Open Space grants to aid Field 7 1/2 project

Wicomico County was recently granted funds through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space for projects at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex and Schumaker Park.

Program Open Space provides financial and technical assistance to local subdivisions for the planning, acquisition and/or development of recreation land or open space areas.

The Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex received a $495,000 grant. Approximately $300,000 will go towards the development of Project 7 ½, which is designed to provide individuals with physical or mental disabilities the opportunity to play the sport of baseball. This project includes the construction of sidewalks, dugouts, fencing, parking, bleachers and other amenities.

Officials expect the initial buildout of Field 7 ½ to be completed in spring 2020.

Remaining funds will be used to continue rehabilitation efforts at fields one through four at the complex, including expanding the dugouts and replacing field dirt to improve playability and drainage. New bleachers will also be installed on field one. These repairs will be phased in over the next two years. 

Schumaker Park received $67,950 through Program Open Space. These funds will be used for Phase II repairs to the parking lot, which has been damaged by erosion and tree roots. Car stops and curbing will also be restored in the lot. The overall project will increase handicapped access to and from the parking areas.

Expected completion for the Schumaker parking lot project is spring 2020.

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