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By Tammy Showalter, Freelance Journalist
With July being National Parks and Recreation month, Calvert County’s Parks and Recreation Director, Shannon Nazzal said it’s another reason to remind the general public to take a stroll, enjoy the outdoors with a walk and take the dogs along as well.
“Even though we’re going through this pandemic, Parks and Recreation is running full-force,” Nazzal said. “We’ve had parks open since the beginning of it and we’re still on the frontlines of still trying to serve the community.”
“Without parks, it not only affects your physical wellbeing but your mental wellbeing. Just to be outside, walk a trail; look at nature, hear nature. They’re huge aspects of mental health and to be able to destress from such a crazy time.”
Nazzal recommended the public stay abreast of the ever-changing information on the county website at www.calvertcountymd.gov. The Parks and Recreation link is accessible via this site.
“We’re going to have a lot of things on our social media page to celebrate the month,” Nazzal said, “and we’re starting to put up some video and contests. That’s [Facebook] the best place to find out information and we’ll be posting any changes as we need to due to the pandemic.”
The Parks and Recreation advisory board is designated by the Calvert County Commissioners and is an ongoing commitment that is currently seeking volunteers. District 1, which is comprised of the Lusby and Port Republic/St. Leonard areas and District 2, which serves Prince Frederick and Huntingtown each have one spot available, according to Nazzal.
The last meeting was held in January, just before the pandemic and the next meeting will be held on July 8 which will be a Zoom meeting that will in fact be open to the public.
“This advisory board is tasked with working together to advise the commissioners on items pertaining to Parks and Recreation,” Nazzal said. “The link to the zoom meeting will be posted on the county’s website prior to July 8, but we haven’t had a meeting since the [Covid-19] pandemic.”
One item on the agenda is the permanent Harriet Elizabeth Brown Community Center project. The center is located on Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.
Brown (1907-2009) was a Calvert County teacher that advocated for equal pay for minority women within the school system, setting precedence and is honored in the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.
Updating the strategic outlook and marketing campaigns going forward is also one of the main items on the agenda that needs to be discussed.
“Due to the pandemic, it [seats] hasn’t been a priority for folks to apply for, and I don’t know how many applications we’ve received, but those will go before the board of the county commissioners to be reviewed for filling those seats,” Nazzal said.
Some exciting news for Calvert County residents is the construction of the Ward Farm Recreation and Nature Park that is under construction in Dunkirk. Three multipurpose fields, parking lots, road improvements, and a new entrance are now underway.
Wild Wednesdays have been a theme for the Facebook page and with Independence day approaching, the United States bird (1782), the Bald Eagle was featured on July 1. Log on to the social media page to take a look.