Bowie State awards posthumous degree to slain student

Thomas McGrath

Harford to use land gift for arts center, park

A large wooded parcel along the bustling Route 24 corridor in Abingdon will become a regional arts center with theaters, galleries, classrooms and community meeting space under a proposal for how to use property unexpectedly left to Harford County by a widow who lived in New Jersey.

A larger adjoining tract will be turned into public parkland — described by some as Harford's "Central Park" — under a county-backed plan. The area sits squarely in Harford's designated growth zone and is the largest undeveloped parcel between Interstate 95 and Bel Air, the county seat.

In the four years since Emily Bayless Graham died — leaving more than 110 acres valued at up to $17...