Changes proposed for Perry Hall parks

Perry Hall residents could soon be seeing big changes to some of their parks.

At its scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Baltimore County Council is slated to discuss a supplemental appropriation of $156,000 in state and federal funds to go toward an extension of the Indian Rock Park Trail north to Ebenezer Road and south to Silver Hall Road, which would allow for pedestrian and bicycle access directly to Indian Rock Park and the Perry Hall High School recreation center.

"It opens up a section of Indian Rock Park that wasn't accessible before," said Council David Marks, who represents Perry Hall on the council.

Construction on the extension, which is estimated to cost a total of $456,000, is slated to begin in March and run through July. The initiative is part of the Greenways, Stream Valley and Trails Development project.

"I'm actually very excited about this," Marks said. "It's been three years in the making."

The council may also vote on Marks' legislation to rename three park sites in the Honeygo area. The legislation calls to re-designate Joppa Trail Park as Susquehannock Trail Park, Forge View Park as Gwynn-Harvey Park and the Soukup Arena as Soukup Park.

"I just thought it'd be good to name these sites to honor important parts of Perry Hall history," Marks said.

Susquehannock Trail Park would honor the Native American trail that later became Joppa Road; Gwynn-Harvey recognizes some of the earliest African-American families to settle in Perry Hall, the descendants of whom still reside in the area; and the Soukup Arena commemorates Jerry and Pat Soukup, two longtime community leaders who have been with the Perry Hall Recreation Council for more than 50 years.

The three currently-vacant park sites, which are in close vicinity of one another, total about 54 acres. A groundbreaking for a new gymnasium on the Soukup site is scheduled for March, and the other two sites will see development activity in the coming years.