ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today broke ground on Phase One of the County’s Centennial Park West improvement project, which includes converting three existing grass baseball diamonds (Fields #3, #4 and #5) into three artificial turf baseball fields. Ball also announced the West area’s ballfields have been named the “Liz Bobo Fields,” paying homage to this local and state trailblazing leader. Ball was joined by The Honorable Elizabeth “Liz” Bobo and Department of Recreation & Parks Director Nick Mooneyhan for today’s event. Photos from the event can be found here

Howard County is known for its exceptional parks and engaging recreational programs. In all that we do, we strive to ensure that we are providing all who live, work and play here the best and most welcoming facilities, and these upgrades will allow us to do just that. With these changes, it is an honor that we can recognize County Executive Liz Bobo for all that she has done for our county and state. I am so thankful for her partnership and support throughout the years, and to all who made these improvements possible.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

In addition to converting the three grass baseball fields to artificial turf, Field #5 will also encompass a multi-use sports field. These artificial turf fields will enable their use year-round. Phase One also includes replacing the ballfield lights with state-of-art LED lighting and weather permitting, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2025.

Funding for Phase One includes $1.5 million in County spending from Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025, as well as more than $9 million from state grants in recent years.

“These new artificial turf ballfields provide Howard County with another great location to host a wide range of activities from little league games to national sports tournaments,” said Mooneyhan. “These improvements continue to advance our beautiful parks – making them a destination for residents and visitors alike.” 

In 1986, Bobo became Howard County’s first female County Executive. Her election also marked the first time a woman had attained the position in the entire state. Prior to becoming County Executive, Bobo served as a member of the Howard County Council. She was appointed to the seat in 1977 to fill a vacancy and won the seat the following year, serving in the position for eight years. During this time, Bobo was instrumental in the creation of Centennial Park. 

Centennial Lake is such a beautiful place. My husband, Lloyd and I, take walks around it. We need to realize just how blessed we are to live in a place like this. Not many people get to live in a place as wonderful as this is.

The Honorable Liz Bobo

Recreation & Parks is also currently renovating the restroom area located at the entrance of Liz Bobo Fields, which includes the addition of a family restroom with an adult changing station. The West area playground is also being replaced with a new version that will include accessible elements and is expected to be completed by summer 2025. Additionally, Recreation & Parks continues to make ADA improvements to its walkways and parking lots throughout Centennial Park. 

Phase Two of the improvement project includes converting the West area’s two sports fields into one artificial turf multipurpose field, replacing the current field lighting and constructing a new parking area between the multipurpose field and Liz Bobo Fields.

About Centennial Park:

Centennial Park was established with a vision to create an environment where anyone and everyone could visit to play, hike, boat and come together as a community. Visitors to Centennial Park can enjoy walking, running or biking on a 2.6-mile paved pathway, boating or fishing on a 54-acre man-made lake, and playing recreational volleyball, basketball, tennis, racquetball and baseball/softball in designated areas throughout the park.

For more information on Centennial Park, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/recreation-parks/parks.

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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