ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Crouse Park Visitor & Heritage Center. Stalled for 14 years but now set to open in the fall of 2017, the center will support the tourism industry and economy in Caroline County–the only county currently without a visitors center. He was joined by Denton Mayor Abigale McNinch, state and local elected officials, cabinet secretaries, and Caroline County residents, business owners, and tourism partners.

“No project should ever take 14 years, and that’s why our administration worked tirelessly with the town of Denton and their state delegation to finally break ground on the Crouse Park Visitor & Heritage Center,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition to supporting tourism in Denton and Caroline County, this center will be a boon for the local economy, and I look forward to seeing it open for business next year.”

When completed, this 2,500-square-foot center will boost the local economy and tourism industry. It will be the northern gateway to the Harriet Tubman National Scenic Byway as well as part of the Michener’s Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway. It will also serve as an educational center, with exhibits featuring Native American history, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the Chesapeake Bay.

“The town of Denton is grateful for Governor Hogan’s previous visits and decision to make the Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center a priority,” said Abigale McNinch, mayor of Denton. “This project laid dormant for many years until Governor Hogan and Secretary Rahn stepped in to move it forward. We are here today breaking ground on the fully funded project and look forward to the ribbon cutting this time next year.”

The Center will complement the Wharves at Choptank Crossing project, a larger tourism and arts-oriented revitalization effort in downtown Denton and along the Choptank river. Funding was provided by the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Program, and the Federal Highway Administration.