Advocacy for Gywnns Falls/Leakin Park
FOGFLP evolved from a coalition of concerned volunteers, VOLPE (Volunteers Opposed to Leakin Park Expressway), who opposed
the construction of Interstate 70 through Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park.
This section of expressway was designed to
bisect the park en route to downtown Baltimore.
Community resistance against this project arose in 1962 and lasted until 1982. At that time plans to build the city section of the expressway were abandoned due to a change in the funding formula and continued community opposition. Remaining members of VOLPE reorganized to establish the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park (FOGFLP) in 1983 with the goal to help preserve, improve and promote the 1000-acre urban wilderness park.
As advocates, FOGFLP has fought tirelessly for environmental safeguards. The group opposed what it considered undesirable development,
such as the widening of Franklintown Road, road closures, and several grading and stabilization projects which, in reality,
would have been waste material landfills.
Over time the organization warded off the construction of three communication towers.
Twice FOGFLP advocated that a new water main be located under existing road beds instead of crisscrossing the park in ways that
would create clear-cut swaths.
In the 1980s, FOGFLP lobbied successfully for state funding to pay for park improvements,
which also helped finance the Carrie Murray Nature Center building. FOGFLP supported grant funding for
studies on stream water quality. The group participated in the establishment of the Gwynns Falls Trail and its
supporting organization and continues its involvement through representation on the Gwynns Falls Trail Council.