After years of planning, a groundbreaking for Angel Park in Perry Hall is scheduled for March.
First, the project needs the approval of the Baltimore County Council, which it is likely to get. When Councilman David Marks presented a resolution allowing the park to be built on county property at a workshop meeting Feb. 9, members responded favorably.
The park will be one-of-a-kind, according to the Perry Hall Recreation & Parks Council's treasurer.
"The firm we're using to do the design describes an all-inclusive playground, a fun-filled place where children can play together with their peers, family, friends and neighbors without experiencing physical or social barriers to inclusion," Paul Amirault said.
The ramps and platforms typically associated with castlelike playgrounds will be wheelchair-accessible. The base of the playground will be made from rubber. The project includes a wheelchair-accessible "shaky bridge," a Braille panel, therapeutic swings and a handicap-accessible racing zip line.
The group hopes to start actual construction of the park in July. The park will be the result of a grass-roots effort by Kelli Szczybor (pronounced SEE-bor), a Perry Hall resident whose 15-month-old son Ryan died of leukemia in 1998. She has been working on the project for about five years.
The plan, presented in County Council Resolution 20-16, is to lease a 2.375-acre plot of county land on Honeygo Boulevard to the Perry Hall recreation council. The council will then build a park and give it to the county — essentially creating a new county-managed facility that was built by another entity.
The County Council will vote on the proposal Feb. 16.
Construction is expected to cost about $1.5 million, and so far volunteers have helped raise nearly $1 million of that, Marks said.
"That's an extraordinary amount of money," Marks said.
The state has chipped in $200,000, and the county has given the project a grant for $250,000.
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Fundraising will continue past the $1.5 million mark to have funds for additional equipment as it is needed over the years, Amirault said.