Hammond’s Connection consists of over 140 acres within the 875-acre property known as the U.S. Naval Academy Dairy Farm in Gambrills, Maryland. Anne Arundel County leased the property from the Navy and is required to retain the rural/agricultural character of the site. Human & Rohde, Inc. worked with an Advisory Committee to develop a Master Plan, Report and Phasing Plan for this County Park. A Site Analysis and Land Bay Plan were prepared to help convey the man-made and environmental features and constraints of the site and facilitate planning the layout of the desired program. Presentations were made by Power Point to the public, the Advisory Committee and the Department of Recreation and Parks. After discussion and review of several schematic plans, the final Master Plan was completed in 2009 and includes the following: a community garden, several agricultural and ornamental display gardens, a meadow, labyrinth, picnic pavilions, wildlife viewing platforms, a demonstration storm water conveyance system, restrooms, a visitor/interpretation center, 4 miles of hike/bike trails including a connection to the South Shore Trail, preservation of the Hammond Cemetery and homestead site, playground, sled run, orchard, reforestation areas, and a road system with parking facilities. With an estimated overall cost of about $11.2 million, phasing was an essential component in order to provide an orderly progression of construction for the park.
Human & Rohde was then selected to prepare a Schematic Plan for the entire park, followed by Construction Documents for Phase I. The Phase 1 improvements include infrastructure items such as an expanded and defined park entrance, the first leg of the interior park road to the central parking lot, storm water management facilities and storm drainage system, and water service to the initial group of gardens with valves in place for future connections. Storm water management was satisfied utilizing coastal plain outfalls and bioretention. A combination of standard and permeable paving materials was selected for use in the parking area as a test case for the county and for educational purposes. The plans also include the development of the kitchen display garden, bioretention display garden, and orchard and berry display gardens, all with interpretive signs. The large community garden area is to be enclosed for security and deer and vermin protection and will include a composting area with its own educational signage. A paved trail provides two loops around this first phase and connects the parking lot with the community gardens. The plans provide an alignment for a mowed trail to the cemetery which may be paved as part of future phases. Phase 1 construction documents were completed in 2012 and the project is on hold for funding. The estimated cost of construction of phase 1 improvements is $2.275 million.
Areas identified for further investigation by a Phase 1 Archaeological Study have been excluded from development. Percolation tests were performed to ensure that the future restroom facility could be constructed in the location designated on the Schematic Plan. Future phases will complete the park road system and utilities, provide additional parking areas, restrooms, visitor/interpretation center, barn/ educational center, hike/bike trail system, additional display gardens, wildlife viewing platforms, playground, and sled run.
Extensive environmental investigations were performed for the entire site including wetlands delineation, identification of specimen trees and forest conservation services. Human & Rohde, Inc. prepared the Joint Permit Application and obtained approval from MDE. We completed the Forest Stand Delineation and Forest Conservation Plans which included extensive reforestation planting plans.