A Vision for Middle Branch Presented

The Reimagine Middle Branch project team presented its efforts to the Urban Design and Architectural Advisory Panel on Thursday, 3/10/22. Reimagine Middle Branch encompasses more than a dozen South Baltimore neighborhoods over an 11 mile stretch along Baltimore's softer harbor. 

The plan is conceived with a 3-point approach, developed with a wide range of stakeholders and community partners: 

  • Protect and Connect the Shoreline by creating a thick, resilient shoreline to protect from flooding; 
  • Transform Barriers into Connections with Complete streets, new mixed-use development, celebration of African American heritage;  
  • Support Communities with Parks and Programs – create parks in collaboration with equitable development to increase the quality of life.

At an earlier public meeting on February 24, landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations presented proposed design ideas for 11+ miles of shoreline along the Patapsco River in South Baltimore.

The meeting was hosted by the City of Baltimore, South Baltimore Gateway Partnership and Parks & People Foundation. The designs included:

An Expanded Middle Branch Park: In Cherry Hill, the plan centers on an expanded Middle Branch Park that links Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center in Reedbird Park with the shoreline around Medstar Harbor Hospital. In the heart of the Middle Branch Park, a range of improvements are envisioned, including a new boathouse, improved boating and fishing piers, and an expanded playground. The existing boathouse is proposed to be adapted for social space and a food hall or marketplace. 

Ridgely’s Cove: The Middle Branch’s public open space network will front new, proposed developments in Westport and Port Covington and extend north to Ridgely’s Cove, where large expanses of marsh will form a “maritime park” that also functions as green-stormwater infrastructure and creates a new natural area at the mouth of the Gwynns Falls. The proposed trail network in Ridgley’s Cove includes boardwalks and a new east-west pedestrian bridge that connects Westport with Port Covington, and links three parks: Black Sox Park to the west, Swann Park to the east and a new “Underpass Park” at Stockholm and Sharp Streets.

The Loop Trail: The Loop Trail will connect all these parks and open spaces with bike and walking trails, creating an 11-mile circuit around the Middle Branch that connects to regional trails, including Gwynns Falls Trail to the northwest and the BWI and East Coast Greenway trails to the south. In addition to providing connections and recreational opportunities, segments of trail network will tell a story about South Baltimore’s culture and history, linking significant places and offering new cultural programming.

For more information on the Reimagine Middle Branch project, and to register and learn about upcoming public engagement opportunities, visit:  https://reimaginemb.com/

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