County Highlights July 2023 as “Parks and Recreation Month”


Category: Parks and Recreation

Council Member, and liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Dave Stepp, presents the proclamation to Director of Parks and Recreation Preston Peper.

During their July 11th meeting, the Talbot County Council proclaimed July “Parks and Recreation Month”. Preston Peper, Director for Department of Parks and Recreation accepted the proclamation.

The proclamation marks the annual nationwide recognition program, established by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), that aims to raise awareness of the essential services that parks and recreational facilities and the professionals in the sector provide to communities across the United States.

According to NRPA’s 2022 Engagement with Parks Report, people place a high value on programs and services that park and recreation agencies deliver to their local communities every day. 84 percent of U.S. adults seek high-quality parks and recreational facilities when choosing a place to live, and 9 out of 10 people agree that parks and recreation are important services provided by their local government.

In Maryland, the Department of Natural Resources established “Program Open Space” in 1969 to symbolize Maryland’s long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities for citizens. Today, more than 6,900 parks and conservation area projects have been assisted through Program Open Space Local Grants.

“Living close to parks and other recreational facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth,” commented Director Peper. “Moreover, parks provide a connection to nature, which studies demonstrate relieves stress, strengthens interpersonal relationships, and improves mental health.”

During the council meeting, Director Peper provided highlights of the efforts that the Department has made over the last 10 years:

  • Two major park projects: Oxford Conservation Park and Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe
  • Continued maintenance and improvements at all 25 county landings
  • Successful Summer Camp program serving 60 children per week
  • Recreational programming has increased to 288 program offerings
  • Revenue has grown from $499,000 to $700,000 with only a small increase in expense
  • Two new facilities: Pickleball Courts (completed in July 2023) and Gymnasium (anticipated to be completed in January 2024), both at the Talbot County Community Center

“Those of us in the field of economic development know how important the Parks and Recreation Department is to the economy, especially during the summer when [the Department] offers the summer programs for children when they are out of school,” said Council Member Keasha Haythe. “These numbers clearly show that there is a return on investment into the Parks and Recreation Department. Thank you for all that you do.”

This year’s Park and Recreation Month theme, “Where Community Grows” highlights the vital role park and recreation professionals play in bringing people together and fostering growth of our community.

All month long, parks and recreation agencies across the nation are recognizing the month with summer programs, events, contests, commemorations, and celebrations. Talbot will celebrate Parks and Recreation Month with a social media campaign that highlights parks across the county, as well as highlighting individual Parks and Recreation employees.

The County encourages community members to share their experiences, stories, and memories about what recreation means to them. Share stories with Talbot County Parks and Recreation on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #WhereCommunityGrows and #ParksAndRecMonth23

For more information on programs and recreational facilities, please contact Parks and Recreation at or 410-770-8050.

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Page last modified Friday, May 3, 2024 11:38:20 AM