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City rec and parks to receive $41 million in federal stimulus money

Greenmount Recreation Center (1974), 2304 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218
Baltimore Heritage/Flickr
Baltimore's Greenmount Recreation Center. On Monday, Mayor Brandon Scott announced $41 million in ARPA funding for Recreation and Parks.

Baltimore City’s Recreation and Parks Department will receive $41 million in federal stimulus money for rec center maintenance and upgrades, public pools and playgrounds, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday.

The Democrat will draw the money from Baltimore’s $641 million American Rescue Plan Act stimulus. He will allocate approximately $10 million for public pools at Coldstream, Central Rosemont, McAbee Great Model, O’Donnell Heights and Towanda. About $20 million will go toward rec center improvements, while $5 million will go toward upgrades at about 20 playgrounds. Another $1 million will go toward trails and $2.2 million will go toward athletic fields and courts.

The investment will bolster young Baltimoreans’ outcomes by bolstering their access to clean, green, community-oriented spaces, Scott said at a news conference at the Curtis Bay Recreation Center.

“This is us putting our money where our mouth is by providing them with safe, up to date spaces where they can develop their skills for life, exercise and grow their productivity,” he said.

Rec and Parks executive director Reggie Moore said that city youth have sought even more solace at rec centers during the pandemic, as schools went remote and parents struggled financially. The agency reopened three previously shuttered rec centers – Bocek, Hilton and Towanda – during the pandemic.

“Simply, we just want to continue to make sure our parks and green spaces are open so that people can continue to visit,” he said. “We cannot wait until we get our first shovel in the ground, which I hope will be real soon.”