mage_ Rocky Gap State Park with tree on left and beach area with lake to right.  Tree lined mountain in background.
Maryland enjoys a rich and diverse network of parks throughout the state offering citizens an array of outdoor adventures right at their back door.  Earning its nickname, "America in Miniature", Maryland offers its visitors and residents everything from a beach front campsite to sweeping mountain views without leaving state borders.  W ith the assistance of the Maryland Department of Disabilities and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, more people than ever before will soon be able to benefit from the natural assets offered by our state. 
 
The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Disabilities Access Maryland program are continuing to collaborate on a project to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the amenities at Rocky Gap State Park in western Maryland.  The Access Maryland Program brings state owned facilities into compliance with state and federal mandates requiring access for persons with disabilities.  Projects are diverse, spanning from rest room modifications to construction of elevator towers to replacement of door hardware. 
 
The joint project will upgrade facilities at Rocky Gap State Park and improve the accessibility of several key park amenities.  The features proposed for upgrade include adding a number of accessible parking spaces at various locations including the bathhouses, the camper registration building, the Scales and Tales Aviary, the amphitheater, and parking serving Rocky Gap's existing accessible cabins.  The proposal also includes adding a ramp at the camper registration building, adding accessible trails, and improving entry to the accessible cabin space.  Access Maryland granted an award of $541,500 for the project and program professionals are providing some of the needed expertise to bring the facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  

Access Maryland Director, Cari Watrous indicated "The Rocky Gap project will provide much needed improvements to the accessibility of park facilities allowing a greater segment of Marylanders to enjoy the beauty of our western counties.  We continue to change Maryland for the better by ensuring more Marylanders have access to the amenities already available in our state.     
Image: Pavilion at Rocky Gap State Park
I am excited to see this project come to life and provide further enjoyment of the outdoors to state residents and visitors."

Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton noted, "Enhancing public access to our natural resources is a top priority for the state and the department.  This joint project at Rocky Gap State Park demonstrates our firm commitment to that priority as we work to increase accessibility and enjoyment for every Marylander."

For more information on Access Maryland see the Maryland Department of Disabilities website at www.mdod.maryland.gov, email the Director at cari.watrous@maryland.gov, or call 410-767-3660.  
 
The Department of Natural Resources Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator is Richard Allen. He is available to answer questions on accessibility to Maryland's public lands at 410-260-8058. You may also e-mail your questions and comments to rallen@dnr.state.md.us.



Prepared by:
Carrie M. McGraw, PIO
The Maryland Department of Disabilities
217 East Redwood Street, Suite 1300
Baltimore, MD 21202
410.767.3660