News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Seven Recreational Projects In Baltimore City

Baltimore City to Develop Youth Baseball Field Where Memorial Stadium Stood

ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 4, 2009) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of seven for recreational projects in Baltimore City through Program Open Space.

“These projects are important to the quality of life of our families in Baltimore City,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I am heartened that Program Open Space affords us the opportunity build playgrounds, ball fields and park facilities which will positively affect the youth in the city.”

The Board of Public works today approved $400,000 to develop a youth baseball field on a portion of the former Memorial Stadium parcel in partnership with the Y of Central Maryland and the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation. When Memorial Stadium (the former home field of the Baltimore Orioles) was demolished a decade ago, a portion of the land was sold for development by the Y of Central Maryland.

“As a result of the Project Open Space funding, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is excited to work in partnership with the State and the Y of Central Maryland to bring a youth development park to Baltimore city's Waverly community,” said Carrie LeBow, senior director of development for the Ripken Foundation. “Thousands of kids will have access to this multi-purpose park as a clean, safe place to play and learn.”

The Board also approved $1,000,000 to redevelop the former Superintendent’s Mansion and grounds at Druid Hill Park into an urban ecology center, “The Center for Parks & People at Auchentoroly Terrace.” The City’s Department of Recreation and Parks has entered into an agreement with the Parks and People Foundation to renovate and expand the historic Superintendent’s House and add a new green building extension that will serve as the Foundation’s offices and "urban greening" teaching center. Funds will also be used to restore the park landscape, including removal of invasive vegetation, planting new trees and habitat areas, and the renovation of walks to improve community access to the park. These improvements will be coordinated with the design of the "Urban Ecology Center" and provide passive amenities that will benefit the surrounding community.

“The Parks & People Foundation is dedicated to creating and enhancing green spaces and improving parks in Baltimore City for the benefit of all citizens,” said Parks & People Foundation President and CEO Jackie Carrera. “The Center for Parks & People at Auchentoroly Terrace will be a place of learning — offering programming, training and facilities for residents, students, educators, scientists and park supporters.”

Through today’s Board actions Baltimore City will also receive:

  • $264,429 to replace or renovate 40-100-year-old features at two of the city’s neighborhood parks: Riverside Park and Henry H. Garnet Park. Funds will be used to improve roads, curbs, walks, pavilions, athletic courts, playing fields, benches, fencing, lights, signs, water fountains, landscaping, park utilities and park building modernization. Where necessary, each project will include ADA upgrades for walks or structures. An intensive investment in these two parks will allow them to remain popular through the next century.
  • $175,400 to rebuild the YMCA playground in partnership with the Y of Central Maryland. About five years ago, the Y of Central Maryland, the communities of Waverly and Ednor Gardens, and volunteers from the region constructed a large playground. In 2008, a portion of the playground was damaged by vandalism. The YMCA and volunteers rebuilt the playground using materials and designs that will be more resistant to vandals while still complying with all codes established by CPSC, ASTM and ADA guidelines for playground safety and accessibility. The new design will include fire resistant Trex timbers, pour-in-place rubber safety surface and security cameras.
  • $100,000 to continue the maintenance and general operations of the Baltimore City Park System, including over 5,700 acres in 400 properties. Projects in the budget year include replacement of critical vehicles for use by park and forestry divisions to maintain mature trees and water young trees.
  • $500,000 to improve park buildings at two of the city's large parks. In Patterson Park, funds will be used to renovate the restroom adjacent to the Utz football field. Improvements will include ADA upgrades for the restroom and upgrades to the electrical service located in the structure. In Druid Hill Park, funds will be used to convert an empty building in the Druid Hill Park Maintenance Yard into a safe and secure chemical storage facility for materials used by the Aquatics Division for swimming pool operations.
  • $1,000,000 to renovate five neighborhood parks based on recommendations from community-based plans. Improvements will include swimming pool and spray pad renovations at Oliver Park and Farring Baybrook Park and court renovations for basketball and tennis courts in Latrobe Park, Caroline & Hoffman Park and John E. Howard Park.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 25,389 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 346,117 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.

   November 4, 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