From the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:
Carroll, Charles and Harford counties will soon receive funding for recreational enhancements 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 recreation areas afford our children the opportunities to learn, play and grow through outdoor engagement,” said Governor O’Malley.
In Carroll County, Hampstead will receive $29,397 to replace the outdated playground at Sugar Maple Park with equipment that meets standards set by the National Program for Playground Safety and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will also include the installation of a sidewalk, a charcoal grill and two picnic tables.
Charles County will receive $1.26 million to acquire three parcels totaling 220 acres near the abandoned Popes Creek Railroad corridor in Falkner/Newburg. The funding is comprised of $314,775 in Program Open Space local funds and a $944,325 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program. This acquisition will offer opportunities for upland forest and estuarine-related tidal wetlands protection, as well as the development of a trail on the former railroad corridor that extends from Route 301 to the Potomac River shoreline.
Harford County will receive $438,200 in funding to acquire 50 acres in the Whiteford Community for a future regional sports complex.
Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,409 recreational projects, totaling more than $367 million through local-side Program Open Space and the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program since 2007.
Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding to preserve 368,563 acres for open space and recreation areas. Of this, 47,522 acres has been preserved the past seven years under the O’Malley-Brown Administration. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of a Program Open Space-funded area.
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.