Symphony Woods is Downtown Columbia's signature park. In Columbia's early years, it was home to a petting zoo, the Maryland Rennisance Festival, and countless other events. Today, visitors rarely venture into the woods unless it's hosting Wine in the Woods or if there is a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
It shouldn't be this way. Parks should provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. They should offer us the chance to connect with beauty and nature and each other. They should inspire us and embody the best qualities in our city.
The Columbia Association's Board of Directors recognized that Symphony Woods wasn't living up to its potential, and as part of the Downtown Columbia Master Plan, began planning improvements to Symphony Woods in 2009.
The initial plan called for a fountain, cafe, and walking paths, but it didn't capture the imagination of the community and was put on hold in August of 2012. CA subsequently started working with the owners of Merriweather Post Pavilion to develop a plan for the park that celebrated nature and the arts and music, something that would live up to the name the park was given nearly 50 years ago: Symphony Woods.
The result is the "Inner Arbor Plan". It balances both natural beauty with artistic beauty. It includes iconic sculptures, performance spaces, tree houses, a canopy walk, plazas, and a connection to Merriweather Post Pavilion that could turn regular concerts into magical experiences. And it accomplishes this by repurposing old, existing parking lots adjacent to Merriweather and preserving the lush wooded landscape.
CA's Board of Directors is set to vote on this plan at their meeting on February 14, 2013. Help us show CA that you support Symphony Woods and this plan by signing our petition. Every signature counts and can help create an inspiring and magical park in the heart of our city.
Petition to Columbia Association Board of Directors:
I SUPPORT the Inner Arbor Plan. I am excited about bringing energy and vitality to Columbia’s downtown treasure, Symphony Woods. This Plan augments the natural surroundings without disturbing its function as a retreat. It brings people to the woods. I look forward to walking the treeline elevated path punctuated by wondrous treehouses and attending performances at the new amphitheater under the leaves. I see the iconic sculpture as a declaration of Columbia’s future as a destination for public art. This is the Plan for a world-class park.
I SUPPORT the creation of the Inner Arbor Trust. Creating the Trust as an affiliated group with overlapping Board members is smart and wise management of the Inner Arbor Plan by the CA Board. Importantly, the Inner Arbor Trust, as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered by the CA Board, is an essential vehicle for receiving third-party grants, sponsorships, and grassroots fundraising for art installations, theatres, public gathering spaces, and connecting pathways.
I SUPPORT the Columbia Association Board of Directors approving the two measures noted above at its February 14, 2013 meeting. This is the right direction for Columbia and the right Plan for Symphony Woods.
You can also email your support to the Board of Directors using contact information on this webpage.