A standing-room-only crowd of about 60 people filled the nature center at Piney Run Park last night to hear county parks officials detail plans for the proposed Sykesville Park.
About a dozen men in blue and white Sykesville Little League caps wanted to know about the ball fields that would be placed there, and others wanted to know how their sports -- horseback riding and mountain biking among them -- would be treated in the plans.
"We tried to meet everyone's needs, said John T. Little, Carroll's director of recreation and parks. "This plan is not cast in concrete. We can modify it to fit the community's needs."
Del. Richard Dixon said the park concept began nearly three years ago, when the Little League needed new fields. The result of that search is a 95-acre site just east of Sykesville along Raincliffe Road.
"We have a long-term lease with the state for nearly 100 acres, at the cost of $1 a year," Mr. Dixon said.
They came to hear about Sykesville Park, a proposed "active" recreation area with five ball diamonds, two multipurpose fields and an extensive trail system.
The park could become the new home for nearly 900 children who now play league ball on Obrecht Road.
Grace Fielder, who did the engineering for the project, presented several drawings detailing the grading and elevation of the site.
"We have carved out the most usable acres," she said. "We have an existing well, and sewer is available on an adjoining site."
Ms. Fielder also detailed plans for access roads, off-site parking and system of trails that would meander through the park.
"What about equestrian trails linking into Patapsco Park?" asked Jean Swartz, of the county's equestrian council.
That request is ultimately possible, Ms. Fielder replied. But she said equestrian trails would not be part of the initial construction at the park.
Other questions concerned the number of comfort stations, availability of storage and maintenance facilities, and electricity, and whether mountain bikes could use the trails.
"The county has a little more than $600,000 to begin the first stage of the park," said Mr. Little. "Eventually, it will cost about $1 million."
The county's Recreation and Parks Department has a a 50-year lease agreement with the state for the land in Patapsco State Park, off Route 32 just outside of town.
The site will offer picnic areas, bird sanctuaries and hiking trails, considered "passive recreational opportunities" but will focus on "primarily active" recreation, Mr. Little said.
One of the primary reasons for the park is for relocation of the Sykesville Little League, said Mr. Little.
By 1994, the county plans to extend Obrecht Road to Route 32, and that construction will cut across fields where thousands of children have played since 1960.