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Board of Public Works Approves $14.8 Million to Preserve Outdoor Space for Marylanders

Program Open Space, Rural Legacy among programs funded

Photo of wooded trail

Oregon Ridge Park in Baltimore County will receive funds for new trails. Photo by Brittini Adams, submitted to the 2018 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Board of Public Works today approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources items including more than $14.8 million in grants to local governments and land trusts to preserve and protect land, and provide recreation opportunities for Marylanders.

“The Moore-Miller administration remains committed that all Marylanders have access to nature and outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “With the support of the Board of Public Works, we continue to partner with land trusts and local communities to expand access to these important natural areas, now and for future generations.”

A total of $11 million in Program Open Space – Local funding was approved for 10 projects. Program Open Space – Local provides funding for county and municipal governments for the planning, purchase and development of recreational land or facilities. Highlights from today’s approval include $4 million for the design and development of trails in Oregon Ridge Park in Baltimore County, and $100,000 for renovations to the concession and changing facilities at the Dorchester County Public Pool.  

Additional approvals included:

  • More than $2 million for Rural Legacy funding to permanently conserve 328 acres in Baltimore, Queen Anne’s, Harford, and Washington counties. Rural Legacy, created in 1997, conserves large working landscapes across 35 locally designated areas throughout Maryland. 
  •  $1.7 million from the Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program to install playgrounds at the Hillcrest Heights Community Center in Prince George’s County.  The Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program was funded in FY 2022 and FY 2023 to provide grant funds primarily to local governments for park and recreation projects.

All projects funded are listed in the Board of Public Works April 17 meeting agenda. The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor Wes Moore (represented in today’s meeting by Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller), Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman. 

Established under the Department of Natural Resources in 1969, Program Open Space (divided into Local and Stateside programs), along with other state land conservation and recreation programs, symbolizes Maryland’s long term commitment to conserving our natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for all citizens.