Mayor Rawlings-Blake Celebrates Partnership with the Omega Baltimore Foundation to Increase Recreation Opportunities for Residents

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
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James E. Bentley II
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BALTIMORE, MD. (December 5, 2012) – Today Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Councilman Nick Mosby, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks (BCRP) and The Omega Baltimore Foundation, Inc. to celebrate the transition of the Easterwood Recreation Center to the Omega Baltimore Foundation. Easterwood had been closed for the past three years. Omega Baltimore took over the management of the center from BCRP in November. This partnership agreement is part of the Mayor’s Recreation Center Task Force Plan that invests approximately $20 million building three new larger community centers and substantially renovates and expands another. BCRP will also expand 10 existing centers and add new staffing, programming and hours to 16 centers. “We are grateful to the Omega Baltimore Foundation for committing time and resources to ensure young people and families in this community can enjoy quality programming at this tremendous center,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Our effort to grow this great city depends on groups like Omega stepping up and working in partnership to make our communities better, safer and stronger.” Renovations are being planned and the organization has already transformed current space into a new Technology Center. With an initial private donation of six computers they then partnered with Coppin State University who donated another 15 machines. The center is equipped with Wi-Fi which is also accessible by the surrounding community. “We are a group of college-educated men reaching back to the community that helped raised us,” says Zanes Cypress, Executive Director of Omega Baltimore. “It was our responsibility to use our resources in this way.”

The Department of Recreation and Parks has entered into several operating partnerships with organizations to provide recreation programing at eight recreation centers. All of the operators have committed to providing before and afterschool programming, community access for meetings and special events and senior activities, open gym and field sports activities, education enhancement programming, and technology programs for youth. The centers and community partners are:

  • Brooklyn O’Malley –Boys and Girls Club,
  • Furley – Youth Sports Program,
  • Towanda – Park Heights Renaissance Corp.,
  • Collington Square – Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project,
  • Ralph J. Young – Living Classrooms,
  • Lillian Jones - Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project,
  • Easterwood – Omega Baltimore Foundation.

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