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Catonsville may receive 10 acres of undeveloped land for outdoor recreation

A Baltimore County nonprofit announced Tuesday evening it is on the verge of obtaining 10 acres of undeveloped land that could be used for outdoor recreation by Catonsville residents.

John Murphy, a Catonsville resident and president of NeighborSpace, hosted the June 21 fundraiser for his organization that was attended by nearly 40 people.

He said the property could be transferred to the nonprofit organization once Baltimore County finishes its environmental assessments.

The site, the end of Maple Avenue off Frederick Road between the intersections of North and South Rolling roads, is currently owned by the city of Baltimore.

It was once a saw mill, according to Catonsville resident Joe Gochar, who was among those who attended the presentation by NeighborSpace at Murphy's home on North Rolling Road.

Murphy said the property will be transferred to the county, assuming it passes the environmental assessments.

He said the county's timeline for that process is unknown.

"It's still in process and I don't know when it's going to be finished," said Murphy, a Catonsville resident for 37 years. "I'm hopeful that Baltimore County will feel very comfortable taking title to it."

If the transfer is accepted, the county will offer an easement to NeighborSpace that will prevent development on the property.

Both 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents the Catonsville and Arbutus areas, and 5tth District Councilman David Marks, who represents the Perry Hall and White Marsh areas, as well as a portion of Towson, attended the meeting.

Both men expressed the hope that if the group receives the property, it will become a space where people can utilize walking trails, swim and enjoy other forms of outdoor recreation.

Though only streams are currently located in the area, NeighborSpace expressed hope that an existing dam could be closed, which would create a lake.

"It's a phenomenal thing," Murphy said. "The whole community would benefit by the lake, the trails, all these things."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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