Anne Arundel County Recreation & Parks is under budget pressure and had planned to cut the hours of the Earleigh Heights Ranger Station to weekends only. At a meeting Sept 16 with Rick Anthony, Mark Garrity, Adam Smith, Chris Caroll. Karen Cook, Amy Leahy, Dick Ladd, a good number of Trail Blazers, BikeAAA and others, some good news was announced.
Adam Smith said that they had all worked hard to get the details in place, and the Earleigh Heights Ranger Station will be open 7 days a week starting some time in October!!
There will be paid staff Friday – Sunday and volunteers on Monday to Thursday, 10 am-2 pm with volunteers from the OBI group arranged by Tom Estok. There will be volunteers from that program along with job coaches. Through great collaboration of county, volunteer and non-profits a good compromise solution was reached.
Director Rick Anthony also said that they will try to extend the hours in the months ahead, and in the next budget discussions, etc. The meeting was very productive and many more ideas were shared about how to make the B & A trail even better than it is now and some of the challenges faced in these days of budget cutbacks.
We are appreciative of the Trailblazers who initiated and showed up in numbers at this meeting and for very the time the county staff devoted to it and to Tom Estok for his work with organizing the volunteers.
The Earleigh Heights Ranger Station is such a vital part of the B & A trail and so important to the biking, walking and blading community. It is truly the landmark for the B&A and a destination for visitors from near and far.
Thank you Jill Joyce for organizing and preparing this report.
For more about the station, visit here