News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O’Malley Announces BPW Approval Of Land Acquisition And Recreational Projects In Six Counties

Annapolis, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of land acquisition and recreational projects in Anne Arundel, Charles, Dorchester, Montgomery, Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties through Program Open Space funding.

“These projects are important for all Marylanders,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “They ensure that there is a safe, fun recreational facility or open space close to home so families can more easily enjoy the exciting outdoor opportunities in our State.”

Today the Board of Public Works approved funding for the following local-side Program Open Space projects:

  • Anne Arundel County will receive $494,500 for the following acquisition projects:
    • $280,500 to acquire nine acres of land to be part of the Magothy River Greenway and to connect Fort Smallwood State Park to Weinberg Park, located on Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena, to create a 347-acre waterfront park that will enhance recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors, and
    • $214,000 to acquire .5 acres of waterfront property on the Rhode River to expand the existing Carrs Wharf Park waterfront access area in Edgewater, providing additional parking for fishermen, crabbers and cartop boaters and greatly enhancing the use of this facility for Bay access.

  • Charles County will receive $639,200 to construct a multi-use recreation center in La Plata to serve as a central location for county-wide recreation programs and sports league associations. The facility will include activity areas and classrooms and house the newly merged Parks and Recreation Department to provide county residents easy access to registration opportunities for these programs.
  • Dorchester County will receive $63,000 to prepare a park master plan for the 10-acre Christ Rock Park in Cambridge and begin development of planned park renovations, which is expected to include upgraded parking, a football/lacrosse field, and other multi-use areas.

  • Montgomery County will receive:
    • $36,000 for park improvements at Cambria Park in the Town of Garrett Park, including the construction of a new pedestrian walkway through the park, improved park drainage and expansion of the ball field through site grading and seeding of approximately one-fourth of an acre.

    • $1.3 million to acquire 17,561 feet (0.4 acre) of land as an addition to the existing Fenton Street Urban Park located in Silver Spring, which is currently used as passive open space but ultimately will develop recreational facilities such as rock climbing walls, fitness facilities, a skate park and other facilities that will be determined through a planning process which will include public participation,

    • $300,000 for the City of Rockville to add two fitness rooms to the existing Rockville Swim Center – one 1,500 sq.ft. meeting room and classroom and a fully equipped 2,500 sq. ft. fitness center – as well as new bathroom facilities, storage space and a reconfigured reception and lobby area

    • $1.8 million for the City of Rockville to construct the 18,000 sq. ft. Thomas Farm Community Center in the Fallsgrove neighborhood, located at the intersection of West Montgomery Avenue and Fallsgrove Drive, which will include a substantial lobby/gallery area, a 5,700 sq. ft. multi-purpose gymnasium, fitness center, and two multi-purpose rooms, a game room, kitchenette, and offices.

  • Prince George’s County will receive:
    • The City of Laurel will receive $380,000 to acquire two acres adjacent to the Greenview Drive Park – which includes an outdoor pool, three tennis courts, half basketball court and green space - expanding the total park size to 4.1 acres and increasing recreational opportunities for the eastern communities of the City.

    • The City of Greenbelt will receive $200,000 to complete Phase I facility upgrades to the Greenbelt Aquatic and Fitness Center, which include replacement of major mechanical equipment required to regulate indoor pool water and air temperature and relative humidity in the facility.

  • In Baltimore County, the BPW approved $1.1 million through state-side Program Open Space funding for the acquisition of 90 acres of an undeveloped portion of the Oldfields School property. The acquisition will preserve forested slopes, provide increased recreational access, protect the viewshed from the NCR-Torrey Brown Trail, maintain water quality in the stream, and provide a diverse habitat on the rocky slopes. The NCR-Torrey Brown Rail Trail connects to the Gunpowder Falls State Park.

    Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the BPW preserved more than 23,536 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 344,579 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 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.

       July 22, 2009

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

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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