A Brief History
The area encompassing the park (now known as Lake Roland) was part of an 18th century land grant from Lord Baltimore to several Maryland families. In the 1850s Lake Roland was created as a reservoir for the City of Baltimore. In the 1940s, Robert E. Lee Park was created and in 1992 most of the Park was declared a National Historic District – the Lake Roland Historic District – in recognition of its historic elements, old railroad tracks, retaining walls, stone bridges, trestles, and abutments. The Park now encompasses nearly 500 acres of woodland, wetlands, serpentine barrens, rare plants, and rocky plateaus.
Due to efforts by many, but initiated and spear headed by the Ruxton-Riderwood-Lake Roland Area Improvement Association, today the Park is managed by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. The non-profit volunteer organization, Robert E. Lee Park Nature Council (RELPNC), worked with the County to maintain, preserve, and protect the natural environment and historic structures in the Park, providing a legacy for future generations. The Nature Council, now known as the Lake Roland Nature Council (LRNC), holds meetings which are open to the public. The Board meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Lake Roland Nature Center, 1000 Lakeside Drive, Baltimore Maryland 21210. All are welcome.
The Park Today
The Park now boasts the Lake Roland Nature Center, the one-acre off-leash Paw Point Dog Park, repaired and maintained trails, pedestrian access from the nearby MTA parking lot, kayaking, fun and educational programs led by Park Rangers and other volunteers for all ages (guided bird watching, nature walks, campfire events, egg hunts, cane pole fishing…), biking trails, and much more For more Park information and to find out about Park and volunteer activities, go to www.lakeroland.org. To rent a pavilion, call or email the park: 410-887-4156 or lakerol-rp@baltimorecountymd.
Acorn Hill Play Area, a natural play area for small children, opened in June 2014. It provides structures for climbing, swinging, exploring and balancing and is designed for children to learn while having fun. Acorn Hill also has picnic and quiet areas, a butterfly hatchery, bird sanctuary and spaces for art projects and theater productions.
Organization Name Changes – 28 September 2015
On the 28th of September the Park changed its name from Robert E. Lee Park to Lake Roland and the nature council changed its name from Robert E Lee Park Nature Council to Lake Roland Nature Council (LRNC).