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Howard County receives $1.5 million in state funding for Patapsco Regional Greenway and Savage Mill trails

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Tuesday announced $1.5 million in state funding for the Savage Mill Trail and a Patapsco Regional Greenway spur.

“Our parks and our trails are one of our greatest resources as a county, and with [this] announcement we’re making significant progress toward expanded green infrastructure and connectivity to communities throughout our region,” Ball said.

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A $250,000 grant for the Savage Mill Trail will go toward repairs in the park, including the replacement of collapsed culverts, rehabilitation of timber stairs accessing the trail, steep slope stabilization and a redesign of the picnic viewing area, according to a county news release.

The trail is 1.16 miles, with Savage Park above the south side of the Little Patuxent River.

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In his fiscal 2022 capital budget proposal, Ball also is planning to allocate $1.9 million to rehabilitate and expand the existing pathway and trail systems extending from Savage Park through Columbia to Dorsey’s Search and throughout the county.

“The financial commitment from the state helps the department’s goal to improve our current pathway and trail system connectivity,” Raul Delerme, director of the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, said in a statement.

“This funding will allow for needed repairs to be completed along the Savage Mill trail. We will redesign and replace a picnic river overlook along the trail, reconstruct a timber stair structure, replace two collapsed culverts, install a stone wall and drainage swale to stabilize a steep bank from eroding and create a cascade structure upstream to stabilize channel erosion.”

A $1.25 million grant the state is providing will support the building of a Patapsco Regional Greenway spur to connect Elkridge to the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Southern Baltimore County, according to the release.

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The state funding will assist the county in securing a State Transportation Alternatives Program grant to fund the construction of the trail.

The trail route would start at the existing underpass close to the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe via the existing power-line maintenance road. The route would bring visitors into historic Elkridge via a bridge over the Patapsco River.

According to the county, the Patapsco Regional Greenway Plan envisions a 40-mile, shared-use trail running through the Patapsco Valley from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to Sykesville in Carroll County. If the trail is completed, it would pass through the communities of Elkridge, Ellicott City, Marriotsville and Woodstock in Howard County.

“COVID has really heightened the importance of outdoor recreational opportunities and enjoying our natural world,” state Sen. Guy Guzzone, who represents Howard’s District 13, said in a statement. “The Delegation was very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the county to help fund these great projects that enhance the community and provide important outlets for county residents.”

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