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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval of Funding for Howard County’s First Nature Center
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Martin O’Malley announces Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of local-side Program Open Space (POS) funds to design and construct Howard County’s first nature center.
“I greatly appreciate the Board of Public Works approval of the first installment for Howard County’s first publicly owned nature center,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “We believe that the Robinson Nature Center will quickly become a destination for nature lovers up and down the East Coast.”
Design and construction of the future 20,000+ sq. ft. Robinson Nature Center in Simpsonville will be partially (75 percent) financed with local-side POS funds. Once completed, the Center will be a state of the art education facility housing a planetarium, classrooms, a laboratory, discovery room, and auditorium. Howard County expects up to 46,600 visits to the new Center annually.
Construction of the $12.58 million Center will also be supported with local government and private contributions. The BPW approved the first installment ($667,930.50) of local-side POS funds for the Center on Wednesday. In 2005, Howard County purchased 18+ acres of land adjacent to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area as a home for the County’s first nature center.
In total the BPW approved funding for 14 local park and recreation areas and preservation of more than 4,566 acres of agricultural and forest land in 18 Counties last week.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 322,355 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by this program.
Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
December 17, 20077
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov