Board of Public Works Approves $12.9 Million for Recreation and Land Preservation

May 7, 2024

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Board of Public Works approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources items including more than $12.9 million in grants to local governments and land trusts to preserve and protect land, and provide recreational opportunities for Marylanders.

Program Open Space – Local  provides funding for county and municipal governments for the planning, purchase and development of recreational land or facilities.

A total of $11.98 million in Program Open Space – Local was approved for 8 projects, including a $5.4 million grant for the acquisition of 5.4 acres for a future indoor and outdoor recreation complex.

The facility, located in Anne Arundel County, will be named the Edgewater Community Park – Lee Family Community Center.

“Program Open Space continues to leverage state money with local support for recreation facilities in our communities,” said Hilary Bell, director of land acquisition and planning for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “These projects in turn provide Marylanders with proven health benefits for citizens, protection of open space from development, and investment in our local economies.”

Additional approvals include:

  •  $800,000 from the Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program for renovations to Rosemary Hills – Lyttonsville Local Park in Montgomery County.  The Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Program was funded in FY 2022 and FY 2023 to provide grant funds primarily to local governments for park and recreation projects.
  •   More than $140,000 in Rural Legacy funding was granted to The Conservation Fund for a conservation easement on 47 acres in the Nanticoke Rural Legacy Area in Dorchester County, thereby permanently protecting prime agricultural land which is part of a large block of working lands in the Nanticoke River watershed. The Rural Legacy Program, created in 1997, conserves large working landscapes across 35 locally designated areas throughout Maryland.

All projects funded are listed in the Board of Public Works May 1 meeting agenda. The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor Wes Moore, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman.

Established under the Department of Natural Resources in 1969, Program Open Space (divided into Local and Stateside programs), along with other state land conservation programs, symbolizes Maryland’s long-term commitment to conserving our natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for all citizens.