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Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of New Recreational Opportunities In Anne Arundel County
New Walking Path, Playing Fields Receive Funding Through Local Program Open Space
Annapolis, MD — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of more than $3 million through local Program Open Space to enhance recreational opportunities in Anne Arundel County.
“Through these grants, funded from a percentage of real estate transfer taxes, we are enhancing the quality of life for the county’s working families by improving access to our local parks, increasing opportunities for young people to play outdoors and preserving the natural beauty of landscapes in some of our most amenable neighborhoods,” Governor O’Malley said.
The BPW approved more than $1 million to begin work on an 8-mile walking path that eventually will connect the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad Trail in Arnold with Bay Head Park in the Cape St. Claire area and more than $1.9 million for new synthetic turf playing fields at Fort Meade, Glen Burnie and Severna Park high schools. The county plans eventually to install the low maintenance, cushiony surface at each of the county’s 12 high school stadiums.
“County Executive John R. Leopold extends his appreciation to the Board of Public Works and Program Open Space for providing funding for these important projects through local Program Open Space. We cherish every dollar,” said Kenneth Alban Jr., chief of capital projects for Anne Arundel County’s parks and recreation department.
The many ecological benefits of the safety turf playing surface include its durability, elimination of the need for lawn chemicals, additional user capacity and low maintenance, which over time will offset the cost of construction. Synthetic turf installed on existing fields also reduces the need to acquire land for athletic fields, thereby directing State and local land acquisition dollars to the preservation of sensitive areas within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the Board of Public Works preserved more than 8,617 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 326,090 acres for open space and recreation areas. The money comes from a percentage of the real estate transfer tax and is used for local and state parks throughout Maryland. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded through Program Open Space.
The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is 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.
October 1, 2008
Contact: Wiley Hall
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
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 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 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 12 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.