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Governor Ehrlich Announces BPW Approval of $731,703 in Program Open Space Funds for Carroll, Cecil, and Montgomery Counties
Parks receive funds for improvements, development, and expansion
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Citing his record of supporting county park projects, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. today announced Board of Public Works approval of $731,703 in Program Open Space funds for Carroll, Cecil, and Montgomery Counties.
“As always, I am pleased to support county park projects,” said Governor Ehrlich. “Those funded today will accommodate growing populations, and the Elkton acquisition will also preserve a part of our historical heritage.”
The Board is composed of Governor Ehrlich, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
A total allocation of $731,703 will fund four projects in three counties:
- The Board approved $11,250 to install decorative fencing at the Old Main Line Park in Sykesville. This quarter-acre park has been recently improved by installing a fountain, brick pavers, and park benches. The new fencing will enhance these features and the landscaping. Though small, the park provides needed green space downtown and a welcome place for residents, visitors, and shoppers to rest and relax.
- The Board also approved $7,500 to build a gazebo at Bloomfield Park in Sykesville. At 3.5 acres, the park is the second largest one in town. A pathway and trees have already been installed; extensive additional landscaping and various small recreational improvements are planned. The town is developing Bloomfield Park to serve a growing community. For example, this part of Sykesville has more than 500 new homes.
- The Board approved $52,953 as the third installment in acquiring 20 additional acres to expand Elk Landing Park in the town of Elkton. This acquisition complements an earlier purchase of a 42-acre tract that contains structures important in the history of Cecil County. This site at the convergence of Big and Little Elk Creeks played a key role in colonial shipping and commerce, and its preservation will stimulate local and regional tourism. Now used for agriculture, the land will provide additional open space and access to the creeks for residents, serve as a crucial link in Elkton’s Greenways Plan to parkland to the north, and preserve environmentally sensitive riparian areas. The town intends to request additional installments as funds become available.
The Board approved $660,000 in additional funds to complete the second phase of development of Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park on Skylark Road outside of Clarksburg. The park contains 290 acres. This phase includes two softball fields, an agricultural-themed playground to reflect the history of the area, paved hiking trails, parking lots, an internal access road, storm-water management systems, and landscaping. The amount approved reflects construction costs that were higher than estimated.
DNR’s Program Open Space is a nationally recognized program that provides funding for Maryland’s state and local parks and conservation areas. More than 4,600 county and municipal park and conservation projects have been completed through the program, improving the quality of life for millions of Marylanders.
Since assuming office, the Ehrlich Administration and its partners have invested more than $64 million to protect over 31,000 acres of land to help restore the Bay and its surrounding environment. With nearly one in every five acres permanently protected in Maryland, the state remains a national leader in land preservation.
June 16, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov