Harford County Councilman Mike Perrone, who represents the Edgewood and Joppa areas, has been a bit of contrarian during his time in the public eye.
Last week wasn’t much different when he challenged the state government to open more parkland, specifically, a former sand quarry in Joppatowne that has been under padlock since the state acquired it. That’s been “as far back as I can remember,” Perrone said.
Perrone took aim at the state because Chad Shrodes, his fellow councilman, recently said he sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources asking that access to Kilgore Falls on Falling Branch in Pylesville be limited.
To paraphrase one of the most well known Yogi Berra-isms, from the late common man philosopher of New York Yankees fame, nobody goes to Kilgore Falls any more because it’s too crowded. The oxymoronic nature of such a claim is a seemingly apt description of what’s happened in recent years at the natural treasure that some years earlier was preserved by of a group of well meaning students, conservationists and others from the North Harford community.
A much younger Shrodes was one of that group. He, and some of his loyal supporters, have recently expressed concerns that Kilgore Falls is being overly used by too many people coming too often and staying too long.
For Shrodes, crowds are diminishing the natural beauty and overwhelming the joy that he and others saw when they vowed to save the falls. What he and all the others involved in the effort thought they were saving is not what he sees. What he sees are people actively enjoying a park, and overwhelming the surrounding secluded, rural neighborhood, envisioned by many as a passive park.
While it’s understandable there’s nostalgia in everyone’s heart as their minds wander back to what they think were simpler times, time moves on, people change. And so it is at Kilgore Falls.
Parking at the attraction is woefully inadequate. Those whose homes and lives are disrupted by inconsiderate people parking where they shouldn’t be parking should get some relief. Perhaps the answer is in Perrone’s suggestion: The state should free more parkland, starting with some land near Kilgore Falls that could be used for more parking.