CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County will be beginning several new recreational projects in the coming year, according to Director of Parks and Recreation Steve Chandlee, after receiving a $1 million dollar grant through the Department of Natural Resources Local Parks and Playground Infrastructure Grant.

Chandlee proposed four projects to the commissioners that will be completed with this grant that include renovating the duel set of basketball courts at Roundtop Park in Chestertown by repaving one and turning the other court into two pickleball courts, replacing the basketball court lights at Pinckney Park and providing upgraded dugouts at Old Love Point, Route 18, and Batts Neck parks.

In addition to the renovations, Chandlee confirmed that after many requests from the community—specifically the younger community in Queen Anne’s County—they will be able to allocate approximately $500,000 to build a skatepark in the Stevensville area.

In July, Chandlee met with parents and community members during the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting regarding the skatepark, presenting a petition with 1,600 signatures started by a local student Violet Baudean.

Kristin Weed, a mom in Queen Anne’s County and one of the lead organizers for the project, added in her letter to the commissioners that her son Evan taught himself how to skate during the peak of the pandemic. Weed says that for kids like her son who do not participate in organized sports, “Queen Anne’s County does not offer anything for them to do at all.”

On behalf of all the moms that participated in this petition and those who advocated for the park, Weed said, “We are so happy and thrilled that the skate park has been approved and so very proud of our kids for fighting for what they want.”

Chandlee told the commissioners that he hopes to have the skatepark ready by May of 2023.

“This is a perfect example of the youth in the county having an idea and they put a proposal together and presented it to Parks and Recreation, this is showing how to get involved in democracy and your local government. This is excellent,” County Commissioner President Christopher M. Corchiarino said. “ I hope every citizen of any age knows that we are here and accessible, when you have ideas, it can happen.”

In a later update, Chandlee announced that the second bidding period to renovate the front nine greens of the Blue Heron Golf Course has ended and has decided to move forward with the bid for $644,858.47 from McDonald and Sons.

Back at the beginning of August, the Commissioners decided to extend the bidding period another month after only receiving one bid. County Administrator Todd Mohn said that the County solicited several other competitions but they did not respond “for a variety of reasons.”

Due to those circumstances, the county will move forward with the McDonald and Sons bid and will remain on track for the spring 2023 construction start date and July 2023 reopening date.