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Program Open Space Grants: An Overview

What Parks are POS Funded?

Chances are good that your favorite park was funded by Program Open Space (POS).

  • the ball field where your children hit their first home runs in Little League
  • the neighborhood playground where your kids learned to ride their two-wheelers
  • the park or woods where you go when you need to escape
  • those natural places where your children saw their first deer or found a box turtle
  • community park amenities, including:
    playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, boating facilities, swimming pools, fishing sites, hunting areas, forests, golf courses, hiking trails, greenways, wildlife areas, historic sites, formal gardens, and Chesapeake Bay shoreline access
  • How Does Program Open Space Work?

    When a person buys a house or land, a percentage of the State Real Estate transfer tax goes into a special fund for Program Open Space. In this way home buyers help improve the quality of their neighborhoods and the entire state.

    The support of homeowners and landowners in this effort has resulted in the acquisition of more than 334,000 acres of open space for state parks and natural resource areas and more than 46,000 acres of local park land.

    Program Open Space has...

  • Protected 380,000* acres of land
  • More than 6,400 grants awarded to local government through Program Open Space Local and Community Parks & Playgrounds
  • Enhanced quality of communities
  • Established Greenways and Green Infrastructure network
  • Provided state, local park or public open space within 15 minutes of most residents
  • *Acreage includes Program Open Space Stateside, Program Open Space Local, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program permanent easements as of September 1, 2015. Updated acreage by program is available at Maryland’s Conservation Lands Reporting Site.

    What are the economic benefits of open space?

  • Program Open Space is good for business and for the overall quality of life in Maryland and its attractive residential communities.
  • Home values tend to increase faster around parks and protected open space than comparable homes in other settings.
  • New businesses prefer to locate in communities with parks and quality environments.
  • Maryland’s forest product industry remains the fifth largest in the state and continues to be the primary employer in western Maryland and the second most important on the Eastern Shore.
  • Tourism is one of Maryland’s top industries. Historical structures, landscapes, parks and forests supported by Program Open Space are essential to the continued growth of this sector of Maryland’s economy.
  • The Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress reported that a city’s quality of life is “more important than purely business-related factors” when it comes to attracting new businesses.
  • Businesses which move to an area because of tax incentives tend to leave as soon as the incentives expire. Businesses drawn to an area because of its quality of life remain long term residents and taxpayers.
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