Baltimore County Now
Print this page.
Baltimore County Now - News You Can Use

Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: department of recreation and parks

photo of groundbreaking Lake Roland is Located at 1000 Lakeside Drive; Total Cost for New Center is $1.2 Million

Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz along with officials from the Department of Recreation and Parks and members of the Lake Roland Nature Council broke ground for the new Nature and Environmental Education Center at Lake Roland.

Year Round Education Programming, Meeting Space

This much anticipated addition to Lake Roland will provide year round education programming and meeting space. Plans for the center include classroom, educational and meeting space with audio-visual capabilities, and an expansive deck that provides a year round view of the Lake Roland dam. 

“The construction of this nature and environmental education center will only further enhance Lake Roland with year-round education and programming,” said Kamenetz. “It’s so important to encourage people, especially children, to connect with nature. I am proud that Baltimore County continues to make major investments in our communities – investments that truly protect and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”

Renovations and Improvements

Since Baltimore County entered into a formal agreement with the City to administer the park and re-opened it in 2011, the County has made considerable renovations and improvements. Several of the enhancements include:  a fenced area for the Paw Point Dog Park; a park access trail from the Light Rail Station; a new pavilion overlooking the dam; a small pedestrian bridge deck replacement; the Acorn Hill Playground – a natural playground with equipment; and staffing by Baltimore County Park rangers who educate park users and ensure safety.

Total cost for this project is $1.2 million, which includes $285,000 County funding, $200,000 in State capital grants, $375,000 from Program Open Space, and $340,000 in Nature Council fundraising.

Nature Quest is Your Ticket to Outdoor Adventure

Nature Quest logoInterested in an adventure and a chance to find new parks in your area? You’ll love Baltimore County’s Nature Quest! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore County Local Health Coalition and Wegmans grocery store have partnered to provide this fun, free adventure.

You can experience the outdoors and be active while discovering some of the best parks and trails in Baltimore County. It’s great for families, scout troops, seniors – anyone who wants to get outdoors and have fun. You can bike, hike, or canoe on designated trails and complete the Nature Quest while earning prizes.

All you have to do is finish at least five trails and you can join us on October 17 to celebrate at our Nature Quest Fest. This action- packed event will include various activities such as canoeing, fishing, live animals, crafts and more. So get your family and friends together and begin your adventure!

Complete Your Quest in Three Easy Steps!

1. Get your Passport booklet. Pick up a Nature Quest booklet from your local Wegmans store, at participating parks (Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, or Honeygo Run Regional Park), or print one online at

2. Start hiking. Take your booklet and a pencil or crayon and head out on the trails. Record your progress by making a rubbing of the trail marker located on each of 13 trails. photo of hiker making rubbing from signpost

3. Collect your prizes. Prizes are awarded after accumulating rubbings from at least five of the 13 trails. In addition to the prizes, questers that complete five trails or more also receive free admission to the Nature Quest Fest on October 17. Extra incentives are available to questers that complete 7 to 13 trails! 

Shannon Davis, Park Ranger, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

Land Art

What is land art? It can be part art, part nature, part environmental statement. Sometimes it’s a commentary on society or forces in the universe. It can be an artist’s interpretation inspired by agriculture and farm life. Other times it’s a living, growing work that collaborates with nature to organically change over time. 


A new project at the Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville brings land art and creative land use installations throughout the four seasons. Art will be in full bloom all year long through the LAND&ART@MARC: A 4 SEASON PROJECT through a partnership between the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and the Washington Sculpture Group. 

A jury panel selected two pieces to launch this innovative project. The installations, “Leaves of Grass” by Pattie Porter Firestone and “Uncle Mike's Animal House” by Mike Shaffer will be on view through November 2015.

Blades of Grass  Pattie Porter Firestone's work portrays seen and unseen patterns of energy in the world around us. Her outdoor sculptures imply movement below the surface of the earth and the relationship between the earth and humans. Leaves of Grass depicts energy from the earth pushing nine red blades of grass eight feet out of the ground. The size and color of the work challenges the viewer to question the importance of scale and the relationship between natural vs. man-made objects.

photo of Uncle Mike's Animal House SculptureUncle Mike’s Animal House  Mike Shaffer’s work is made from recycled construction lumber and measures about 8 x 10 horizontally and is about seven feet high. The concept is based on cage or pen-like structures used by farmers in the frontier days to protect small animals such as sheep, goats and pigs from bears and other wild animals especially at night. Actual "houses" (pens) of this sort would have been quite crudely made with straight logs perhaps, closer together, forming a flat or sloping roof and probably with a door or gate in one of the sides. The gabled roof as shown here in this work makes the structure more like a house but would probably have been considered an unnecessary luxury feature on early frontier homesteads.


Opening Celebration and Children’s Workshop

While the public is invited to come out and enjoy the art anytime, the official opening of LAND&ART@MARC will be held Saturday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Baltimore County Ag Center in conjunction with the 70th Annual Hereford Junior Farm Fair. The celebration will include a free hands-on lands art workshop for children conducted by Artemis Herber, curator of the program. Artemis invites children to visualize basic experiences through their senses and create colorful paintwork on fallen trees we have lost in nature. Registration for this free workshop is required to guarantee a space.

Hours and Location

The Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park is part of the County’s park system and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Visit at1114 Shawan Road, on the corner of Shawan and Cuba Roads in Cockeysville.  

Call for Fall Land Art Entries

As MARC celebrates the first installations, the second call for entries has just been published. In this call, artists will install land art that reflects on the theme of the equinox including ideas of cycles in nature, farming and the cosmos. Installation will be slated to coincide with MARC”s annual Family Farm Day, September 20. Call for Entries information.  

The Land and Art initiative is part of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council’s Arts on the Farm Program, a continuing exploration of the intersection of art and agriculture. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Bronwyn at

Bronwyn Mitchell
Programs Manager, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council

Was This Page Helpful?
Fields marked with * are required.
Page Rating*