South Baltimore Gateway Partnership Announces $6 Million for Local Park Improvements

| July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

South Baltimore Gateway Partnership press release: 

South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP) is excited to announce $6 million of needed investments in neighborhoods across South Baltimore in coordination with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. This will include long-planned, but until now unfunded, improvements to Carroll Park in Pigtown, Florence Cummins Park in Westport, and Solo Gibbs Park in Sharp-Leadenhall. This new spending is possible because casino revenues were higher than expected during the gradual decline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were created to support community-driven change by bringing new resources to the table,” said SBGP Executive Director Brad Rogers. “Now, after years of advocating for park improvements, residents in Pigtown, Westport, and Sharp-Leadenhall will finally see their dreams become reality.”

These new investments will include:

  • Carroll Park Recreation Center. After 20 years of being closed to public use, the Carroll Park Recreation Center will receive $2 million in funding, allowing for a complete overhaul and future reopening.
  • Florence Cummins Park. Approximately $1 million will be spent to implement the Florence Cummins Park Master Plan, which the Westport community worked on for more than a year. The Master Plan was also funded by SBGP.
  • Solo Gibbs Park. Approximately $1 million will be spent to support the Solo Gibbs Master Plan, including new athletic fields.

Other enhancements will be spread across the South Baltimore Gateway District. For example, SBGP will now add field lights to the multi-purpose turf field in Cherry Hill currently being constructed in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. This field is a major element of the $23 million Middle Branch Fitness & Wellness Center, of which SBGP has now invested over $3.5 million. New field lighting will allow for greater use of the recreational space and encourage tournaments and other sporting events that can happen at night. This major enhancement enables Baltimore City youth and communities to benefit from this amenity year-round.

Meanwhile, SBGP funds will also support youth recreational programming across District parks in partnership with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.

“One of the key factors to moving the state of recreation and parks in the City of Baltimore forward is partnership,” said Reginald Moore, Executive Director of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. “We are grateful for the collaboration fostered between us and SBGP that is sure to bring the residents of South Baltimore and surrounding areas the recreation and green spaces they deserve.”

Senator Bill Ferguson, who was instrumental in the formation of SBGP, has also put forth significant efforts towards gaining additional funding for these projects.

“We know that investing in our City’s parks and green spaces is an issue of equity and a vital component to building a better, more livable Baltimore,” said Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson. “The South Baltimore Gateway Partnership was created to fund exactly these types of community-driven projects and today’s announcement brings us one step closer to realizing the potential for Solo Gibbs Park, Carroll Park, and Florence Cummins Park in partnership with the State of Maryland and Baltimore City.”

About the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership

SBGP was established in 2016 to help implement the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan, a sweeping plan to improve neighborhoods near the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, with funding provided by the Local Impact Grants generated by video lottery terminals. Under its Strategic Plan, SBGP works to improve the vitality of its communities by focusing on three crucial elements of the South Baltimore Gateway Master Plan: Community Development and Revitalization, Environmental Sustainability, and Health and Wellness. To achieve the agenda laid out in the Strategic Plan, SBGP has established three interrelated program areas: Community Grants, Enhanced Services, and Transformational Projects. For more information, visit: www.sbgpartnership.org.

SBGP is not an agency of the City of Baltimore or the State of Maryland. It is governed by a Board of Directors comprised primarily of residents of the District and representatives of businesses located in the District.

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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