More advances planned for city’s Riverwalk

Salisbury’s Riverwalk, which has undergone a transformation in the past couple of years, will get two new features designed to attract people to the city’s Downtown waterfront: a dog park for pets and their owners and a labyrinth to promote peace and conflict resolution.

The city is partnering with SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate in a crowd-funding campaign to support the creation of a new dog park. If the campaign reaches its goal of $5,000 by Aug. 15 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from the real estate company.

As of Monday, July 8, the site had raised $800 toward the goal.

Mayor Jake Day said the so-called Bark Park will tie in well with nearby completed projects and others that are still on the drawing board.

“With residential space in our downtown already full to capacity, and more being built every day, it is certain that we will continue to see an increase in the number of families with pets who choose to live here,” he said. “For dog owners, access to the Bark Park could clinch the decision to live Downtown.”

The park will allow dogs to run free in a fenced-in area that is outfitted with a doggy drinking fountain, a granite hill and fresh landscaping. The surrounding Riverwalk will feature multiple doggie bag stations to keep it accessible and clean for all members of the community.

Nearby, the Rotary Club of Salisbury plans to build a labyrinth in an unused open space on the northeast side of the South Division Street bridge adjacent to the former city fire station that now houses the DelmarvaNow offices.

The project is designed to mark the club’s 100th anniversary, George Whitehead, chairman of the centennial committee, told City Council members at a recent work session.

The labyrinth will be similar to one in Chartres Cathedral in France where worshipers follow a single path through a maze-like design on the floor, stopping to pray at points along the path.

The Rotary Club has been working with the city since 2015 to come up with a centennial project to promote peace and conflict resolution, Whitehead said.

The club was able to get money from a bond bill to pay for the work, but it needs an easement from the city before work can start. Once it is built, it will be turned over to the city that will maintain it, said Amanda Pollack, Director of Infrastructure and Development.

The City Council gave preliminary approval to the easement at its Monday night meeting.

The radius of the labyrinth will be 36 feet and its circumference will be 72 feet. It will be constructed of flat paving stones with paths 2 feet wide with 2‐foot-wide grass separations. In the center there will be a park bench and tree.

Rotary members said the space will be used by the Salisbury Police to interact with the students whom they mentor, teach, and coach, the Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution at Salisbury University and for community use for events such as Sept. 11 memorials.

Day said the labyrinth is another example of how the Rotary Club of Salisbury always aims to have projects with a lasting impact.

“They’re taking a forgotten piece of the Riverwalk and using it in a meaningful way,” he said.

The labyrinth and the Bark Park will be the latest developments along the Riverwalk which was built in 1977 as a joint project of the city and the Greater Salisbury Committee.

Last summer, the city completed a new 650-seat amphitheater in time for Salisbury’s first year as host of the National Folk Festival.

Three years ago the city embarked on a $1.5 million renovation of the Riverwalk with stamped concrete walkways, new bulkheading, landscaping and lighting along both sides of the Wicomico River from Route 13 to Mill Street.

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