News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Land Acquisition And Recreational Projects In Seven Counties

Annapolis, Md. – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of land acquisition and recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Charles, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Worcester and Somerset Counties through Program Open Space.

“Through Program Open Space, we are able to fund these important projects that provide opportunities for working families to get outdoors,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Having a central place to recreate together ultimately creates stronger, healthier communities.”

Today the Board of Public Works approved funding for the following local-side Program Open Space projects:

Anne Arundel County will receive:

  • $150,454 to install a synthetic turf playing field at Broadneck High School in Annapolis, and
  • $1.17 million to acquire 72 acres of forest, wetland and floodplain areas along Bacon Ridge Branch in Crownsville to be part of the planned 878 acre South River Greenway, which aims to protect the wooded riparian areas along the headwaters of the Bacon Ridge Branch and South River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

Charles County will receive:

  • $13,400 to acquire 1.9 acres in Pomfret to connect the existing Bensville Park with the Indian Head Rail Trail, increasing access to both areas and
  • $160, 500 to acquire .87 acres to preserve the last open green space on Cobb Island to serve as a community park and a venue for community events and festivals.

Howard County will receive $84,737 to provide funding for the continued design and construction of the Robinson Nature Center in Simpsonville, the County’s first public nature center, which will provide recreational and educational opportunities for children and adults of all ages through a proposed planetarium, classrooms, a laboratory, auditorium and indoor exhibits.

Montgomery County will receive:

  • $442,500 to design and renovate the old City Council chambers into a multi-purpose auditorium, as part of the larger Takoma Park Community Center project, and
  • $52,800 to acquire one additional acre for the existing 15 acre Dolore Miller Park in Laytonsville to possibly serve as an educational area that would be ideal for local chapters of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H to study wildlife habitats close to their homes.

Prince George’s County will receive:

  • $236,000 for the acquisition of a 1,092 sq. ft. single family house on a 5,200 sq. ft. lot located on a historic block surrounding the Riverdale Historic Site - a national historic landmark which is often referred to as the Calvert Mansion because it was owned by George Calvert, a member of Maryland’s founding family. The acquisition is one step towards the consolidation of all property surrounding the historic mansion.
  • $225,000 for improvements to the existing parking lot and gateway that serves Buddy Attick Park, an 80 acre municipal park owned and operated by the City of Greenbelt.

Worcester County will receive
$2,950 to replace field lighting on the softball fields at Newtown Park in Pocomoke City with improved, energy efficient lighting for the men’s and women’s softball teams who use it daily.

Somerset County will receive:

  • $143,933 to construct a walking/jogging trail and install security and court lighting, fencing and signage at Garland Hayward Park in Princess Anne and
  • $196,000 to construct a gazebo, creative thinking playground and three new picnic pavilions for the Crisfield Municipal Park, the first community park in Crisfield.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 23,926.24 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 344,969.31 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.

The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor O’Malley (chair), 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.

   August 5, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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