Columbia Association has transitioned the maintenance of Symphony Woods, in Downtown Columbia, to the Inner Arbor Trust. This shift in upkeep is mandated by a long-term agreement and follows millions of dollars in investments in the property by CA.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods encompasses 36 acres of CA open space that sits along Little Patuxent Parkway across from The Mall in Columbia, and borders Merriweather Post Pavilion. It is notably home to the Chrysalis, a community amphitheater that hosts a variety of performances and events throughout the year.

Since its establishment in 2013, IAT, a 501(c)(3) organization, has been charged with programming arts and cultural experiences, as well as managing recreational activities in Symphony Woods. During that time, CA has continued to cultivate the natural resources and infrastructure (i.e. the pathway system, stormwater management) in Symphony Woods, making it the location of choice for major local events such as Wine in the Woods, Hops & Harvest and HoCo Pride, among others.

The transition of maintenance responsibilities for Symphony Woods was included in the original agreement CA and IAT entered into in 2013; since, CA has invested more than $2 million in grants to IAT to cover operational and capital costs and more than $1 million for turf and tree management.

“As we progress to the next step in this partnership, the community can rest assured that CA will be handing off this beloved space in the best shape possible,” said CA Interim President and CEO Dennis Mattey. “We thank IAT for its commitment up to this point and are excited to hit this important milestone for Symphony Woods, considered by many to be the Central Park of Columbia.”

“We are thrilled to enter this next phase of our development as an organization,” said IAT President and CEO Nina Basu. “We are proud of the work we have accomplished in partnership with CA to create the guidelines and standards to protect this Downtown parkland for all time. We are excited to continue to enhance and improve Symphony Woods.”

Questions or comments regarding the state of Symphony Woods should be directed to IAT at 443-832-3223.

This item has been updated to clarify how grants were used by IAT.