New Worcester County Nature Park Vision Advances

SNOW HILL –  The Worcester County Commissioners approved plans for Greys Creek Nature Park at a meeting last month.

At the request of Recreation and Parks Director Tom Perlozzo, the commissioners approved the creation of land and water trails at the expansive Greys Creek Nature Park, which is not yet open to the public.

“Anytime we can take advantage and get people on our waterways and show people — teach them — about the water and conservation and everything else it’s a huge plus for the county as a whole,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said.

Perlozzo said the preliminary proposal for the park outlined his department’s vision for the property.

“As everyone knows Greys Creek is a 572-acre park in northern Worcester County,” Perlozzo said. “It was conveyed in 2006 with a memorandum of understanding from the state of Maryland. The park has set idle and still does.”

The county entered into an agreement with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program in 2014 to cooperatively manage the park.

“The park will have many recreational opportunities,” the plan reads. “Water access exists on both parcels and can serve as locations to launch kayaks and canoes to afford the public the opportunity to experience documented water trails. … Over two miles of potential upland trails have been identified between the eastern and western parcels enabling visitors on foot to explore the nature features of the upland areas, the woodlands and marsh areas.”

The park, which is near the Hidden Harbor subdivision, features an existing house which will be renovated and used as a research center.

“It’ll house some temporary housing for Maryland Coastal Bays and any of the experiments they do in cooperation with other agencies,” Perlozzo said.

He said that as the park’s plan had been developed, there had been two public comment periods during which staff had spoken to Hidden Harbor residents.

“We made our best effort to address their concerns and incorporate those in the proposed design of the plan,” he said.

When asked about the complaints from neighbors regarding parking in the area, Perlozzo said the proposed general entrance of the park had been moved to address that concern.

Perlozzo said the development of the passive recreation opportunities at the park was expected to cost $375,000 but that the county had a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant of $188,345 and Program Open Space funding of $188,345. He said that would leave the county with a cost of just $37,669.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Greys Creek proposal.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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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.