ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Howard County Recreation & Parks (HCRP) and the Recreation & Parks Advisory Board seek public input as the County prepares its 2022 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). Produced every five years, this comprehensive plan guides HCRP on key issues, trends and plans for managing and enhancing its preserved public lands, facilities and programs. The LPPRP is the first step in receiving Program Open Space grants, which have funded many of Howard County’s largest and most popular parks, including the recently opened ‘Play-for-All’ playground at Blandair Park.
Our county strives to provide the best parks, facilities and recreation opportunities for everyone in our community. This five-year plan is vital to establishing and preserving green spaces and ensuring that our county has many places for residents of all ages and abilities to enjoy the outdoors. Since the last plan was developed, we have opened a new play-for-all playground, created pickleball and bocce courts, built a new cricket pitch, improved miles of public pathways and are renovating the Harriett Tubman School to be a new cultural center. In this time, we have also acquired land and easements to preserve farms, extend greenways, expand existing parks and construct new ones too.
During its monthly Recreation & Parks Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday, September 22nd, the County’s consultant, Agency Landscape + Planning, will present its strategy and progress in developing the County’s 2022 LPPRP. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the plan and provide input on their personal experiences and needs as it relates to HCRP’s programs and facilities. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will take place at the Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, located at 5001 Meadowbrook Lane in Ellicott City. Those unable to attend the meeting, can email questions and comments to the Advisory Board at [email protected] by no later than 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 21st.
Many of our parks were made possible through Program Open Space grants. To be eligible for these grants, the County must maintain an up-to-date Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. If you live in Howard County, we encourage you to participate in upcoming meetings and provide the consultants with information on what you currently enjoy about the Department’s parks and programs as well as what future improvements you would like to see. With your help, this updated plan will guide us in developing first rate parks, facilities and recreational opportunities.
Producing an LPPRP is a prerequisite for Howard County’s participation in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space, which provides grants for the acquisition of land for conservation and park purposes, as well as for the development of public recreation facilities. In Fiscal Year 2021, the County added 30 acres of land through the program and in total, manages 2,646 acres of land purchased with Program Open Space funding. Many of Howard County’s largest and most popular parks were developed with the support of these grants; the recently opened Phase 3 area of Blandair Regional Park serves as the latest example.
In addition to the September 22nd meeting, HCRP will host additional in-person and virtual public engagement opportunities before the end of the calendar year to gather public input and provide updates on the plan. For details about these opportunities, please stay tuned to the Recreation & Parks Advisory Board website.
HCRP’s draft 2022 LPPRP is due to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Maryland Department of Planning by December 31, 2021. To learn more about the LPPRP and/or to view Howard County’s 2017 plan, visit DNR’s "Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation (LPPRP) Plans" website.