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Baltimore County Now

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Leaders in Conservation

Baltimore County has once again been recognized on a national level for its excellence in promoting the benefits of trees for communities. This afternoon, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz accepted the Tree City USA Award on behalf of Baltimore County.

This is the twelfth year that the County received this notable designation by the national Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Arbor Day in Baltimore County

“We’re proud that we are leaders in the state when it comes to to the conservation, health, reforestation and stewardship of the County’s trees and forests, and we are grateful for the recognition that comes with being named a Tree City USA,” said Kamenetz.

Dozens of environmental leaders attended the announcement, held at the County’s Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park. At the event, the County Executive also proclaimed April 24 as Arbor Day in Baltimore County, which corresponds with the national Arbor Day date.

The County Executive marked the occasion by planting a tree at the County’s agricultural center, the site of a successful reforestation project that is a model for current projects funded through the stormwater remediation fee.


A Flagship Site for Heritage Tourism

Today, at Hampton National Historic Site, located at 535 Hampton Lane in Towson, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined County Councilman David Marks, National Park Service Deputy Regional Director Gay Vietzke, National Park Service Superintendent Tina Cappetta and other VIPs to officially open the new $2 million visitor contact station.

The 2,400 square foot visitor contact station will provide orientation to the visiting public about the park and surrounding historic sites in Baltimore County. The project was supported with funds from the federal SAFETEA-LU grant program and matched with funds from Baltimore County Government and Historic Hampton, Inc. (HHI).

Grand Opening

The grand opening, planned during National Park Week (April 19 to 25), also celebrated the completion of a 4,400 square foot collection storage building, a new entrance road and a new parking lot. Collectively, the four major projects represented a capital investment of federal, state, local and non-profit funds totaling over $6.5 million.

“Hampton is the only national historic site in our County, and as such is the flagship site for heritage tourism in our community,” said Kamenetz. “Once the largest house in the United States, the Hampton Mansion provides visitors with an insight into the lives of the early Americans who lived here, ranging from slaves to industrial and agricultural workers to the former owners of these lands. This treasure has survived to this day as a National Historic Site thanks to the hard work and dedication of many, including some people standing here today.”

More Information

All events at Hampton are free and open to the public. Call 410-823-1309 extension 251, or visit www.nps.gov/hamp for more information.


ophoto of group canoe tripMichael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Park

When someone asks us about the “value” of volunteers over in Recreation and Parks, we have to respond in a couple of ways - about a gazillion dollars-worth and immeasurable! The truth of the matter is, we couldn’t run our department without our incredible and indispensable volunteers.

Now, don’t get us wrong.  Without our incomparable professional/paid staff, there’d be no Baltimore County Recreation and Parks. While professional staff facilitates and provides guidance, it is our volunteers who do most of the programming, staff individual programs, and handle a myriad of details that allow the 46 Recreation and Nature Councils to run so successfully throughout our beautiful county.  It really does take a team to make these programs and sites run – professional staff and volunteers.

Now, here’s a number that will knock your socks off… more than 23,000. That’s approximately how many volunteers we currently have running the councils, coaching athletics, assisting therapeutic programs, keeping time at a game, offering dancers and artists that ever important outlet to hone and share their skills, coordinating leagues, chairing programs, raising funds, overseeing gardens, keeping score, leading hikes and more. The list of volunteer jobs just keeps going and growing. 

So, who are our volunteers?  Your neighbors, your friends, that college kid down the street. Our volunteers are people like Frank “Skip” Hammond, a ten plus year volunteer who is President of the Edgemere-Sparrows Point Recreation Council.  Mr. Hammond sums up the volunteer experience with his comment, “being a recreation council volunteer is well worth the time and effort because you are able to see the positive changes in the community youth from their involvement in the programs your Rec Council provides.  It is not about your Rec achievements, your Rec titles or awards, it always first and foremost about providing the best and most diverse opportunities for the kids.”

What do our volunteers all have in common?  They are there for the program participants and they work to make a difference.  They want to help youngsters develop through recreation, have fun, and they demonstrate the importance of giving back to the community. 

You can’t pay enough to get folks like our volunteers.  It is out of the kindness of their hearts, their willingness to make that difference. They seek out opportunities to build a smile, teach a skill and share the joys of developing community through recreation   – that’s what our volunteers are all about!

So, we ask the question again…Who are our volunteers?  Could it be you?  The following is a link to all the recreation offices throughout the county.  You’re almost certain to find something near your home or office in our county. Just visit our Recreation and Parks Volunteer page. 

Just something to think about – 23,000, plus YOU.  How’s it feel to know you can make a difference?!


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