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Get outside, there's plenty to do in Harford [Editorial]

It was a good move by Harford County government to create a safe place to launch kayaks and canoes along Deer Creek at Route 1, yet another effort to promote and encourage a wide range of outdoor activities in our county.

The entrance to launch, Benjamin’s Bridge, which is named in memory of Benjamin Boniface of Darlington, is just north of the Route 1 bridge. There’s an access road and a parking lot, which will eliminate kayakers and canoeists having to park on the shoulder of what is a pretty unsafe stretch of a busy highway.

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Benjamin Boniface died at age 20 in a 2012 vehicle accident at his family’s farm. His family, which includes his father and mother, Billy and Barbara Boniface, and his brother and sister, Billy and Bethany, backed the project, built on county-owned land.

“Ben was a very avid kayaker,” Billy Boniface, a former Harford County Council President and current county director of administration, told Aegis staff member David Anderson. “He spent a lot of time on Deer Creek and a lot in that area [of the launch].”

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The Bonifaces also contributed money toward building the launch, though a memorial fund set up in their son’s name, called the Ben Boniface Deer Creek Valley Fund, established under the Community Foundation of Harford County in 2013.

Kayaking and Canoeing are popular outdoor activities in Harford County and Deer Creek is certainly the go-to place to participate in them. In addition to providing a safer access point, the county hopes the new launch will “provide a greater awareness of and access to Deer Creek,” spokesperson Cindy Mumby said.

The new launch also could be the first of several more, according to both Boniface and Mumby, with the thought being to create a water trail along the creek, many sections of which are on private property and can’t be accessed by land without permission.

The best part is outdoor activities abound in Harford County, and Benjamin’s Bridge is one more opportunity for all of us to get out there and participate, on land or water. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by.

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