Letters: After South Carroll, let's look at trail network in Manchester area

It was encouraging to read that a group of residents in Eldersburg and Sykesville were able to attract county officials and Jeff Degitz, the director of the county's Department of Recreation and Parks, to form a group to decide future trails in the South Carroll area.

It appears this group, with support of county resources, will develop a feasibility study to obtain grant funding for trails that will serve residents in the local area.

This will allow many of the unique destinations along the routes 26 and 32 corridors to be tied together, allowing citizens a healthy, safe and cost-saving alternative to travel by auto.

When the new Manchester Valley High School was in progress, I approached the recreation and parks department with a similar request for a trail connecting the new high school with the recently completed Ebb Valley Elementary.

This could provide access to several Board of Education properties, including Manchester Elementary, while also providing soft access to historic sites in Manchester — such as Christmas Tree Park and Pine Valley Nature Center.

A possible extension south would allow access to another Board of Education property, at North Carroll Middle and the county park at North Carroll Pond.

By crossing over Route 30, additional sites would be accessed, too, such as Cape Horn Park, North Carroll Senior Center and, of course, the great American capitalist icon, Walmart.

I credit Jeff Degitz and his staff, as well as the Board of Education and officials in Manchester, for their consideration and initial studies. However, like the cruise vessel Costa Concordia, the project ran aground and has not been refloated.

With this initiative in South Carroll, perhaps a similar effort in Manchester can revive the initial concept and give North Carroll residents equal status in the quest for trails.

Vince DePalmer


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