Skip to Main Content
The Patapsco Forest Reserve: Establishing a "City Park" for Baltimore, 1907-1941Author(s): Geoffrey L. Buckley; Robert F. Bailey; J. Morgan Grove
Source: Historical Geography. 34: 87-108.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (373.28 KB)
DescriptionIn 1897, a contributor to the editorial pages of the Baltimore News informed readers that Baltimore had "but one great park." Rather than lavish praise on Druid Hill Park, however, the editorialist chose to draw attention to the "undeveloped condition" of the city's other parks. After taking the mayor to task for ignoring the problem and accusing the city of "wastefulness, neglect and bad management," the writer concluded: "The parks of our city should be for the people - all the people - not for a particular class, or for those living in a particular district. Park pleasures and benefits should be available to all, and when a city grows as large as Baltimore now is it is self-evident that one park will not do for all. We should have a series of parks adequate to the wants of the people." Over the next ten years, conservationists, civic organizations, and government officials would see to it that improvements were made to the city's parks. In 1902 the city took a critical step when it hired the landscape architecture firm, Olmsted Brothers, to conduct a survey of park resources and to identify potential park expansion sites. In addition to promoting park development within Baltimore City, the firm proposed that the city government purchase "a belt of outlying property" in order to ensure that "the inevitable growth into the suburbs might be properly directed" and that "certain tracts of land in the path of this expansion might be retained for parks." Included in this belt was the Patapsco River Valley (Figure 1). Located in the surrounding counties beyond the city's limits, the Patapsco Valley presented proponents of the Olmsted plan with a unique challenge. To preserve this area would require a successful appeal to a broad spectrum of potential constituencies and cooperation from multiple layers of government.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBuckley, Geoffrey L.; Bailey, Robert F.; Grove, J. Morgan. 2006. The Patapsco Forest Reserve: Establishing a "City Park" for Baltimore, 1907-1941. Historical Geography. 34:87-108.
- Urban park restoration and the "museumification" of nature
- Parallels in government and corporate sustainability reporting
- It's not easy going green: Obstacles to tree-planting programs in East Baltimore
XML: View XML