Photo Tour of the New Rash Field at the Inner Harbor

| November 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

Today, Waterfront Partnership was joined by Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, corporate funders, the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP), City and State officials, community and project partners, and youth from Solo Gibbs Recreation Center for the ribbon cutting of the first phase of Rash Field Park. On Saturday and Sunday, Waterfront Partnership, BCRP, and local professional skaters will welcome residents and families to the park with free activities for all ages.

Waterfront Partnership has been working to advance the park project with the Baltimore community since 2015. It has engaged with stakeholders to transform the “outdated, concrete-dominated space” on the south shore of the Inner Harbor into “a place for families from across the city to gather, and for children to explore, relax and experience fun, education and wonder.”

Phase one added two play areas – an adventure park with a pair of 30-ft. wooden towers and the BGE Nature Play area; Jake’s Skate Park named in memory of Jake Owen, an avid skater and sports lover who was killed when he was five years old by a cell phone-distracted driver in 2011; a shade lawn; a green overlook; and, the BGE Pavilion. A café is slated to open at the pavilion in the spring with outdoor seating and views of the waterfront.

Waterfront Partnership is working with Baltimore Development Corporation to find an operator for the café.

Mahan Rykiel Associates serves as the park’s designer, and Whiting-Turner serves as general contractor and construction manager. Global design and architecture firm Gensler designed the BGE Pavilion.

Funding for phase one came from the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, hundreds of residents, and corporations. This includes a gift of $300,000 from T. Rowe Price to support the adventure park, as well as $100,000 each from Brown Advisory, M&T Bank, H&S Family of Bakeries, the Bunting Family Foundation, and Abell Foundation. These companies and foundations joined BGE which committed $1 million to help fund the BGE Pavilion and BGE Nature Play area.

Free events for the public on Saturday, November 6th include a clinic at Jake’s Skate Park with local professional skateboarders, Skate Park of Baltimore, and DJ, Zumba!; an Invertebrate Meet-N-Greet for kids in the BGE Nature Play area; and afternoon yoga taught by Waterfront Wellness partner Breathing Dragon Yoga. On Sunday, November 7th there will be yoga taught by BCRP; biking around the promenade; garden discovery with the Carrie Murray Nature Center; and a skateboarding demo by professional skateboarder and Baltimorean Joey Jett.

Phase two is expected to have a focus on recreation, fitness, and wellness with soccer fields, walking and jogging paths, exercise equipment, an open lawn, a game lawn, a reimagined beach area with volleyball courts and space for families, butterfly and bird gardens, and the relocation of the Pride Memorial.

“We were so thrilled to see our vision for Baltimore families come to life today with children of all ages climbing, laughing and playing in the Park,” said Laurie Schwartz, president of Waterfront Partnership, in a press release. “Truly, none of this would have been possible without the vital funding from the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland and private donors. I want to recognize and thank them all for their partnership and for prioritizing access to quality public open spaces.”

Schwartz said there is not yet a timeline for starting phase two, but noted it would be a quicker construction project. She said the cost will likely be around $14 million.

Phase two has already received a funding commitment from the State of Maryland and CareFirst.


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