Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $1.2 Million in Program Open Space Funds for Maryland Counties
Funds go to park development and facility renovation
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Emphasizing the benefits of recreational activities, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $1,210,193 in Program Open Space funds for projects in Allegany, Carroll, Howard, and Prince George’s Counties.
The Board is composed of Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
“Regularly engaging in physical recreational activities has a value that cannot be emphasized enough,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Today’s approvals support a variety of park and recreational facilities in city, suburban, and rural communities.”
A total allocation of $1,210,193 will fund five projects in four counties.
- Allegany County: The Board approved $2,295 to replace the roofs on three storage buildings at LaVale District Park. The buildings are 25 years old.
- Carroll County: The Board approved $221,050 to develop Gillis Falls Park, a 1,200-acre site owned by the county. This new regional park will become an additional recreational facility for residents in southern Carroll County and the Mount Airy area. The primary attraction will be an 18-mile trail system for horseback riding, hiking, and biking. The project calls for incorporating existing access roads and equestrian paths into the trail system when possible, building several bridges, and surfacing the trails with stone dust and gravel, asphalt, or natural materials, according to the expected use. The county will also construct a main road system with a parking area and three auxiliary parking areas.
- Howard County: The Board approved $534,114 as a fifth installment towards the development of Western Regional Park. The park, situated at Carrs Mill Road and Route 97 near Glenwood, encompasses 160 acres. When all phases of this $14 million project are completed, facilities will include athletic fields and courts, a roller-hockey pavilion, picnic areas, pathways, an equestrian trail, playgrounds, restrooms, concession and maintenance buildings, roads, and parking areas. Wetlands, steep slopes, forests, and wildlife habitats will be protected. This is the only regional park in the western half of the county.
- Prince George’s County: The Board approved $130,734 to construct the third phase of the hiker and biker trail in the city of College Park. This phase is an eight-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian trail running for half a mile from Calvert Road to Albion Road. The trail is located within the Rhode Island Avenue right-of-way once used by a streetcar line. The plan includes landscaping, building a plaza with planters at Calvert Road to serve as a gateway to the Calvert Hills neighborhood, and installing trash receptacles, benches, signs, curbs, and gutters. When complete, the entire trail will run three miles.
- Prince George’s County: The Board approved $322,000 to renovate the Allentown Aquatics and Fitness Center in Fort Washington, a facility that serves the southern third of the county. Renovation will improve safety and usability and bring the outdoor swimming pool into compliance with building codes and ADA requirements. The project includes demolishing the concrete deck surrounding the pool, constructing a new deck with drains, and designing and constructing a new water playground.