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September 4, 2013

Recreational Projects in Anne Arundel, Somerset, Washington and Worcester Counties to See Enhancements

by Martha
Safety signage and an informational kiosk will be added to the Newtown Park mountain bike trail

Safety signage and an informational kiosk will be added to the Newtown Park mountain bike trail

Recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Somerset, Washington and Worcester counties 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 ensures that our community parks continue to provide our children with fun, safe, easily accessible places to play, learn and grow,” said Governor O’Malley. “During these last few weeks of summer I encourage you to visit a local park, enjoy the relaxation and recreation these spaces offer, and experience firsthand the types of projects this initiative supports.”

Anne Arundel County will receive $1,083,000 to acquire 36 acres of land to expand the existing 61-acre Riva Area Park. The larger area will allow for more recreational facilities including athletic fields, picnic areas, paved and natural trails, and possible court games.

Somerset County will receive $9,900 to replace the existing baseball/softball backstop at Glenn Ward Park. The fence is more than 30 years old and has become structurally compromised, posing a safety risk to park users.

Washington County’s city of Hagerstown will receive $26,000 to replace deteriorating merry-go-rounds at Pangborn, Hellane and Staley parks, and Ridge Avenue Playground.

Worcester County will receive:

  • $15,100 to renovate the existing baseball/softball infield and develop a 9-hole frisbee disc golf course at John Walter Smith Recreation Center;
  • $661,356 to develop a 5,000 square foot addition to the John Walter Smith Recreation Center including a multi-purpose room, fitness room, bathrooms and storage areas;
  • $9,000 to develop a boulder climbing wall inside of the John Walter Smith Recreation Center;
  • $1,890 to install 12 picnic tables in the Showell Park pavilion;
  • $8,146 to enhance the current play area at Newtown Park to include a double bay swing set and safety borders; and
  • $2,250 to develop an informational kiosk and safety signage for the Newtown Park mountain bike trail.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,261 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, totaling more than $340 million through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.

Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the State to preserve 364,816 acres for open space and recreation areas. Of this, 43,811 acres ─ nearly 12 percent ─ have 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 the program. 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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