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July 24, 2013

Recreational Projects throughout Maryland to See Enhancements

by Martha
Artist rendering of Elkton's renovated Meadow Park East Playground from gametime.com

Artist rendering of Elkton’s renovated Meadow Park East Playground from gametime.com

Recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties, and Baltimore City, will soon receive funding for 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.

“Program Open Space helps expand, create and reinvigorate parks and facilities throughout Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our State is very fortunate to have strong, steadfast initiatives that support recreation, providing our citizens safe places, close to home to get outdoors, get active and spend quality time with friends and family.”

Anne Arundel County will receive $349,500 to install field lighting on two existing regulation multi-purpose fields at the 20-acre Loopers Park. The proposed lighting system is designed to be energy efficient and minimize light pollution. Other existing recreation facilities at the park include two softball fields and a concession building.

Cecil County’s town of Cecilton will receive $17,000 to install outdoor fitness stations and safety surfacing at Cecilton Town Park and the town of Elkton will receive $28,000 to install new playground equipment and safety surfacing at Meadow Park East. Both upgrades will be consistent with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and National Playground Safety Standards.

Garrett County’s town of Oakland will receive $50,000 to replace the comfort station, picnic tables and grills at the Broadford Recreation Area to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for visitors.

Montgomery County will receive:

  • $935,000 to acquire 0.63 acres to add to Josiah Henson Special Park, an internationally significant cultural resource focused on the real life story of Reverend Josiah Henson, which inspired Harriet-Beecher Stowe’s fictional novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The park and the property proposed for this project are part of the former Isaac Riley plantation where the enslaved Henson grew from early childhood to adulthood.
  • $300,000 to acquire 1.55 acres to be added to the current 367-acre Fairland Recreational Park. Adding this land will eliminate an inholding, as the property is surrounded on all sides by parkland, except for the road frontage. The total amount of Program Open Space assistance to be requested is $419,000. Funds totaling $119,000 were previously approved by the Board of Public Works on the Secretary’s Agenda this past January. This second and final request is for the remaining $300,000 of eligible project funding.
  • Gaithersburg will receive $66,000 to replace the existing playground, designed for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, at Griffith Park.

Prince George’s County’s

  • Town of North Brentwood will receive $91,000 to install a playground shade structure and a permeable pathway to increase access to North Brentwood Neighborhood Playground. Additional landscaping will be planted between the playground and drainage ditch to act as a physical barrier and assist with water absorption and stormwater runoff.
  • Town of Berwyn Heights will receive $91,000 to replace the existing, outdated playground with new equipment and safety surfacing consistent with ADA and National Playground Safety Standards at Pop’s Park.
  • Town of Riverdale Park will receive $195,000 to develop two new and separate play areas for pre-school and school-aged children with decorative safety surfaces, benches and trash receptacles at Riverdale Park.
  • City of District Heights will receive $147,000 to install 18 outdoor exercise stations with energy-efficient safety lighting along the one-mile walking trail at the District Heights athletic field area.

St. Mary’s County’s town of Leonardtown will receive $163,000 to further develop Port of Leonardtown Public Park by removing old asphalt and completing the remaining parking area with permeable materials; constructing a pedestrian bridge over McIntosh Run that will connect the park with nearby businesses, shops and a restaurant; building ADA-accessible public restrooms; and adding a picnic pavilion, arbor, benches, trees and plants.

Baltimore City will receive $185,000 to replace hazardous playground equipment with that consistent with ADA and National Playground Safety Standards at McKim Park. The project also includes resurfacing the basketball court, repairing court fences, removing unused asphalt pavement and planting grass and trees.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,237 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, totaling more than $338 million through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.

Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the State to preserve 364,102 acres for open space and recreation areas. Of this, 43,097 acres nearly 12 percent ─ has been preserved within the past 6.5 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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