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State Approves Recreation Enhancements in Garrett, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

More than 1,300 local Program Open Space projects have been funded under O’Malley-Brown Administration

Maryland families will continue to benefit from Maryland’s signature Program Open Space with this week’s Board of Public Works’ approval of funding for recreational upgrades in Garrett, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

“From playgrounds and ball fields to trail access and community gardens, Program Opens Space allows us to create and improve upon opportunities for children and families to enjoy the outdoors safely and close to home,” said Governor O’Malley. “In fact, we enjoy the remarkable distinction of having facilities funded by the program within 15 minutes of every Maryland community.”

In Garrett County, Friendsville will receive $40,000 to develop a new parking area for recreational hikers, bikers and boaters. The project will allow easy access to the Youghiogheny River and nearby trails, and alleviate parking issues along Maryland Route 742. Grantsville will receive $12,568 to improve the existing restrooms at the 14-acre Grantsville Town Park. Oakland will receive $3,000 to install an outdoor bocce court adjacent to the Oakland Armory/Community Center; this facility is currently used extensively by groups, individuals, organizations and Garrett College students for basketball practice, soccer games and other activities.

Montgomery County will receive $50,000 for a park usage study to assess needs for athletic fields, dog parks, community open space, skate parks and community gardens. The data will be used to comply with the county’s 2012 Land Preservation and Recreation Plan.

In Prince George’s County, Bowie will receive $79,222 to replace Allen Pond Park’s 25+ year old lighting system.  In addition to providing lighting for the basketball courts and skate park, the new system will be energy efficient and minimize light pollution.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,333 recreational projects, including Community Parks & Playgrounds, through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.  Today, most Marylanders live within 15 minutes of one of 6,100 recreational areas funded by the program since 1969. Over the past 45 years, the program has also funded acquisition of 366,402 acres of land for public use, nearly 12 percent of which have been have been protected under the O’Malley-Brown Administration. 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.