Family-Friendly, Greener Redesign Planned for Inner Harbor's Rash Field

The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore has released new plans for an overhaul of Rash Field, the park on the south side of the Inner Harbor, between the Science Center and the Rusty Scupper restaurant.

The updated plan, which will cost $20 million, will replace concrete bleachers with green space and natural vegetation. It will offer more opportunities for children to play, both "kinetic," movement-based play, and "nature play," a chance for kids to learn about their environment.

Waterfront Partnership is working with architecture firm Mahan Rykiel. The firm's president, Richard Jones, tells us the new plan picks up a lot of green space to put a greater emphasis on ecology.

"We're so close to shore, but in Baltimore we've lost tough with that natural context," he explains.

Jones says Waterfront Partnership is actively exploring a partnership with the Maryland Science Center, its closest neighbor.

And the park will feature an overlook from its highest point, looking out on the Inner Harbor.

The new plan will also include a seven-court beach volleyball area near the center. Beach volleyball is one of the park's most popular activities. It will also include a grass field for kids' sports, a skate park and courts for bocce and ping pong.

Rash Field's current look

Rash Field's current look

The city will review the new design in July, and if it is approved, construction plans will be drawn up late this summer.

Of the estimated $20 million the upgrades will cost, the city and state will fund $12.5 million, and Waterfront Partnership hopes to raise the rest through fundraising efforts.

Megan Viviano