Volunteers with the Downtown Sykesville Connection have made updates to the Little Sykes Railway Park in town, thanks to a grant from the Healing the Planet program, funded by the GIANT Company.
The grant program aims “to build environmental stewardship by connecting people and families to community green spaces, improve community green spaces, support environmental restoration efforts, and support community gardens,” according to a news release from the company.
The DSC was awarded the $5,000 grant in fall 2021 through its Keep Sykesville Beautiful designation and decided to dedicate the funds to beautifying the Little Sykes Railway Park, at 7547 Main St.
The park features a 1949 12-gauge miniature train built by the Miniature Train Company and has been open since November 2004.
Volunteers, led by Sykesville resident Robert McLeod, recently finished the beautification project, which included adding a willow tree and four gardens to retain accumulating water. The gardens, whose design, plant selection and planting were spearheaded by Kyle Hiteshew and Kathleen Hiteshew, are designated as “certified wildlife habitats” through the National Wildlife Federation.
Shannon-Baum Signs designed and installed a historically relevant sign for the park near the flagpole to improve the park’s visibility from the road. In addition, a cityscape mural, originally created by the Hussle family, was also restored, embellished and waterproofed by the Sykesville Pottery and Art Center’s owner Abby Dion and other volunteers.