Recreational areas in Carroll, Charles and Worcester counties will soon obtain funding through Program Open Space. Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works approved the projects at today’s meeting in Annapolis.

“For nearly eight years, we have made it our continued mission to ensure Maryland families have access to the best possible recreation opportunities,” said Governor O’Malley. “The Program Open Space projects put in place today are just another step toward ensuring every citizen can safely and easily enjoy the great outdoors.”

Charles County will receive $630,000 in federal grant funding to use for the Port Tobacco Park acquisition. The county previously received $305,000 in Program Open Space funds for this project. 

Carroll County will receive $5,850 to replace the existing outdated playground equipment at the Beach Park Tot Lot with play equipment consistent with National Playground Safety Standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Worcester County will receive $17,000 to replace existing structural support columns at John Walter Smith Park with a 24-foot by 48-foot pavilion. The county will also receive $573,389 to develop a 5,000-square-foot addition to the John Walter Smith Recreation Center with a multi-purpose room, fitness room, bathrooms and storage. Worcester Countypreviously received $661,356 in Program Open Space funds for this project.

Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley, the Board of Public Works has approved funding for 1,396 recreational projects totaling nearly $364 million through local-side Program Open Space and the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program since 2007.

Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for the State to preserve 368,001acres for open space and recreation areas. Of this, 46,961 acres has been preserved within the past seven years under the O’Malley-Brown Administration. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space. A video showing the direct benefits of Program Open Space can be viewed here.

The three-member Board of Public Works is comprised 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.