Fun Fact: Which County is the Home of Maryland’s First State Park?

Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County has the distinction of being Maryland’s first state park. April 10-16, 2021 is the first Maryland State Parks Week, so we're celebrating with a fun fact on state parks! By the 1900s, Maryland’s forest reserves were in deplorable condition. Loss of wildlife habitats, erosion, forest fires, and depleting woodland were among the main contributors of the need for forest conservation. As a solution to this growing problem, the…

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2021 End of Session Wrap-Up: Parks & Recreation

This post summarizes the status of various parks and recreation bills that MACo took a position on during the 2021 Regular Session.  County government parks and recreation departments provide a range of public recreation programs for all segments of the population and maintain a large network of open spaces throughout Maryland. MACo's advocacy seeks to support the efforts of county parks and recreations by urging state and federal funding support and defending local determination of…

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Baltimore County to Convert 15-Acre Industrial Site to Public Park

Sparrows Point Park could include a renewable energy powered community center, synthetic turf field, 10,000-square foot playground, and public pier. Baltimore County is poised to create its first new park in more than six years. The Olszewski administration is following through on its early actions working to secure funding and begin planning the project. From the article: “We’ve had more support, more funding and really more interest from [Olszewski’s] administration than we’ve ever had before…

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Program Open Space Popular Among Marylanders

Last week, the Partners for Open Space released the results of a recently conducted poll which found that Program Open Space was exceedingly popular among Maryland residents. The poll questioned Maryland voters who are likely to participate in the November 2022 election. Results indicate that 90 percent of participants approve of Program Open Space, and prefer the State maintain its current funding. Program Open Space has been a historically successful program, providing an immense public benefit…

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Two Allegany Trails Nominated for Best Recreational Trails in North America

The C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage are both one of 20 recreational trails in the country competing to be named one of the top 10 best trails in North America. As we all know, counties are on the frontlines of the pandemic - our parks and recreation departments, especially, have provided welcomed outdoor activity and safe social distancing options for Maryland residents. C&O Canal Towpath, Allegany County, MD The 10Best USA Today website,…

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Proposed Policy to Place More Burden on Park Management

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler yesterday testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition of HB 458 Program Open Space – Local Projects – Visitor Behavior Policies. This bill requires local governments to create a visitor behavior policy for parks and natural resources in order to be eligible for Program Open Space funding. From the MACo Testimony: The creation of a new and prescriptive policy would be burdensome for parks and recreation departments,…

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Ban on Popular Herbicide Would Be a Pest to Local Governments

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler yesterday testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition of HB 472 Agriculture – Use of Glyphosate – Prohibition. This bill would place a ban on the use of the herbicide glyphosate, commonly used to control noxious weeds and invasive species by state and local government. From the MACo Testimony: HB 472, as written, would prohibit the use of glyphosate in the state on or after October 1,…

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MACo Seeks Reasonable Waivers in Invasive/Non-Native Species Law

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified on January 28 before the House Government and Operations Committee to support HB 92 Procurement – Invasive and Nonnative Plant Species – Prohibition on Use of State Funds with amendments. This bill prohibits state funds from being used to buy or plant nonnative species as designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Sanderson urged a "reasonable" waiver process - raising concerns that a last-minute denial of certain…

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MD General Assembly Posts Pre-Filed Bill List

The Maryland General Assembly Senate and House pre-filed bill lists are now available on the General Assembly website. Although the list of pre-file bills are available, there is no bill text at this time. Currently, readers are able to view the bill title, sponsor, and committee assignment. As of today, there are 780 total House and Senate pre-filed bills and resolutions listed on the website. This will be updated to reflect updates on the General…

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Queen Anne’s County Partners with Nonprofit to Build Mountain Bike Trail

Queen Anne's County Parks and Rec will be working with Mid Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) to build a single-track mountain bike trail through Terrapin Park. The Queen Anne's County Commissioners approved the agreement with MORE to build and maintain a mountain bike trail in the southeast quadrant of Terrapin Nature Park at their Dec 8 meeting. The County will provide continued public access to the trails, while MORE will build, maintain, and inspect the trails.…

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