Symphony Woods Park is one of the Columbia Association's greatest open space system assets, and I, the Registered Landscape Architect at CA, and others are doing our best to ensure that it becomes a great park for the community. In last week's Flier, Joyce Potemkin advocated that residents unite to save 53 trees in Symphony Woods slated for removal.
While it is unfortunate that 53 trees could be removed for phase one of the park, the space will retain its wooded character: Hundreds and hundreds of trees will remain. And, while every living tree has value, it is perhaps a stretch to call the trees between Merriweather Post Pavilion and Little Patuxent Parkway "amazing," "healthy" and "stately." Many of the trees in Symphony Woods (which is characterized as a forest stand of poor quality in the Downtown Plan) are actually rather unhealthy and are nearing the end of their life span.
The south side of Symphony Woods Park, much of which is floodplain and streams, will be designed for far less intensive use and will include forest and stream restoration work, as specified in the Downtown Plan, and tree planting to replace the trees lost in the process of making Symphony Woods a community park.
In the heart of Town Center, Symphony Woods Park is on its way to becoming an inviting community park. Over the course of many public meetings, the plan for the first phase for the area between Merriweather Post Pavilion and Little Patuxent Parkway has been met with broad community support. It includes walkways, a central gathering area, lighting and benches to support access for all community events and enhancements to the pedestrian connection to the Pavilion … oh, and lots of trees!