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October 17, 2013

DNR Awarded $541,500 for Rocky Gap State Park Accessibility Improvements

by Martha
Fred Cowell, Chairperson, DNR Disability Advisory Council

Fred Cowell, Chairperson, DNR Disability Advisory Council

The Maryland Department of Disabilities, through its Access Maryland Program, has awarded the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) $541,500 to create more accessible campsites and pathways at Rocky Gap State Park.

“I am extremely pleased that the State has authorized the funding for much-needed accessibility improvements to Rocky Gap State Park,” said Fred Cowell, DNR Disabilities Advisory Council chairperson. “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements will make the park more enjoyable for visitors with disabilities, as well as their friends and families.”

Funding will be used to:

  • repave and expand nine loops of pathways to connect accessible cabins, campsites and shower buildings;
  • improve accessibility within the amphitheatre seating area;
  • repave and improve curb-cuts and pathways;
  • increase accessible parking spaces within existing parking lots; and
  • add accessible features to four cabin facilities.    

The design phase will begin shortly, with the entire project scheduled for completion by the end of

2014. Rocky Gap State Park was chosen to receive assistance following an evaluation conducted through the DNR Transition Plan, which continually assesses the department’s public lands, facilities and services. Park Manager Mary Ironside and her staff, and DNR Engineering and Construction Western Regional Engineer, Michele Hurt, were fundamental in getting the project funded through their hard work and technical expertise.

To comply with federal law, Maryland requires that all programs, activities and services of State and local governments be accessible to people with disabilities. Including the Rocky Gap grant, the program provided a total of $1.6 million to nine different State-owned facilities and properties for accessibility improvements during Fiscal Year 2014.

The funding for Rocky Gap state Park ADA-upgrades was made possible through the joint efforts of DNR Office of Fair Practices, Disabilities Advisory Council, and Engineering and Construction units; and the Maryland Department of Disabilities Access Maryland program. For more information on this or other ADA projects, contact Richard W. Allen of DNR’s Office of Fair Practices at 410-260-8058.

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