Springtime in Gwynns Falls Leakin Park!
A short walk or a very quick drive from Dickeyville, Dickeyvillains can enjoy everything that Gwynns Falls Leakin Park has to offer. Last weekend, after receiving a tip from neighbors about a spectacular seasonal event there, my family went to get a better look around this treasure right next door.
The park itself is huge – and, in fact, several parts of it directly border Dickeyville’s homes – but it’s the formal entrance and less wildernessy, more planned section of the park near the Crimea Estate off Windsor Mill Road I’m talking about here.
In this section, there is a historic chapel, Orianda House, a trail featuring Nature Art in the Park, an outpost of the Baltimore Police Department, tennis courts, ball fields, a playground with both natural and more traditional sections, and … and this is one of my favorite bits… a series of tracks for miniature steam-powered trains and the hobbyists who operate them and give free rides to the public throughout the warmer months of the year, thanks to the Chesapeake & Allegheny Steam Preservation Society. Outward Bound Baltimore, a wonderful organization that gets people into nature, is also headquartered here, near Orianda House.
There are also picnic areas, a gazebo, and — what drew us there this March — a large, many-colored magnolia grove.
I’ve heard from neighbors, though you’d have to ask someone who’s lived here longer for the whole story, that this grove was planted in the late 1970s and only recently rescued, thanks to local volunteers, from the onslaught of several dump truck loads of invasive vines which had more or less buried it. At this stage of its existence, the grove is a smaller, less crowded, but to my mind every bit as impressive as the cherry blossoms famous in Washington, D.C.
I’m sorry it took us three years of living here to realize this beautiful grove was here – but am happy to say that, around Dickeyville, my family seems to discover a wonderful new local resource at least once a month. I’ll let you know when next month’s discovery comes!
By Cassie Sherman-Marks