East Baltimoreans welcomed a new addition to their community on Saturday, Eager Park. Children and young adults also joined in on the celebration, by tossing around a football, playing on gym equipment and kicking soccer balls around on the new 6 acres of green space.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh was among the small group of elected officials present to celebrate the grand opening. Representatives from Johns Hopkins University also participated in the event, by planting a tree and cutting a ribbon.
Many in attendance had been waiting on this day for a long time and were overjoyed with emotion. The $14 million park is located just three-square blocks from the Johns Hopkins Hospital and in proximity of a new hotel under construction. Eventually the northern end of the park will reach as far as the Amtrak tracks.
The city-owned park is part of the New East Baltimore project by East Baltimore Development Inc. and Forest City-New East Baltimore partnership, which will also be responsible for its maintenance.
The 88-acre project will include an amphitheater, community gardens, exercise equipment, walking paths and a playground, which are set to be complete in June.
President of the Maham Rykiel Associates landscape architecture firm, Jones, said the park would be utilized to host concerts, festivals, local school graduations, food truck rallies and other community activities.