(BALTIMORE – November 1, 2022) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) announced that Wednesday, November 9 will mark the official opening of the Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center at Cherry Hill and its adjacent multi-purpose, state-of-the-art playing field at Reedbird Park. These community facilities in South Baltimore are part of a long-term plan to transform 11 miles of shoreline along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco into a network of world-class parks, trails, and public recreation opportunities.
“It is our responsibility as leaders to ensure that we do everything in our power to set future generations up for success and ensuring access to high-quality recreation facilities, parks, and greenspaces in our neighborhoods is one important way that we show that commitment,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The state-of-the-art Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center is a shining example of what is possible when we invest in the potential of our communities. I am incredibly excited to see the impact this facility will have on the quality of life of our residents in South Baltimore.”
Now serving as the largest, city-owned recreation center in Baltimore, the 35,000-square-foot center includes three pools; a community room; fitness studios; a gymnasium with a basketball court; a maker space; an indoor walking track; outdoor basketball courts; and more. With a capacity limit of 1,500 patrons, the $23.1 million center will serve as one of the city’s premier regional hubs for indoor and outdoor recreation. The center also provides ease of access to existing trail networks, including the Gwynns Falls Trail and the Middle Branch Trail.
“This is the pinnacle of recreation advancement for Baltimore City,” said Executive Director Reginald Moore, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. “The new Middle Branch Fitness and Wellness Center not only reimagines the way we do recreation in Baltimore but sets the standard for the future of recreation. It is truly a rewarding feeling to bring this center to life in a community that is more than deserving.”
Design of improvements to the surrounding park is ongoing. This next phase will include three lighted grass fields, a playground, walking trails, a fishing pier, a dog park, park lighting, and a field house. These amenities will add to the existing outdoor pool and synthetic turf field that was completed earlier this year in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and South Baltimore Gateway Partnership
Funding for the Fitness and Wellness Center includes City and State bonds, Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space, a surtax on Horseshoe Casino’s table games for City recreation programs, and Casino Local Impact Fund Grants overseen by SBGP and by the City through the Casino Local Development Council.
“There was a time when only some neighborhoods could expect world-class amenities, but this is a new era. What was once a landfill and incinerator has been transformed into a state-of-the-art recreation campus designed for everybody. This fulfills a long-standing promise to the people of Cherry Hill and marks a huge milestone for the transformation of the Middle Branch,” said Brad Rogers, Executive Director of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership.
A grand opening ceremony will take place at Reedbird Park on Wednesday, November 9th, at 12:15pm. A celebratory community event is planned for Saturday, November 12th, at 11:00am. All are welcome at both events.
About Baltimore City Recreation & Parks
Baltimore City Recreation & Parks (BCRP) is Baltimore’s leading provider of affordable, year-round recreational activities. BCRP builds a stronger Baltimore one community at a time through conservation, well-being, and social equity. BCRP manages and maintains 263 parks, 50 recreation centers, 25 miles of biking and hiking trails and more than 5,000 acres of parkland. To learn more about our programs and services, visit http://bcrp.baltimorecity.gov/