Project Quick Facts

Located south of Wheel Road between MD 924 and MD 24, Emily Bayless Graham Park opened to the public in 2019. Consisting primarily of walking trails and open space, the park is designed to connect visitors with nature.

Emily Bayless Graham, for whom the park is named, donated the 69-acre site to Harford County for use as a park. 

Frederick Ward Associates prepared the site plan, geographic surveys, and stormwater management design. Comer Construction handled the site construction.


Sign at Emily Bayless Graham Park

Converting Private Land to a Public Park

The donated land included a variety of buildings from it’s days as a farm. Shortly after the land was handed over to Harford County, most of the buildings were removed due to safety concerns. The demolition was completed while Frederick Ward Associates worked on plans for the property.

It was Emily Bayless Graham’s desire that the land stay minimally developed and provide space for people to enjoy open space. The passive park design called for limited amenities, including a new access roadway, parking lot, pavilion area, and walking trails. There was also an extensive stormwater management design with erosion and sediment controls.

Using the approved plans from Frederick Ward Associates, Comer Construction handled the site construction including grading, excavation, stormwater management, utilities, roadwork, and paving.

Walking Paths

Stormwater Management for Parks and Recreation: Sediment and Erosion Control

Erosion and sediment control play a crucial role in the development of parks and public spaces. When constructing or developing park areas, it is essential to consider the potential impacts of erosion and sedimentation on the surrounding environment.

Here are some reasons why erosion and sediment control are important for developing parks:

Environmental Protection

Parks are often located in areas with diverse ecosystems, including sensitive habitats, water bodies, and plant communities. Erosion can lead to the loss of topsoil, which is rich in nutrients and essential for plant growth. Sedimentation in nearby water bodies can harm aquatic life by reducing water quality, clogging fish habitats, and interfering with natural ecological processes. By implementing erosion and sediment control measures, park developers can minimize these negative environmental impacts and preserve the ecological integrity of the surrounding area.

Water Quality Preservation

Controlling erosion and sedimentation is essential for maintaining water quality in and around parks. Sediment-laden runoff can transport pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, oils, and debris into nearby streams, rivers, and wetlands. These pollutants can have adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. Proper erosion and sediment control measures, such as stabilizing slopes, using erosion control blankets, and implementing sediment basins, can effectively reduce sediment runoff and help protect water quality.

Infrastructure Protection

Erosion and sedimentation can also pose risks to park infrastructure. Uncontrolled erosion can undermine roads, trails, bridges, and other structures, leading to increased maintenance costs and potential safety hazards. By implementing erosion control measures, such as installing retaining walls, erosion control mats, and sediment barriers, park developers can protect their infrastructure investments and ensure the long-term durability and safety of park facilities.


stormwater management installation

Aesthetics and Visitor Experience

Parks are intended to provide enjoyable outdoor spaces for the public. Excessive erosion and sedimentation can detract from the aesthetic appeal of park areas, making them less attractive for visitors. Erosion control measures, such as establishing vegetative cover, installing erosion control blankets, and implementing stormwater management systems, can help maintain the visual beauty of park landscapes and enhance the overall visitor experience.

Regulatory Compliance

There are often regulatory requirements and environmental permits associated with park development projects. Many jurisdictions have regulations in place to protect natural resources and prevent erosion and sedimentation. By implementing erosion and sediment control practices, park developers can ensure compliance with these regulations and avoid potential legal and financial consequences.
Overall, implementing effective erosion and sediment control measures during park development is essential for environmental protection, water quality preservation, infrastructure durability, visitor satisfaction, and regulatory compliance. By proactively addressing erosion and sedimentation issues, park developers can create sustainable, visually appealing, and ecologically responsible park spaces for the enjoyment of both present and future generations.

Construction Site Preparation in Maryland

Stormwater Management Controls

A variety of stormwater management controls are utilized by Comer Construction based on the existing condition of the site and specifics of the park, athletic fields, or other recreational areas, including: 

  • Sediment and erosion control
  • Bioretention facilities
  • Detention and retention ponds
  • Wetland restoration and bioswales
  • Underground stormwater management systems
  • Value engineering options

Roadwork and Paving for Parks and Recreation

Comer Construction has extensive experience preparing parking lots and roadways for athletic fields, parks, and other industries. Our team provides a full range of roadwork and paving services to open locations to traffic and maintain existing infrastructure. 

Proper paving and road work is crucial for public parks and parking areas for several reasons. Firstly, a well-designed and maintained parking surface ensures smooth and safe vehicle movement, reducing the risk of accidents and damage to vehicles and pedestrians. Secondly, high-quality pavement minimizes wear and tear, enhancing the durability and longevity of the parking area, thereby reducing maintenance costs in the long run. Additionally, proper drainage systems and grading help prevent water pooling and runoff issues, preventing erosion and preserving the structural integrity of the parking area. Lastly, a well-maintained parking surface improves the overall aesthetic appeal of the area, contributing to a positive user experience and enhancing the image and accessibility of public spaces.

Emily Bayless Graham Park is located at 15 W. Wheel Road in Bel Air, Maryland. You can find the trails on AllTrails

About Comer Construction

Comer Construction is a women-owned site construction company specializing in site preparation and underground utilities. Since 1982, we’ve developed a reputation of excellence, built upon strict adherence to a set of values: Safety, Integrity, Quality, Commitment and Teamwork. Our team of highly-skilled craftsman and certified professionals perform all aspects of our services and can quickly adapt to your project’s particular needs.

Put our reputation to work on your next project. Contact Comer Construction today!

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Grading & Excavation

Maintenance of Traffic

Road Work & Paving


HydroVac Truck

Stormwater Management