BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The City spending board has flashed the green light on a park renovation project at the Inner Harbor.

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore will partner with the City of Baltimore to renovate Rash Field Park at the Inner Harbor, they announced Wednesday.

Waterfront Partnership will lead construction on the city’s behalf. The City will contribute more than $9.5 million toward design and construction cost and Waterfront Partnership has raised another $4 million from the state and nearly $2 million from private sources.

The total cost of Phase 1 is $16.8 million, they said, and construction will begin in January 2020.

“Currently an unattractive and underutilized space on the Inner Harbor’s South Shore, Rash Field will be transformed into an active recreation and play space by spring 2021,” said Laurie Schwartz, president and CEO of Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

The first phase includes a children’s nature park, kinetic playground, small skatepark, shade lawn, pavilion with an outdoor cafe and several rain gardens.

Easily accessible from Key Highway and the Inner Harbor promenade, the Park will feature an overlook on top of the pavilion that will visitors to take in vistas of the Inner Habor.

Mayor Jack Young said the park will be a safe and central destination for families from all across the city and for tourists.

“Providing positive activities for children and youth has proven to be an effective crime-fighting tool and I’m so glad we’re providing this recreation and park space at the Inner Harbor,” Young said.

Whiting-Turner will be the construction manager and general contractor on this project, the City said.

The park’s first phase is expected to be finished by spring 2021, and then fundraising will begin for the second phase- which will have a beach volleyball area, an open lawn, events or middle-school-age soccer fields, exercise equipment, jogging paths and a bird and butterfly lab.

The Pride Memorial will also be relocated to the site.

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