recreation divided the master planning process into two phases: The first phase being to develop goals and collect information and the second phase being to develop recommendations.
  7. A series of open community meetings were held to explain the process and five sub-committees were organized to examine specific issues in the park for phase one. University of Maryland and the Dept. of Parks and Recreation conduct a study of users and non park users to record who is using the park, types of activities, and heavily used areas and the results were given to the landscape architecture firm hired to produce a constituency-based master plan.
  8. A 28 member Citizen Advisory Committee was set up for phase two of the master planning process. Members were selected on the basis of an expression of interest, geographic distribution, balanced representation from the various committees, and level of activity in the committees. The Committee discussed a vision for the park as well as issues, needs and priorities.
  9. Meetings were held with the contracted landscape firm to discuss issues, review preliminary concepts, recommendations, and list of priorities.
  10. The master plan was completed in early 1998. Additional copies of the report were distributed to the community.
  11. State funds were allocated through the efforts of a State Senator for improvements to the park in 1997 and 1998. The NFL has recently donated funds to renovate a playing field in the park.
  12. Efforts are currently under way to establish a Friends of the Park organization to take on various park management duties and to raise additional funds for the park.

Plan Courtesy of Friends of Patterson Park.

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