Executive Summary – Recreation and Park

At the request of Mayor Martin O’Malley, the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Presidents’ Roundtable were asked to review the operations of the City of Baltimore’s Department of Recreation and Parks. The Recreation and Parks project team was co-chaired by J. Scott Wilfong, President, SunTrust Bank, Maryland and Kenneth R. Banks, President, Banks Contracting Company. The project team was divided into three subcommittees: Recreation, Parks, and Departmental Administration. As part of the review process, members of the project team met with the Department’s current management team and select staff members, representatives from the Mayor’s Office and Department of Public Works, key stakeholders from the local non-profit community, and recreation and parks officials from neighboring jurisdictions. Additionally, site visits were taken to many of the Department’s facilities.The efforts of the project team and its three subcommittees were primarily focused on assessing the Department’s efficiency, the quality of its programming, and its revenue generating capabilities. The prevailing assumption is that the City’s ability to increase the Department’s funding is limited, and that innovative and entrepreneurial approaches are needed to address long-standing operational and financial challenges.

The project team’s recommendations can be encapsulated within the following five overarching themes. These themes form the basis for a series of recommendations that create a framework for the delivery of world-class recreational and park services to the citizens of Baltimore:

Introduction: Department of Recreation and Parks
Invigorated Leadership
Effective and Efficient Service Delivery Mechanisms and Models
Enhanced Revenue Generating Capabilities
Responsive Service Metrics and Resource Allocations
Expanded Volunteerism