Trail History

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The Washington Road Community Trail was formerly the Community Fitness & Nature Trail. It was established in the early 90’s, but has fell into disuse and had not been maintained.  Over the past two years, representatives from a number of organizations located along the trail came together to try and find a way to rejuvenate it to benefit the community.  Most of the cleanup and restoration efforts are being done through the efforts of volunteers.

Staff and students from Gateway School, along with many volunteers, have made many improvements. They created a network of over 90 bluebird houses throughout the trail system. This will be a big contributor toward re-establishing the Eastern Bluebird in this area. They also built and installed ten bat houses, which could be significant considering that bat populations, which are extremely beneficial, are currently being decimated by disease.  Students and volunteers have spent countless hours pulling weeds, clearing brush, removing invasive plant species, and whatever else was necessary to restore the trail to a condition that would make it appealing to the community.

  • 1994 – Meetings scheduled and planning for a collaborative effort between Carroll Community College, Carroll County Government, and Y of Central Maryland
  • Original planning committee….Mary Kemp (Carroll Community College), Sue Yingling (Blue bird houses and education), Karen Farley (Y of Central Maryland), Representation from Carroll County Government
  • Primary goal at this time was a safe place for the community to enjoy outdoor fitness and pursue healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Original planning included a 1) wetland area at Carroll Community College, behind the Great Hall Area, which was already built for run off drainage 2) walking loop around the Y with handicap accessibility 3) walking and hiking area around the college and Robert Moton Elementary 4) Active participation with Robert Moton Elementary Students with Grant Writing and participation of educational information sessions involving wildlife, natural preservation and wetland construction.
  • 1998 – The section around the Y was paved with Stone Dust donated by Lafarge Stone Quarry and transportation was donated by Thomas Bennett and Hunter. Spreading of the stone dust was done by volunteers who were staff and family of the Y.
  • A bat house and Blue bird houses were also erected following a “bluebird trail” parallel to Route #97.
  • The trail was originally named “Community Fitness and Nature Trail”
  • During the next 10 years the trail committee fell apart although the bluebird houses still served a purpose, and the bat house deteriorated. Parts of the trail remained usable thanks to Westminster High School Athletes who used sections as a cross country running course.
  • The loop around the Y continued to have frequent use, and maintenance was provided solely from volunteers.

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  • In 2010, thanks to Marion Ware, (Community Media Center) a trail committee was reformed and a “re-birth” of interest developed.
  • May 2010 – Meeting with Carroll County Commissioners to ask for approval for continuation of the community project.
  • Due to lack of funding, the new committee working again with volunteer organizations from all of the non-profits on Washington Road and partnered to work on a plan of action to ensure that the trail becomes sustainable for years to come.
  • We also grew with representation, partnerships, and volunteers from Change, Inc. , Westminster Road Runners, GateWay School, Crossroads Middle Student Government, Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, Carroll County Career and Tech. Center, Carroll Community College, Community Media Center, Community Foundation and the Y of Central Maryland.
  • July 2010, The Trail has Maryland Corporate Non Profit Status and Federal Public Charity 501c(3) status through the Community Foundation and is also Maryland Sales Tax exempt. The Community Foundation has included the Trail on their website, with a “donate now” button connected to pay pal.
  • With funding still scarce, students from Gateway school conducted research on wild life and wrote grants for Bat Houses, additional Blue Bird Houses. They continue work on the trail by endless hours of weeding, clearing debris and vines, bluebird house maintenance, and collecting trash.
  • CCC honor students have repaired existing blue bird houses, and painted arrows on them to aid with walkers and directions. They have also spent many hours clearing debris, clearing vines and weeding.
  • Carroll County outdoor school has also helped by donating blue bird house kits, and now we have over 90 houses which also help to mark the trail path.
  • Every year we enlist in the help of the Weed Warriors and volunteers from other non-profit organizations such as the Bonds Meadow Rotary Club, to help clean up the trail in the Spring
  • 2012 – Change 5K Run, CCC Zombie Run, Trail Run
  • 2012-2013 – Storm Water Drainage Construction in progress
  • 2013 – April 13- Change 5K Run, May 4th Fundraiser and Trail Run