Construction is underway at the Urbana District Park located near the intersection of Md. Route 355 and Lew Wallace Street. This fulfills an early promise by Villages of Urbana developer Tom Natelli, who dedicated the land for the park in 2004.
“Before we broke ground of the Village of Urbana, a number of community leaders approached us about the fact that the southern part of the county was lacking ball fields and especially open space,” said Rick Boyle, vice president of Natelli Communities. “The Natellis decided this was the civic responsibility they needed to undertake.”
Frederick County’s Division of Parks and Recreation employees broke ground on the project in February. The goal of the first phase of development of Urbana District Park is to provide athletic facilities, as well as several passive recreational amenities for the southern region of the county. The $5.9 million dollar Phase I construction will include two multipurpose fields, one football/lacrosse field, one baseball field, one softball field, one little league field, a new entrance drive, parking, walking/ biking trails, water and electric utilities, restrooms, picnic pavilions, playground, park maintenance facility, landscaping/reforestation and various site amenities. Three parking lots will include a total of 466 spaces.
These improvements will also include a trail connecting the park to the adjacent community.
That trail is something Boyle said will help the community take ownership of the park.
“The ball fields will be the most used, but the greatest appreciation will be [for] the trail system. It will be a very aesthetic walking trail with a pedestrian connection to the portion of the Village of Urbana we are developing now. It really melds into the community,” Boyle said.
Currently, the county only has one park in that region of the county, a 20-acre community park. Phase II of the project has yet to be funded, but plans are for a community building on the site.
“In general when you look at the ratio of open space to population, this is just another amenity in a county that has tons of amenities for lifestyle,” Boyle said. “You have got to make plans for these kinds of areas in advance in an urban environment because it is hard to find spaces to open up. This park fits the community perfectly.”