MACo: Program Open Space Decisions Should Remain Local

On January 25, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in opposition to SB 56 - Program Open Space - Local Plans and Programs - General Assembly Approval. This bill would require the General Assembly to approve county Program Open Space plans every year. From the MACo testimony: Historically, the General Assembly has also played an important role with the success of Program Open Space. Legislation has…

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Nominations Open for Maryland Preservation Awards

The Maryland Historical Trust has begun accepting nominations for the 2022 Maryland Preservation Awards.  Since 1975 the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Historical Trust has presented the Maryland Preservation Awards. These awards are the highest level of recognition for historic preservation, heritage education, and community development projects in Maryland. The awards honor and celebrate significant achievements by individuals, businesses, contractors, non-profit organizations, local governments, and others who protect, promote, share, and give continued life…

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Jan 12 and 24, Feb 1: “Kids Day Out” in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Recreation (MCR) has designated three upcoming days for its "Kids Day Out" program to keep children active when Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has scheduled days off. "Kids Day Out," a partnership with MCPS, provides out-of-school supervised recreation program on days that the county public schools system are closed to students. The program emphasizes health, physical fitness, imagination and fun. According to a county press release: “Kids Day Out” will offer full-day programming from 8:30 a.m. -4…

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Blue Ribbon Panel: State Parks Should Expand Capacity, Advance Equity

The State Park Investment Commission's final report outlines 40 recommendations to enhance capacity and equity. Their far-reaching suggestions encompass capital and operating funding, substantial staffing enhancements, and local government coordination. Background In response to the pandemic, attendance at Maryland's state parks swelled. Families were seeking a safe refuge that offered a chance to leave their living rooms and a change of scenery. Demand for public spaces surged, causing many state parks to limit access --…

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Baltimore City to Invest $35M into Fiber Broadband

Mayor Brandon Scott announced that the City of Baltimore would invest $35 million of ARPA funds into bringing fiber broadband to 23 recreation centers.  Yesterday Mayor Brandon Scott announced a $35 million investment, using ARPA funds, in bringing fiber broadband to 23 of the city's recreation centers. The first $6 million will be used to dramatically expand public internet access, expanding City fiber to the remaining 23 recreation centers not already on the city's network…

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12 County Sites Get $1M in African American Heritage Preservation Grants

Governor Hogan recently announced that several nonprofits in Maryland will be receiving $1 million in African American Heritage Preservation Grants. Governor Hogan announced yesterday that 12 Maryland nonprofits were recently awarded nearly $1 million in funds by the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) and the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT). These grants offer assistance to organizations and private citizens in their sponsorship of projects involving the acquisition, construction, or improvement of sites…

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Calvert Announces Free WiFi at Community Center

Calvert County recently announced the availability of free wifi at select community centers.  Citing the impact of Covid-19 and the importance of broadband, Calvert County’s Department of Parks & Recreation recently announced that several of its community centers will now have free wifi. According to the county’s newsletter: The Department of Parks & Recreation announces that free Wi-Fi is now available at Mt. Hope, Harriet E. Brown, Northeast and Southern community centers. Given the impact…

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Parks Pose Possible Solution to Gun Violence

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott pilots use of the city parks department to help end gun violence impacting the youth.  Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott was elected in part because of his promise to end gun violence. In the Summer of 2021, the city's Recreation and Parks Department was able to pilot two programs aimed at keeping kids safe and engaged until the school year resumed in the fall. The first program was called Adolescent…

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Baltimore County Hosts Parks Town Hall

Baltimore County's Department of Recreation and Parks will be hosting a virtual town hall on November 18th at 6p to discuss their Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan.  As part of Baltimore County's Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan (LPPRP); the Department of Recreation and Parks recently announced a town hall for residents to learn more about LPPRP and provide public input. https://twitter.com/BaltCoGov/status/1455188336335859717 According to Baltimore County: The Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP)…

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New Tech for Parks and Rec: Rebooting Public Spaces

The advancements of technology have impacted every facet of our lives. Many institutions that we have grown up with are evolving to meet the realities of the twenty-first century. As demand and expectations on community spaces increases, parks departments from around the state have been developing what the future of local parks may look like. At the MACo Winter Conference session, “New Tech for Parks and Rec: Rebooting Public Spaces” an expert panel will discuss…

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