Skip Navigation

Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates
Watch the Recording of County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. delivering the Proposed FY25 Budget Message

The overarching goal of the "Reimagine Recreation and Parks" initiative is to modernize the Department of Recreation and Parks by implementing programs and services that are efficient, transparent, equitable, and which seamlessly align with the diverse needs of the community. Read the Recreation and Parks Reimagine Recreation press release.

Over the course of its 74-year history, the Department has faced challenges, including limited direct program offerings and insufficient funding to adequately provide programs and services. Consequently, a significant reliance on the Recreation and Nature Councils emerged, harnessing an impressive volunteer base of 10,000 individuals annually, pivotal for sustaining essential services.

Although the current cost-effective model is commendable, it lacks transparency and equity. In response, the Department is actively pursuing Commission of Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation from the National Recreation and Park Association's CAPRA, to elevate operational standards.

Priority Recommendations

The Department engaged PROS Consulting, an established recreation and parks consultant, to conduct an organizational change assessment. PROS created a Community Assessment Report which outlines 19 recommendations. Four of those 19 recommendations will be implemented first:

  1. The CivicRec online registration platform will be launched, which is a new, one-stop destination for all things related to County recreation facilities, programs and park reservations.

  2. A Permit Process and Priority Access Policy will be implemented, which will prioritize access to fields and facilities for community-based recreation programs for youth, followed by competitive travel, select, club and adult programs.

  3. The Department will work to establish memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with each of the Recreation and Nature Councils.

  4. All staff employed by the Department of Recreation and Parks will work exclusively for the Department of Recreation and Parks.

While the Department hopes to implement some form of each recommendation provided in the report, the actual achievement will depend on available resources, input and collaboration.


  • January 1, 2024: Online registration and permit process launch.
  • June 30, 2024: Transition of program leaders to Recreation and Nature Councils payroll.
  • End of 2024: MOUs established with all Recreation and Nature Councils.
  • Next 30 months: Implementation of additional recommendations.

For Questions

For questions, email

Contact Us

Recreation and Parks

9831 Van Buren Lane
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030


Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.





Bob Smith