In honor of Veterans Day, Howard County is expanding options for wounded veterans who seek healing in nature.
County Executive Ken Ulman announced Monday that the county is partnering with a therapeutic services group for veterans to improve accessibility at one of Howard's best fly-fishing spots.
"We are committed to providing the full range of services that our veterans deserve and have earned," Ulman said in a statement. "We will do all we can in areas such as economic development, education and social services. And recreational activities are another important way to show commitment and respect to our military and our veterans."
The county's Department of Recreation & Parks will build an accessible trail and fishing platform along the Patuxent River next to Haviland Park in Clarksville, Ulman said. The department is working in collaboration with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and Trout Unlimited.
Project Healing Waters began in 2005 with the idea of using fly-fishing classes, clinics and trips to help wounded veterans socialize and stay active.
"We are pleased to partner with Howard County on this project," Ed Nicholson, founder and president of PHWFF, said in a statement. "The Patuxent River is a great resource, and better access for disabled veterans is an admirable goal."
Construction on the trail and platform will begin in spring 2014 and will cost about $250,000.
District 5 County Council member Greg Fox, whose district includes Haviland Mill Park, said in a statement that he was "pleased that we place an emphasis on accessibility, especially for our disabled veterans."
In addition to the fishing access project, the county has a program of other outdoor activities for veterans. On Dec. 12 of this year and Feb. 26, 2014, the rec and parks department will host its fourth annual Wounded Veterans deer hunts at West Friendship Park.