$6 million deal means Howard Co. Girl Scout camp could become park space

A Girl Scout camp in Howard County, Maryland, could soon become public park space after the County Executive Calvin Ball announced an agreement to keep it from being developed.

The almost 21-acre Camp Ilchester in Ellicott City was once a busy place for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.

Now, Ball says he’s reached an agreement for the county to acquire the camp and preserve it as open park space for $6 million dollars. The money for the purchase is in the county’s next budget and is scheduled for a vote by the county council on May 25.

“We had to make sure that our county didn’t lose this important piece of green space and valuable community resource,” Ball said. “Passage of this funding in our proposed capital budget is a critical next step to the county acquiring this property.”

Ball intends to preserve Camp Ilchester as green space, keeping up to 105 housing units out of the development pipeline and utilizing the property to expand recreational program offerings.

He said potential uses of the camp space could include sports programs, outdoor adventure camps, active aging activity and a nature center with educational programming.

“It would be a great tragedy if this wonderful space was lost to bulldozers plowing over a legacy of the Girl Scouts,” Ball said. “Preservation of open space is an important priority for our community.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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