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Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford Tout $75 Million Investment in Maryland State Parks

February 22nd, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan today visited Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro to tout the investment of $75 million in the governor’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget for the Maryland Park Service, which represents a 20-year high. The governor also announced the opening of new state parks in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore this summer. 

The governor was joined for today’s announcement by Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who has now visited 60 of Maryland’s 75 state parks as part of his State Park Bucket List, and Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“Maryland truly is open for business, and so are our state parks,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to sincerely thank the incredible Maryland Park Service staff, the countless volunteers, and all of the camp hosts who work tirelessly every single day to make our state parks one of Maryland’s crown jewels.”

In addition to $75 million for the Maryland Park Service, the governor’s latest budget includes an additional $30 million for the Natural Resources Development Fund and more than $37 million for critical maintenance projects.

The Hogan administration has fully funded Program Open Space for the 5th year in a row, and the FY 2023 budget includes an additional $85 million for local parks and playgrounds infrastructure.

“The State Park Bucket List is not just a fun adventure for me,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “I view this as an opportunity to highlight the natural beauty of our state, and I would like to believe the attention our administration has given to the parks will inspire more folks to enjoy the outdoors and take in hidden gems in their own backyards.”

Maryland’s outdoor recreation economy generates over 100,000 direct jobs and $14 billion in consumer spending. In September, Governor Hogan announced the launch of Maryland's first Office of Outdoor Recreation and dozens of businesses and organizations have already been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors for their efforts to promote outdoor recreation in the state.

Last year, Maryland State Parks hosted over 19 million visitors, and a survey showed that 93% of those visitors rated their experience as excellent or above average