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Governor O’Malley Announces Support for Local Park Improvements in Eight Counties
Annapolis, Md. — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of funding for Program Open Space projects in eight counties that enhance neighborhood recreational opportunities for the use and enjoyment by families across Maryland.
“Families and local sports teams often need more nearby parks and ball fields to play and practice outdoors,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “These local Program Open Space projects help county and city governments provide much needed, safe and accessible play and practice areas where they are most needed in the community.”
The board approved funding for the following local-side Program Open Space projects:
Baltimore County will receive $431,876 to partially fund improvements at Hannah More Park in Reisterstown that include renovations to two ball fields and construction of an outdoor stage to feature performing arts.
"Funding this positive community project helps reinforce the value of state and county partnership in the renaissance of our older communities," said Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith. "Hannah More Park is truly a model for multi-use parks, and these sports and cultural enhancements will greatly increase our citizens' enjoyment of this facility for years to come."
Dorchester County will receive $37,800 to partially fund a new pavilion and playground equipment at the Dorchester County pool in Cambridge.
Frederick County will receive $36,742 to accommodate visitor needs at New Market Community Park.
The City of Hyattsville in Prince Georges County will receive $110,800 to partially finance playground equipment upgrades at Magruder Park with ADA-accessible equipment made from recycled materials.
Queen Anne’s County will receive:
- $25,000 for renovations at the Blue Heron Golf Course in Stevensville;
- $75,000 for improvements to a mile of trail at Church Hill Park; and
- $508,280 to partially fund construction of at least four athletic fields and a parking lot for White Marsh Park in Centreville.
“Queen Anne’s County is so very grateful to the Board of Public Works for providing these funds to our citizens, especially in these tough fiscal times,” said Dr. Eric Wargotz, President of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners.
St. Mary’s County will receive $730,000 to purchase 76 acres for a new park in California.
“Building this new park in California will help balance recreational activities in St.Mary’s County,” said Jack Russell, President of the St. Mary’s County Commissioners.” We have a number of fine facilities and ball fields in the Northern and Southern ends of St. Mary’s, and these funds will help us build nearly 30 new fields in the central part of the county.”
Worcester County will receive:
- $49,038 for improvements to the bandstand and paths at Cypress Park in Pocomoke City;
- $58,500 to develop a master plan for the Greys Creek Nature Park and Center in Bishopville; and
- $226,800 for fitness and nature trails and playground improvements at Stephen Decatur Park in Berlin.
“We’re very grateful that state recognized the importance of the opportunities for preservation in Worcester County,” said Worcester County Commission President Virgil Shockley. “This money will be used to preserve the quality of life that we so much enjoy. As citizens participate with increasing frequency in outdoor events and recreational activities at Stephen Decatur Park in Berlin, the funding for fitness, nature trails and new playground equipment at this location will greatly enhance this facility.”
The board approved funding for the following state-side Program Open Space projects:
Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area in Dorchester County will be expanded by 85 acres to further protect wildlife habitat and the water quality of Fishing Bay and the Nanticoke River. The $108,663 acquisition is located within a high priority conservation area and received an ecological ranking of 95 under the new Program Open Space targeting system.
Greenbrier State Park in Washington County will be expanded by 12.6 acres along Keadle Road. The $695,000 acquisition preserves box turtle habitat threatened by development and provides a much needed buffer to the park’s hunting area. The property is located within a high priority conservation area and received an ecological ranking of 79 under the new Program Open Space targeting system.
“Permanent protection of these ecologically valuable properties will safeguard sensitive wildlife habitat and increase opportunities for environment education and seasonal hunting,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin.
Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the Board of Public Works have preserved more than 10,197 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has protected more than 327,670 acres with funds from a percentage of the real estate transfer tax. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by Program Open Space.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.
November 19, 2008
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.