People with ideas for improving Rash Field have an opportunity to offer comments Wednesday at the first of three public meetings focused on redoing the Inner Harbor park.
Once conceived of as an ambitious - and expensive - plan that involved building a new underground parking garage, the Rash Field redesign has been resized as a $3 million project. The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, a nonprofit that oversees maintenance and improvements in the Inner Harbor, has said it hopes to start work on the project this year.
The public meetings will inform final designs, which are in the works.
"The redesign of Rash Field is going to turn this underutilized park into a dynamic, active and attractive destination on the Inner Harbor's south shore for those who live and work in Baltimore," Laurie Schwartz, the organization's president, said in a statement. "Preparing a new design with involvement from the community will result in a much better design and ultimately a much more widely used Park."
Upgrading Rash Field was a major thrust of a long-term plan for the Inner Harbor released in 2013 that called for investment to keep the tourist center up to date and increase its appeal among locals. Schwartz has said the new plan for Rash Field will retain the sand volleyball courts, the absence of which prompted outcry when the 2013 scheme was released.
Baltimore landscape architects Mahan Rykiel Associates is leading the renovation. The firm also is involved in several other Inner Harbor landscape projects, including a controversial plan for McKeldin Plaza.
The first meeting about Rash Field will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Maryland Science Center.
Other meetings and workshops will be held Jan. 25 and March 29, also at the Maryland Science Center. People can also comment at rashfield.org.