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January 23, 2013

Recreational Projects in Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties to See Enhancements

by Martha

Recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will soon receive funding for necessary upgrades and additions through Program Open Space. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved the projects at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“We continue to take the necessary steps to improve our recreational areas ─ making them safe, enjoyable and easily accessible for all Marylanders,” said Governor O’Malley.

Anne Arundel County will receive:

  • $138,853 to acquire two parcels of land totaling .8 acres to extend the proposed South Shore Trail by 2 miles, from Maryland Route 3 to Waterbury Road in Millersville. Currently .84 miles are in place from the Annapolis Mall to the Anne Arundel Medical Center. The plan is to have the trail ultimately extend 17 miles, from Odenton to Annapolis.
  • $1,542,506 to develop facilities at Fort Smallwood Park, a 110-acre waterfront park. The upgrades include a two-lane boat ramp, protected harbor, new entrance gatehouse, road, parking and trails. The park currently features a 370-foot fishing pier, car-top boat launch, playground, volleyball and basketball courts, a picnic pavilion and 1.2 miles of shoreline.

Montgomery County will receive:

  • $1,376,500 to acquire three parcels of land totaling 14 acres to create a new local park for the Burtonsville community.
  • $80,000 to acquire a half-acre for the existing 56.6-acre Matthew Henson Greenway, Unit 3. The greenway features a heavily-used, paved, hiker/biker trail that serves central and eastern Montgomery County.
  • $119,000 to acquire 1.55 additional acres for 367-acre Fairland Recreational Park. This acquisition will eliminate an in-holding as the property is surrounded on all sides by the parkland, except for the road frontage. The total amount of Program Open Space assistance to be requested is $419,000. Future requests for the remaining $300,000 will be made in installments as funds become available.

Prince George’s County will receive $1,172,527 to acquire 80.6 acres in the southern portion of Prince George’s County for the development of Wilmer Park. The public park will feature interpretations of the region’s rich history and recreation areas. Wilmer Park opened its doors to African-American musicians, entertainers, athletes and fans from the early 1950s through the late 1960s.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,181 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, totaling more than $324 million through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.

Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the State to preserve 362,037 acres for open space and recreation areas.  Of this, 40,996─ 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 BPW 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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