If you were standing on this site in 1930, you would have been surrounded by farmland. But "progress" was just beyond the trees where small planes took off and landed at the new Schrom Airport. Civil engineer William H. Schrom owned much of this land then. He had built a chicken farm here back in the 1890s on land just to the north that is now occupied by the Greenway Shopping Center and the Baltimore Washington Parkway. His son, Frederick ("Fritz") Scrhom, built an airport on his family's farm in 1928.
The Civilian Pilot Training Program used the field actively in the late 1930s to train student pilots, many of them from the University of Maryland. Try to imagine the airport's heyday in 1940: More than 50 planes roared across and over the field and 120 pilots, mechanics, and instructors flew, worked, and trained here.
The airport closed briefly during the war. In 1944 it reopened to serve as a training center for the Civil Air Patrol. Fritz Schrom's wife ran the airport while her husband finished his military service. The 2,000-3,000-foot grass runway, eventually paved in 1949, was located just north of what is now Hanover Parkway as it passes the Hunting Ridge development. The runway ended on land that became the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in 1954.
Today Schrom Hills Park provides a recreational focal
point for residents of Greenbelt East. The City of Greenbelt acquired 43 acres of land for the park in 1986 and completed the park in 1991. The park includes a softball and soccer field, an ornamental allee, walkways, a fitness trail, a playground, indoor meeting facilities, and an outdoor group picnic shelter.