10:45 AM EDT, July 31, 2012
The Columbia Association has prepared an environmental design plan for the enhancement of Symphony Woods Park. The 16-acre park will become the central amenity space for the proposed arts and cultural district planned for the land area around the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Over the past six months, a number of people have expressed concern over the need to remove some trees to construct the park walkways. Several alternative walkway alignments were evaluated to minimize the loss of trees. The proposed plan preserves over 300 mature trees. Between 50 and 60 trees will need to be removed to construct the Symphony Woods Park walkways. Additional trees will be planted once the walks and site amenities are in place.
The people who are concerned about the loss of trees believe the walkway layout should be compromised to save a few more trees. The proposed walkways provide the "form giving structure" for the four quadrants of the park and the central fountain. The alignment of the walks will offer people the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the 16 acres of woods and the amenities planned for the Town Center Cultural Park.
A 1,500-foot long meandering walk circles the heart of the park, providing exciting views of the existing land form and mature vegetation. The two walks that cross through the center of the park create a visual and physical connection to the fountain and central gathering space and may provide a new entrance to the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The proposed park around the south side of the Pavilion will provide an additional 3,000 lineal feet of pedestrian walks. When completed, over one mile of meandering walks will be available in the Town Center Cultural Park.
The people who are speaking out against the park plan fail to recognize the tree preservation objectives achieved in the conservation proposals for Symphony Woods Park. The Columbia community needs to understand the site-specific plan and vision for Symphony Woods Park and the long term potential to create a cultural district on the property around the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Symphony Woods Park Consultant