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Draft lays out park plans

October 19, 1997

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

A draft plan for Washington County parks and land preservation provides a broad outline for future improvements through 2005, calling for additional soccer fields, indoor pools, basketball and tennis courts and upgrading Hagerstown Municipal Stadium.

The plan, which is available for public comment at county libraries and at the Washington County Planning Department, says the county has adequate park acreage but needs additional "neighborhood" parks in urban areas.

Except for building one new regional park, the long-term plan calls for concentrating on upgrading facilities at existing parks.

Some of the major projects scheduled after the year 2000 include an indoor recreation center at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Regional Park in Halfway and indoor pools at Hagerstown Junior College and in Boonsboro.

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The plan also addresses the county's shortage of soccer fields by recommending fields at the proposed new Washington County regional park - possibly opposite Long Meadow Shopping Center - upgrading of fields at county schools and possibly building fields on excess Board of Education property at Eastern Elementary School.

The Maryland Program Open Space program requires a long-term plan for the county to receive funding, said William V. Stachoviak, county parks and environmental planner.

It's the first major overhaul of the long-term plan since 1993, and will go before the Planning Commission and the Washington County Commissioners for approval. A final plan should be presented to the public in January, Stachoviak said.

Under the plan, projects are grouped into short-term, medium and long-term priorities. Short-term projects are scheduled for 1998-2000, medium 2000-2003, and long-term 2003-2005.

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