Baltimore’s Eager Park
Designed by Mahan Rykiel, the Six-Acre Park Will Be the Centerpiece of Community’s Wellness Brand, Utilizing Sustainable Building Materials
Eager Park, the six-acre public space created in conjunction with a world-class biotech center linked to Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened this year to showcase the revitalized East Baltimore community’s commitment to wellness and sustainability. The $12.2 million park was primarily financed through public funds from a variety of Maryland-centric development grants, along with contributions from private foundations. When fully developed the 88-acre adjacent masterplan will serve as the economic driver for renewal of the city’s east side, with life-science research facilities, retail, a school, hotel and open greenspaces.
Eager Park itself, which recently won an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Baltimore Wavemaker Award, was designed to be the centerpiece of the community’s commitment to health and wellness: a place where residents, hospital/research workers and visitors can go to socialize, exercise, relax and play in a welcoming, beautiful green environment. The revitalized neighborhood promotes healthy and sustainable living through design, amenities, a curated retail mix, and rich programming for the community, which will include community sporting events, concerts and farmers’ markets.
The project, designed by Baltimore-based Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc. and Gensler Architects, in keeping with its overarching mission of wellness, utilized a number of sustainable building materials in its construction, including approximately 10,000 square feet of Kebony modified wood specified for pathway decking throughout the park. Kebony, a unique and highly durable wood that performs well in severe weather conditions, which the Baltimore/Washington area experiences on both ends of the spectrum in winter and summer months.
“For Eager Park’s boardwalk, we specified Kebony decking in keeping with the project’s commitment to the environment and sustainability,” Mahan Rykiel associate designer and LEED AP Ryan Cosgrove said. “Kebony’s decking offered a sustainable alternative to the durability and beauty of endangered tropical hardwoods.”
Other products specified for Eager Park include unit pavers by Hanover, colored concrete by LM Scofield – Chromix Admixture, chairs and tables by Landscape Forms, benches by Streetlife - Rough and Ready Crosswise, Forest City-certified bike racks and litter receptacles, and exercise equipment by Xccent Fitness.