BPW Approves $1,396,300 for Parks and Recreational Projects in So. Md.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Oct. 1, 2008) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced Board of Public Works approval of local Program Open Space projects in 11 counties, enhancing recreational opportunities in communities across Maryland. The tri-county area received a total of $1,396,300.

“Through these grants, funded from a percentage of real estate transfer taxes, we are enhancing the quality of life for Maryland’s working families by improving access to our local parks, increasing opportunities for young people to play outdoors and preserving the natural beauty of landscapes in neighborhoods across our state,” Governor O’Malley said.

The board approved funding for the following projects in southern Maryland:

Calvert County will receive $365,900 for three projects, including $57,960 to construct a scenic overlook in North Beach, providing visitors a pristine view of wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay; $200,000 to develop a playground and picnic areas at Solomons Town Center Park and $107,940 to renovate and expand the Dowell Elementary School playground.

Charles County will receive $605,400 for the acquisition of more than 108 acres for a new community park adjacent to Doncaster State Forest.

St. Mary’s County will receive $425,000 for new equipment and renovations at regional parks in Great Mills and Leonardtown.

Since 2007, Governor O'Malley and the Board of Public Works preserved more than 8,617 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 326,090 acres for open space and recreation areas. The money comes from a percentage of the real estate transfer tax and is used for local and state parks throughout Maryland. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded through Program Open Space.

The three-member Board of Public Works, chaired by Governor O’Malley, is comprised of 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.

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