Gov. Wes Moore (D) announced the release of more than $100 million in grant funds for 15 counties to improve and restore parks and recreation facilities that will help conserve lands and promote outdoor activities across the state.
“Through the preservation of our natural resources and promotion of outdoor recreation, we are also ensuring that Marylanders will enjoy public spaces for generations to come,” Moore said in a written statement.
The grant amounts range, depending on county and the park project. The highest amount will go to Wicomico County at $482,311 for improvements to basketball and tennis courts across several parks in the county and to add additional playground equipment at Adkins Mill Park. On the lower end, Allegany County will receive $28,800 for park improvements at Mt. Pleasant Park in Frostburg.
Other projects receiving funding include expanding a current skate park and creating a new park in Montgomery County, setting up a walking trail in Dorchester County, and placing splash pads in parks located in Charles and Garrett counties, along with other park restoration and improvement projects across the state.
The National Park and Recreation Association says that supporting parks can promote healthy activities, such as biking, hiking, and walking. In addition, exposure to greenery and nature may encourage mental health and reduce stress, the NPRA claims.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz said in a written statement that the program helps ensure that “all Marylanders have access to healthy outdoor recreation and green space.”
The grants come from a couple state programs out of the Department of Natural Resources aiming to improve access to parks.
The Program Open Space local grant program provides $89.2 million to Maryland counties as well as Baltimore City to develop land for recreational uses. Another program managed by the state allots an additional $10 million directly to the city of Baltimore.
The state’s Community Parks and Playground grant funds another $2.5 million to improve and rehabilitate existing parks.
The Monday press release notes that the Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting grant proposals for other park projects to be included in the 2025 state budget.
Here are the parks receiving grant funds announced Monday:
Allegany County: $28,800City of Frostburg Mt. Pleasant Park Improvements
Caroline County: $196,057Town of Goldsboro Railroad Park rehabilitation and construction
Carroll County: $86,450Town of Union Bridge Union Bridge Community Center playground improvements
Cecil County: $141,716Town of North East North East Community Park expansion and improvement
Charles County: $300,000Town of Indian Head Village Green Park splash pad
Dorchester County: $240,217Town of East New Market Friendship Park playground
Town of HurlockProspect Heights Park Improvement
Town of HurlockRailroad Avenue walking trail
Frederick County: $291,092Town of Thurmont Eyler Road Park playground replacement
Garrett County: $88,000Town of Grantsville Town Park splash pad
Town of KitzmillerBotanical Garden Park restroom restoration
Harford County: $150,000City of Havre de Grace Community Pickleball Courts design and construction
Montgomery County: $376,471Town of Garrett Park Yeandle Park creation
Town of PoolesvilleDillingham Skatepark Expansion
Prince George’s County: $113,270Town of Capitol Heights Town Hall Children’s Park splash pad fountain
Somerset County: $98,880Town of Princess Anne Manokin Park improvements
Talbot County: $100,000Town of St. Michaels Perry Cabin Park fencing project
Wicomico County: $482,311City of Fruitland Fruitland Recreational Park Courts
Town of PittsvillePittsville Town Park playground, third phase
Worcester County: $62,644Town of Snow Hill Sturgis and Byrd Park improvements
Editor’s note: DNR Secretary Josh Kurtz is no relation to Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters.