Downtown Sykesville Connection volunteers brought updates to the city’s Little Sykes Railway Park, thanks to a grant from the GIANT-funded Healing the Planet program.

The grant program aims “to strengthen environmental stewardship by connecting individuals and families to community green spaces, enhance community green spaces, support environmental restoration efforts, and support community gardens” , according to a press release from the company.

The DSC received the $5,000 grant in the fall of 2021 as part of its Keep Sykesville Beautiful designation and decided to dedicate the funds to beautifying the Little Sykes Railway Park at 7547 Main St.

The park features a 1949 12-gauge model train built by the Miniature Train Company and has been open since November 2004.

Volunteers, led by Sykesville resident Robert McLeod, recently completed the beautification project, which included the addition of a willow tree and four gardens to retain accumulated water. The gardens, whose design, plant selection and planting were led by Kyle Hiteshew and Kathleen Hiteshew, are designated as “Certified Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation.

Shannon-Baum Signs designed and installed a historically relevant sign for the park near the flagpole to improve visibility of the park from the road. Additionally, a cityscape mural, originally created by the Hussle family, has also been restored, embellished and waterproofed by Sykesville Pottery and Art Center owner Abby Dion and other volunteers.