Snow Hill Park Renovation Planned

SNOW HILL – A $30,000 grant from the state will allow the Town of Snow Hill to begin planning for the renovation of Sturgis Park.

The town has been awarded an FY 2017 operating assistance grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The $30,000 grant will fund a concept plan for the park, which sits on the Pocomoke River.

“We’re just trying to revitalize the town and make it attractive,” said Ann Gibb, the town’s grant writer. “We want people to use the park.”

According to Gibb, the park, which is named after a former mayor and his wife, hasn’t been improved in years. The bathrooms are old and the park’s sidewalks aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It just needs to be upgraded,” Gibbs said.

In addition to improving the park’s existing features, Gibb says the town would like to create a focal point for visitors. Ideas such as a splash pad, air pump for bicycles and an electric car charging unit have been mentioned by local officials. The neighbors from the adjacent Lower Shore Land Trust have also expressed interest in seeing some natural features added to the park.

Gibb says hiring a firm to create a concept plan for the park, incorporating some of the ideas town leaders have, is the first step to making improvements. She says that while the project will have to be put out to bid, she’s hoping to have a concept plan completed by the fall. The town will then be able to pursue funding for the actual revitalization.

“Once we figure out what we want to do we can ask for the money to do it,” she said.

Plans for a Sturgis Park revitalization come after Snow Hill hosted its first ever Ride to Sturgis in September. Taking advantage of the fact that the town park shared the same name as the town in South Dakota famous for its motorcycle rally, Snow Hill encouraged bikers in the area for Delmarva Bike Week to visit the county seat.

While that event is expected to become an annual occurrence, Gibb said another reason for the interest in enhancing the park is the fact that it could be a drop-off point for tourists riding an excursion train through the area. She said the park was already home to a Shore Transit bus stop so could serve as a drop-off location for visitors who disembarked at the town’s train station and took a shuttle of some sort downtown.

“If we have an influx we wanted to get the park ready for this infusion of tourists,” Gibb said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

Alternative Text

Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.