The destination of the black community for decades will become a municipal park
Annapolis, MD—The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved more than $5.2 million to advance the state’s commitment to preserve the legacy of Carr’s Beach as Annapolis’ new public park.
“I was proud to chair the Public Works Board today as we made the decision to help fund the preservation and restoration of an area that has contributed greatly to the rich cultural fabric of Annapolis and the city. ‘State of Maryland,’ Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford said. “My mother and many African Americans visited Carr’s Beach between the 1940s and 1960s for concerts and recreation, and I’m thrilled that we are providing new opportunities for future generations to create lasting memories.”
The land has been identified as part of property once owned by the Carr family and is near Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, popular Chesapeake Bay resorts that served the black community at a time when they was forbidden to use other beaches. Known as “the beach”, Carr’s Beach was home to many prominent black artists from the 1940s through the 1960s, with artists including Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, The Shirelles, Little Richard and Billie Holiday.
The acquisition of the property will be funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources through Open Space Program (POS) funds and local parks and playgrounds infrastructure funds. The state contribution will fund the majority of the land acquisition, along with $3.67 million in grants from POS Stateside, which will complement local POS funds from the City of Annapolis and Anne Anne County. Arundel.
Governor Hogan also pledged $1.2 million in local parks and playground infrastructure funding to the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation for the acquisition.
The city of Annapolis brought in the Maryland Conservation Fund (TCF) to purchase the property on its behalf. Subject to Board of Public Works approval, the Stateside POS Program will hold an easement on the property that will retain ecological attributes and limit the property to passive recreational use, which includes trails, picnic areas and pavilions, as well as additional equipment.
The approved 5.17-acre property is mostly forested and contains over 300 feet of sandy beach with direct waterfront access on the Chesapeake Bay – providing opportunities for walking trails and public water access .