BALTIMORE (December 4, 2020) – Today Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore announced Baltimore Gas & Electric Company’s (BGE) $1M commitment to the construction of Rash Field Park. This announcement comes as Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed legislation into law allowing the Waterfront Partnership to name features of the new park, the “BGE Pavilion” and “BGE Nature Park.”
“As our largest corporate contribution to date, we are thrilled to be able to recognize BGE’s $1M commitment in this way. They’ve been a steadfast partner to both Baltimore and Waterfront Partnership over the years, and we appreciate their commitment to the community,” said Laurie Schwartz, president of Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.
“BGE has a long-standing commitment to supporting the communities we serve and recognizes the critical importance of environmentally-friendly open spaces, especially in Baltimore City,” said Rodney Oddoye, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs for BGE. “Importantly, this project supports nearly 400 construction jobs, which is especially critical for the economic recovery of the area.”
The pavilion for which BGE will be named has been designed by internationally acclaimed architecture firm Gensler. The glass-enclosed structure will feature sweeping views of the Inner Harbor waterfront. A separate feature from the pavilion but also designed by Gensler, a green roof overlook dubbed “a park within a park” will welcome visitors who enter from Key Highway.
“The pavilion is designed to be intimate and community focused at the promenade level of the park, while the overlook above is envisioned as a unique opportunity to take in the entirety of Baltimore’s beautiful skyline,” said Peter Stubb, principal and design director for Gensler. “Both spaces are designed to be inclusive environments, a new ‘outdoor living room’ for city residents and visitors alike.”
The children’s nature park playground feature has been designed by the NC State University College of Design’s Natural Learning Initiative, a leader in natural environment play designs for child development. It will feature native plant gardens, discovery pathways and fallen logs to immerse children in Baltimore’s local ecosystem.
With BGE’s commitment, Waterfront Partnership is close to meeting its $16.8 million project budget for phase one. Waterfront Partnership is seeking additional corporate and individual donations to fill the remaining gap and will announce other corporate contributions in the coming months.
As project lead, Waterfront Partnership is working closely with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Baltimore Development Corporation, city officials, community leaders and local businesses to transform Rash Field into Rash Field Park.
“Today is an exciting day as we recognize another big step forward to realizing the transformation of Rash Field Park, thanks to BGE. Located at Baltimore City’s iconic Inner Harbor, this project promises an inclusive and world class recreational space that will welcome all of Baltimore City’s residents and visitors,” said Baltimore City Councilman Eric T. Costello, who represents South Baltimore including Rash Field Park.
In addition to the pavilion and nature park, the two-and-a-half-acre phase one area of the new waterfront park designed by Mahan Rykiel Associates will feature an adventure playground, green roof overlook, skatepark and shade lawn, and will serve as a safe and welcoming space for both Baltimoreans and visitors, especially children, to enjoy year-round. The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company began work in May 2020 and phase one is scheduled to be completed in fall 2021.
Waterfront Partnership is the proud steward of Baltimore’s crown jewel, its Inner Harbor and Waterfront. We’re lean, nimble and effective; the only organization that wakes up every day, rolls its sleeves up and gets to work on new ways we can make Baltimore’s Waterfront even more active, attractive and appealing. We’re the hosts who greet visitors, the creators of programs and promotions and managers of our beautiful parks. We encourage investment in Baltimore’s most celebrated asset so it can continue to grow, to serves as a place of pride and the place where Baltimoreans come together to recreate and to celebrate. For more information, visit www.waterfrontpartnership.org.
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