Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval of 12 Local Park Improvement Projects

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Martin O’Malley this week announced Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of $2,083,399 in local-side Program Open Space (POS) funds for improvements at 12 park and recreation facilities in five counties across Maryland.  Land for a new 66-acre community park in Harford County and expansion of two existing community parks in Washington and Harford Counties will be preserved thanks to the state-funded grants.

“Local-side Program Open Space serves to improve and expand community recreation facilities so that children and working families can participate in and watch outdoor sporting games, enjoy leisurely walks, and picnicking in their hometowns,” said Governor O’Malley. “I am proud of the role that the state plays in continuing to improve and expand local outdoor recreation opportunities through Program Open Space grants.”

Funding for the following projects was approved today:

Carroll County will receive $53,190 for three park improvement projects including:

  • A $16,200 grant to construct three dugouts at the Summit Ridge Baseball field in Mount Airy.
  • A $10,800 grant to install a wrought iron fence along the eastern border of Wildwood Park in Mount Airy for public safety and park security.
  • A $26,190 grant to construct handicapped accessible restroom facilities in Watkins Park in Mount Airy. 

Garrett County will receive $405,000 for two high school athletic facility improvement projects including:

  • A $207,000 grant to renovate the team rooms, concession stand and press box used with the track and field, football and soccer fields at Northern High School in Accident.
  • A $198,000 grant to renovate the team rooms and press box used with the football and soccer fields at Southern High School in Oakland.

Harford County will receive $1,031,500 for local park expansion and new playground equipment including:

  • A $714,000 initial grant to partially fund purchase of 66 acres in near Dublin for a new community park.  The new park will protect existing wooded areas, while also offering new athletic fields, picnic pavilions, and a play ground once fully developed.
  • A $60,000 grant for new playground equipment at the Francis Silver Park in Darlington.
  • A $212,500 grant to expand Prospect Mill Park in Bel Air by 4.1+ acres.
  • A $45,000 grant to install a new playground at Riverside Elementary school in Joppa.

Prince George’s County will receive $448,209 for two recreational facility improvement projects including:

  • An additional $375,000 grant to construct a new show ring at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center.
  • A $73,209 grant for a new multi-purpose court, parking areas, and walking paths at Arbory Park in Laurel.

Washington County will receive a $145,500 grant to expand Veterans Park in Smithburg by 2.5+ acres for new athletic sports fields.

Since January 2007, Governor O’Malley and the BPW have preserved more than 1,953 acres of natural areas for public recreation, and watershed and wildlife protection in 61 public parks across the state.  Since its inception in 1969, Program Open Space has funded preservation of 322,772+ acres across Maryland. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of a project funded through Program Open Space.

Chaired by Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works is also comprised of 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.