Point of Rocks Master Plan

Human & Rohde, Inc. prepared the Master Plan for this 2.2-acre park in Point of Rocks, Frederick County, Maryland in 2002. The site is adjacent to the B & O Railroad, Potomac River with access to the C & O Canal trail, a boat ramp, and 2 scenic byways: Maryland Route 15 and MD Rte. 28. The Master Plan Committee requested a passive park that would serve as a focal point in the Community and help tell the history of the area. After meetings with the community, the Committee, and the Frederick County Division of Parks and Recreation (DPR), the program was determined to include an information kiosk, plaza with a sculpture, walking paths with storyboards depicting the history of Point of Rocks, picnic pavilion, restrooms, natural play area, an amphitheater, and parking to accommodate the uses. Landscaping was proposed to provide a visual barrier between Md. 28 and stormwater management facilities were to be designed to limit access to the railroad tracks as well as be visual assets to the park. Major limitations to the final design would be the location within the floodplain of the Potomac River and archeological potential of the previous homesteads on the site. The Master Plan was approved by Frederick County Board of Commissioners on October 21, 2010.

Utilizing our IDQ contract with Frederick County, Human & Rohde was tasked with developing the construction drawings that would bring the master plan to life.  DPR determined that the sculpture would be a granite obelisk with engravings depicting the levels of major flood events that have devastated the town through its history. The amphitheater was designed to fit into the existing slope using a modular block wall system and permeable pavers were used for the events/stage area. DPR selected an industrial look for the pavilion. Since a plumbed restroom was not permitted by the County, a vaulted toilet was proposed to provide facilities for the public. Site amenities and the bridge railing were selected to be harmonious with turn-of-the twentieth century theme. In accordance with the Master Plan program, storyboards were designed to celebrate the historical nature of the site including the site’s relationship with the B&O Railroad and C&O Canal, flooding, and involvement in the Civil War, as well as a discussion of stormwater management.

Permeable paving was used throughout the site and all structures, including the obelisk and vaulted toilet building, were designed to withstand floodwaters within the 100-year floodplain per County floodplain regulations. Approval from the Board of Appeals was required for the improvements.

The design was influenced by the discovery of cultural resources from the nineteenth century. Archaeological investigations ultimately revealed that the site was not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but one area was identified to be left undisturbed for future investigation. Consequently, the alignment of a pathway in the original design was modified and grading was revised to maintain the integrity of this area.

Human & Rohde performed forest conservation services and obtain Forest Resource Ordinance approval from Frederick County, oversaw wetland delineation services, prepared construction documents, and provided construction administration services. Construction was completed in the Fall of 2018 at a cost of approximately $1.6 million.