Comptroller Franchot visits site of Cannery Park

MD-Comptroller Franchot visits site of Cannery Park_2col 2

Dorchester Banner/Cambridge DPW Artist’s conception of what the Cannery Park, or Cambridge Creek Park, might look like.

CAMBRIDGE — Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot was among the crowd of excited folks visiting the new Cannery Park in this town on Feb. 9. The newly-approved 6.6 acre park will be situated on land formerly owned by the Phillips Packing Company, behind the Phillips building on Dorchester Avenue.

The project is being funded with $110,550 from the City of Cambridge and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and $100,000 from the Maryland Board of Public works of Program Open Space funding.

Plans for the park include a skateboard park, a community garden, a dog walk, and a green oasis in the heart of Cambridge’s industrial past. Possible connection to a future rails-to-trails system is also being discussed.

“We have wanted for a long time a place that would be green,” said Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “Also with amenities for lots of people in our community, and this is the first step for the future of Cambridge. There are so many great things going on, but this is the site of the livelihoods of so many people. When I was a little girl they talked about Phillips Packing Co. My family worked here; I’m sure many, many people in the area saw Phillips as a place of employment — what were there, 12,000 employees here over the years? Now it’s a metamorphosis — this property will be transported to something different. I would like to thank the state, and our partners in the county, and of course the City of Cambridge, for helping us move forward to get this done. We are pulling together something that will make this a vibrant place for our community. This is just the beginning. Like I tell everybody — stay tuned, there’s more to come in Cambridge.”

“As I travel around the state, I see lots of projects like this that could happen,” said Mr. Franchot, “But they don’t have the kind of vision that this project has. This is money well spent.”

MD-Comptroller Franchot visits site of Cannery Park_2col

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Comptroller Franchot presents a medallion to Ann Roane of Cambridge Department of Public Works for her role in the creation of the Cannery Park concept. Also pictured, Sheriff Jame Phillips, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley and County Council President Ricky Travers.

“This is something the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is very committed to and very excited about,” said Rob Etgen, of that organization. “We’ve done 57,000 acres of parks and preservations, and we feel like the six and a half acres here is right there at the top, one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever done. What a great partnership this is — town, county, state, nonprofits, and maybe at some point we’ll have some federal support in here. It’s a really, really great thing for us and for the town, and for everybody involved.”

“This is a really great idea — we’ve spent a lot of time working on it,” said County Council President Ricky Travers. “Just seeing it bloom has been great. And now, you see what we’ve got?” he said, indicating the existing wasteland behind the old Phillips building, “we’re going to be able to easily tell when something happens, because we’ve got nowhere to go but up!”

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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