Trump Signs Landmark Conservation Bill

Today, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. The landmark conservation bill provides $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the roughly $20 billion deferred maintenance backlog for federal lands. Conservation advocates have seen many highs and lows since the bills introduction earlier this year. The President and congressional leadership initially signaled support for the move, but set it aside upon the arrival of the pandemic.…

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Queen Anne’s County Announces Civilian Outreach Group for Parks/Bike Trails

Queen Anne's County Sheriff Gary Hofmann announced a new initiative on Friday for community volunteers to assist the county's Parks and Recreation Ranger Team and Sheriff's Deputies in monitoring the community bike trails and beaches, and offer community outreach to visitors. The announcement was made via QACTV video, which can be found on the county's YouTube page, social media channels, and public access television station. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyibR9oF6wE The civilian volunteers are available to offer advice on…

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Congress Passes Landmark Conservation Bill

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act that would require full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address much of the backlog of deferred maintenance across several federal agencies. Deemed the “biggest federal lands bill in 50 years,” the Great American Outdoors Act would for the first time fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with $900 million annually in fossil fuel revenue. Additionally, the…

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Calvert Parks & Recreation Announces Virtual Activity Center

The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation (CCPR) has launched a virtual activity center to provide residents with a variety of recreation opportunities and information easily accessed from the comfort of home. The activity center features sports and fitness tips, craft and activity tutorials, virtual field trips, local park and animal information, special events, and more. “The virtual activity center allows CCPR to stay connected with local residents by providing health, wellness, education, and…

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U.S. Senate Passes Great American Outdoors Act

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate by a vote of 73-25. The legislation would require full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address much of the backlog of deferred maintenance across several federal agencies. Deemed the "biggest federal lands bill in 50 years," the Great American Outdoors Act would for the first time fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with $900 million annually in fossil fuel…

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St. Mary’s Approves Budget Amendment to Complete Construction of Turf Fields

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a budget amendment to provide additional funding to the Department of Recreation and Parks to complete construction of multisport turf fields at Chancellors Run Regional Park (CRRP), Chaptico, and Lancaster Parks. The additional funding of $92,500 will be used for soil stabilization at CRRP and additional concrete curbing at all three parks. According to a County press release: In his appearance before the Commissioners, Arthur Shepherd, director of…

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Queen Anne’s Cancels Parks & Rec Summer Camp Program

Queen Anne's County announced the cancellation of its summer camp program due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The County's Department of Parks and Recreation, which runs the program, said that the inaccessibility of school buildings and the inability to meet social distancing guidelines make this year's program impossible. “We are disappointed that we need to cancel our summer camp program this year but the safety of our staff and participants is very important…

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Pandemic Underscores Importance of Parks and Open Space Funding

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the value of public parks and demonstrated a need for increased investment to prepare for the future. Local parks and open space have seen large increases in usage during the pandemic as residents seek places to exercise and relief from cabin fever. So many people are crowding parks that local officials have had to take action to discourage crowds and keep visitors safe, even going as far as temporarily removing…

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Hogan Lifts Stay-At-Home Order, Emphasizes Local Flexibility

Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to announce the commencement of Stage One of the "Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery." “The fight against this deadly disease is far from over. But because of the incredible courage you have shown and the extraordinary sacrifices you have made, Maryland and our nation can now at least begin to slowly recover" said Hogan. He announced that Maryland "has achieved the 14-day trend of plateauing and declining…

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Baltimore City Council Bill Would Open More Roads to Pedestrians During Pandemic

Baltimore City Councilmembers have introduced a bill that would close over 25 miles of road during the pandemic and open the space to residents. It has become clear that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, parks are playing an extraordinary role in maintaining open space that residents can utilize for recreation. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt virtually all daily activities, more and more cities are experimenting with temporary road closures to allow even more…

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