A throng of protesters chanted "save our park" during Thursday rush hour as passing motorists honked their horns in support at the intersection of Towsontown Boulevard and York Road.
The group is fighting back against a county proposal to construct a a firehouse at Towson Manor Park, which sits on Towsontown Boulevard between East Towson and Towson Green.
Maureen Zingo, an 11-year Towson Manor Village resident who participated in the rally, said many children in the neighborhood don't have backyards to play in so the park is an important part of the community.
"We use the park all the time," said Zingo, who has three children at Hampton Elementary School. "My family over-utilizes it."
Paul Hartman, vice president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations—an umbrella group that includes the Towson Manor Village Community Association—said he is cautiously optimistic that the county will find an alternate site for the firehouse. Hartman applauded the residents who came out to voice their support for the park.
"This is clearly a community grassroots effort," he said.
State Senator Jim Brochin, a Towson resident, similarly expressed approval for the turnout of residents.
"This is just the beginning," Brochin said. "My neighbors and I are in this for the long haul."
The county is looking to sell the current Towson Fire Station, a police substation in Randallstown and the North Point Government Center in Dundalk. Proceeds from the sales would go towards new facilities, and remaining funds will benefit school improvement projects.
County officials said they are looking at alternate sites for the fire station amidst community protest. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz called Towson Manor Park "the site of last resort."
Community leaders said the three sites the county is evaluating are a fuel center at the corner of Towsontown Boulevard and Bosley Avenue, a service parking lot at Baltimore and Chesapeake avenues and one at the backside of the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.
County spokesman Don Mohler would neither confirm nor deny if those sites are under consideration.
Associate Regional Editor Bryan Sears contributed to this report.
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