Carroll County Times

Hampstead, Manchester, Mount Airy, and Sykesville get grant funding for park upgrades

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Four Carroll County municipalities will each receive $138,687 in state grant funding to pay for park improvement projects this year.

In Hampstead, the funds will be used for upgrades to Sugar Maple Park, including the addition of an obstacle course playground and a family picnic area. The park, located on Sugar Maple Street, currently has a tot lot and a basketball court.


In Manchester, athletic field lighting will be upgraded at Christmas Tree Park, located off York Street in the northeastern part of town. Mount Airy’s Summit Ridge Park, a 27-acre park on Buffalo Road, will receive replacement playground equipment.

Sykesville will split its funds between two projects: pedestrian bridge rehabilitation in Millard Cooper Park, at a cost of $90,000, and $48,687 for the rehabilitation of Sykesville Linear Trail, which runs from Obrecht Road to the Patapsco River.


The funds come from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space. The program is funded by state property transfer taxes, collected when a person buys a house or land in the state. The program was designed to directly tie development to funding for open space and recreational facilities.

Each year the county receives funding from Program Open Space and is required to allocate 25% of those funds to its eight municipalities. Jeff Degitz, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks, explained that each year, the county allocates 25% of its Program Open Space funds to four municipalities. Next year, the other four municipalities will split the grant funding.

For fiscal 2023, the total amount of funding to be allocated to the municipalities is $554,750, Degitz said. The county’s Department of Management and Budget determines where the rest of the Program Open Space funding is allocated for fiscal 2023, Degitz said, adding that at least 25% of it must be used for land acquisition.

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners approved the use of fiscal 2023 Program Open Space funds to Hampstead, Manchester, Mount Airy and Sykesville on Thursday, following recommendations from the local chapter of the Maryland Municipal League and the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks.

“Program Open Space is good for the community and benefits our overall quality of life for our residents,” said Commissioner Ed Rothstein, a Republican who represents District 5. “This highlights another great partnership between the county and its municipalities and adds to the appeal of our local parks.”