News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Program Open Space Recreational Projects In Four Counties

Projects Approved For Worcester, Carroll, Charles and Prince George’s Counties

Annapolis, Md. (October 6, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of recreational projects in Carroll, Charles, Prince George’s and Worcester Counties through Program Open Space.

“By providing safe, accessible outdoor places today, we are investing in the future of our children,” said Governor O’Malley. “Ensuring that young people have opportunities to interact with their natural world will instill values of responsibility and awareness in our next generation of stewards of our State’s natural resources.”

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 928 recreational projects (including Community Parks & Playgrounds) through local-side Program Open Space since 2007.

Today the Board of Public Works approved the following projects in Worcester County:

  • $1,200 to replenish the engineered wood fiber safety surface at the existing playground area in John Walter Smith Park to meet current playground safety standards.
  • $118,350 to replace the John Walter Smith Recreation Center building’s roof snow guards that were damaged as a result of winter storms; install safety netting above the dasher wall around the indoor gym field; install ventilation louvers in the storage building addition; install a new outdoor shot put area for track and field meets; and repair cracks in the gymnasium flooring caused by settling of the building since construction.
  • $28,800 to renovate recreation facilities at the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex including the installation of a new baseball dugout floor and an equipment storage shed. In addition, this project will relocate light breakers on the senior league baseball field.
  • $4,050 to replace the roof on the existing Bishopville Park Pavilion. The shingles are in poor condition and moisture penetration is rotting the wooden roof and causing major leaks below.
  • $2,700 to repair the Herring Creek Nature Park’s existing walking/jogging trails and replenish the indigenous clamshells in the parking lot.
  • $1,350 to renovate the existing walking trails at the Isle of Wight Park that run throughout the waterfront nature park. The trails are well worn due to frequent use and create safety issues for park users.
  • $3,105 to replace the existing park sign at Stockton Neighborhood Park with one that is consistent with other County signs making it more recognizable as a County park. The standardized signs are green and white text and are typically 12’ x 4’ in size, which provides them with great visibility and professional representation of Worcester County and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space. The sign will include the park hours and the trash free status of this satellite park.
  • $2,970 to replace the existing playground safety surface at Whaleyville Park with a wood fiber safety surface. The wood fiber product forms a compacted layer that will make the playground area handicapped accessible.

“Recreation is an integral part of our way of life in Worcester County,” said Commission President James C. “Bud” Church. “Program Open Space funding for our park projects helps preserve and protect these vital treasures for residents and visitors both now and in the years to come.”

The Board of Public Works also approved the following local-side Program Open Space projects:

Carroll County – Union Bridge will receive $5,521 to construct a paved trail extension that will be 900 feet long by 5 feet wide in the eastern area of Little Pike Creek Park. The completed trail length will be 3,500 feet.

Charles County will receive $25,000 to contract professional services to prepare the county’s 2011 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. The plan will assist short and long term assessment of open space and recreational needs.

“The Land, Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan is a vital tool in Charles County's overall effort to effectively protect natural resources, preserve agricultural land and provide quality recreation for our residents,” said Tom Roland, Chief of Charles County Parks and Recreation. “It is a necessary process to ensure that the County and State's open space goals are consistent, thereby ensuring a good return on important public investments.”

Prince George’s County – College Park will receive an additional $1,028 to acquire 0.16 acres to create Hollywood Gateway Park, an urban gateway park at the southeast corner of Edgewood Road and Baltimore Avenue (U.S. Route 1). Funds totaling $357,156 were previously approved by the Board of Public Works on the Secretary’s Agenda.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 30,630 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 351,355 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.

The three-member Board of Public Works is composed 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.

   October 6, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

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