In this installment of Veterans View, I would like to bring an important new development to the attention of our veteran community. There is a new park opening in Westminster that should be on our radar. That park is the Westminster Veterans Memorial Park. The park entrance is on Crest Lane in Westminster and will feature a walking trail, playground, picnic pavilion as well as host a memorial garden for veterans.
The park land was purchased by the county with Maryland Program Open Space funds, monies earmarked specifically to be used for parks. Carroll County used the same type of funds to purchase and develop many similar parks throughout Carroll County. These new parks are good examples of the positive use of an underutilized plot of land behind a nice community. For one park, there was a contest of sorts, that the county made available to the residents of the community surrounding the park, whereby residents were able to submit potential names for the park. One of the residents had a son, an Army explosive ordinance demolition (EOD) technician, who was killed in Gulf War II, and that family put forth the park name to allow for the remembrance for not only their son, but others who were dealing with their own servicemember loss.
It was obviously the “winner” of the contest and the park was so named Westminster Veterans Memorial Park.
The new 32-acre park in Westminster hosts a paved path that is just under 1-mile per circuit. There is a pavilion for hosting picnics and other events, ample parking, a playground for the little ones, and last but certainly not least, a memorial garden to reflect on the fallen.
Jeff Degitz, director of Carroll County Recreation and Parks, shared that once the recreational components of the park have been completed, efforts will be focused on the memorial area with capital project funds. However, there is always room for improvement, especially for a veterans memorial.
So, if anyone would like to donate to the park’s memorial or memorial park benches, you can do so by contacting the Recreation and Parks Department at 410-386-2103 or via the Carroll County Park Legacy fund at www.ccrecpark.com. So far, several benches and trees have been donated to the park, with opportunities for more. There is also a plan to place donation buckets at the VFW and American Legion posts, for use on the memorial as well. The county will use these funds specifically for updates and improvements to the memorial at the park.
The new park will be a beautiful addition to the community with this special ground devoted to honor veterans. Whether you and your family are in need of some good old-fashioned fresh air, or if you want to enjoy the quiet serenity of a new green space and reflect on your day/thoughts/loved ones, it’s always nice to have access to such a place.
The park is designated to be open from sunrise to sunset and is expected to have a ribbon cutting and official opening on a date to be determined in July.
Hope to see you all there soon.
Jim Duncan, U.S. Navy (ret.), is a member of the Carroll County Veterans Advisory Council.