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December 5, 2012

Recreational Projects across Maryland to See Enhancements

by Martha

Recreational projects in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Caroline, Cecil, Howard, Prince George’s and Washington counties will soon receive funding for necessary upgrades and additions through Program Open Space. Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and the Board of Public Works approved the projects at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“Creating and maintaining these recreational areas are important because they provide convenient places where Marylanders can go to escape the indoors and enjoy their natural world ─ exploring, staying active and spending quality time with friends and family,” said Lt. Governor Brown.

Allegany County will receive $95,847 to build a restroom facility at the 146-acre Allegany County Fairgrounds Park, and repave an existing parking lot near the multi-purpose building to update the old, outdated structure and pavement.

Allegany County’s town of Lonaconing will receive $15,000 to design and construct a community building at the 1.4-acre Lonaconing Furnace Park. This building will provide year-round public recreation opportunities for the town’s residents and a place for youth groups and other organizations to meet.

Anne Arundel County will receive $285,000 to install energy-efficient lighting on a regulation-sized baseball field at Crofton Park. The field will accommodate baseball and softball players of all ages. The outfield area will also be used as a practice area for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.

Caroline County’s town of Federalsburg will receive $42,000 to construct a raindeck playground at Marina Park to allow children to cool-off safely during the hot summer months. The playground will feature water fountains that spray up, out of the ground, in a self-contained system that can be used by children of all ages, even if they do not know how to swim.

Cecil County will receive $142,000 to refurbish the original football and baseball fields at the 18.5-acre Cecil County Sports Complex. The facility is used by the Cecil County Babe Ruth Baseball League, Rising Sun junior football leagues, and other youth sport organizations. The new fields will be able to accommodate several groups at the same time, and will also be usable after heavy rains, which is not currently possible.

Howard County will receive $507,763 to acquire 6 acres of land to be part of the Patuxent Greenway.  The acquired property connects to a 35-acre parcel of County Parkland that buffers the Patuxent River and will provide access from Mink Hollow Road to the adjacent County property. The plans for the land would protect the area’s resources, which includes steep slopes, forest buffers, and could allow for the creation of a pathway/trail connection to adjacent County landholdings.

Prince George’s County (M-NCPPC) will receive:

  • $1,887,100 to purchase 1.13 acres of property located in the City of Hyattsville as part of the Prince George’s Plaza Community Center. The  property includes the Beth Torah Temple, an approximately 17,250-square-foot structure that was built in 1971. This acquisition will provide the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) with enough land to rebuild and expand the Prince George’s Plaza Community Center ─ its oldest community center ─ and associated parking when future funding becomes available. During the interim, the newly acquired property may be used as a rental facility for special events in the area.

 

  • $161,134 for the acquisition of five more acres for the existing 26-acre Glenn Dale Community Center Park, which enhances the existing holdings and allows for expansion of the existing Community Center site in the future.

Washington County’s city of Hagerstown will receive $49,500 to construct a memorial wall at Memorial Park to honor both veterans and a hall of fame of the city’s noteworthy citizens, and install park benches, picnic tables and trash receptacles in the Hagerstown Plaza.

Washington County’s town of Smithsburg will receive $13,950 to upgrade the electrical system at Veteran’s Park. Smithsburg is in the process of documenting current and future needs to extend service to the Phase III area of Veterans Park. These upgrades would help to serve the ever increasing needs of park visitors.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,152 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, totaling more than $316 million through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.

Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the State to preserve 359,036 acres for open space and recreation areas. Of this, 37,967 acres ─ more than 10 percent ─ have been preserved within the past 5 years under the O’Malley-Brown Administration. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded by Program Open Space. A video showing the direct benefits of Program Open Space can be viewed here.

The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised of Governor O’Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The Board of Public Works is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.

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