Since its establishment in 1983, the Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park has continuously fought to preserve and maintain the park; fending from threats of development, utility plans, and neglect. Check out our News page to keep up-to-date on the most current issues. Below are summaries of three significant issues.
The Granite PipelinePhoto courtesy of Sarah Lord
In 2013, FOGFLP learned of plans to clear-cut a 75-foot swath through the Park to expand a natural gas pipeline.
After years of negotiation with BGE and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, our organization was able to help re-route the pipeline away from sensitive areas of the park. Nonetheless, at least 700 mature trees were felled, and 12 acres of parkland were permanently destroyed. FOGFLP has fought every step of the way to minimize the damage to the ecosystem and ensure the citizens of Baltimore are fairly compensated for the loss of their parkland.
Stream Stabilization Project
Soon after BGE took down 12 acres of trees, the Department of Public Works notified FOGFLP that they plan to remove another 200-300 mature trees in order to re-engineer three natural streams in the park so that they can absorb more storm-water. FOGFLP opposes two of these projects on the grounds that they will require the creation of access roads through pristine forest and will not meaningfully reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Read our informational cover letter to our members here, and our opposition letter to DPW here.
Dead Run Flooding, July 2018
Stopping the Expressway
In the 1960s, plans were made to run the I-70 through the Park en route to downtown Baltimore. A group of neighbors organized as Volunteers Opposed to Leakin Park Expressway (VOLPE) in order fight the destruction of the park. When the plans to build this section of expressway were finally abandoned in 1982, remaining community members re-organized as the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park (FOGFLP) with the goal of preserving, improving and promoting the 1000-acre urban wilderness park.
Over the past 35 years, FOGFLP has fought tirelessly for environmental safeguards in the Park. FOGFLP opposed the widening of Franklintown Road as well as 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, and 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 helped finance the Carrie Murray Nature Center building. FOGFLP supported grant funding for studies on stream water quality, and participated in the establishment of the Gwynns Falls Trail.