This past Friday, the State Park Investment Commission met for the first time over Zoom, kicking off an investigation into questions around state park funding and access.
The Commission is chaired by Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening. Committee members include:
- House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke
- Appropriations Vice Chair Mark Chang
- Delegate Regina T. Boyce
- Delegate Jeff Ghrist
- Senate Capital Budget Chair Craig Zucker
- Senator Sarah Elfreth
- Senator Obie Patterson
- Senator George Edwards
The State Park Investment Commission (SPI) has a mandate to “investigate and make recommendations regarding overcrowding in Maryland State parks.“ Broadly, this includes questions of adequacy of current facilities, public access, funding, staffing, recreation deserts, and the necessity to expand the state’s portfolio of nearly 70 public parks. The SPI defined three priority areas:
- Better maintenance and improvement measures for basic parks and recreation infrastructure;
- Investing in trails and enhancing opportunities for biking and walking; and
- Improving marketing, availability, and accessibility of information about outdoor opportunities online and at public parks and open spaces.
MACPRA and MACo have been called to speak on behalf of local governments at SPI’s next hearing Tuesday, September 22nd at 10am.