The newly formed Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Charles County Government’s recent reorganization, effective July 2016, formed the new Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism, joining together three leisure-related divisions. Each divi- sion works to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. Combining these three divisions into one department allows your county government to more effectively and efficiently provide you with programs, services and facilities.
The recreation division provides fun, quality recreational and leisure activities for all ages, including: sport programs and leagues, aquatics, community centers, gym- nastics, summer camp programs, fitness classes, arts and crafts, personal enrichment and special events. The division operates nine school-based community centers, six aquatics facilities, the Port Tobacco Recreation Center, and Elite Gymnastics and Recreation Center.
If getting outside and enjoying nature appeals to you, Charles County is home to more than 4,000 acres of open space, including parks and nature areas. The parks division maintains 50 miles of county trails including the Indian Head Rail Trail, fishing locations, five boating access facilities, a skate park, equestrian facilities and a regionally-acclaimed golf course.
Open space preservation plays a vital role in protecting our environment, improving water quality and providing a wonderful habitat for wildlife. Visit our parks to enjoy na- ture, get physically fit and connect with your neighbors and friends. Gathering spaces and pavilion rentals are also available for celebrations, such as family reunions, corporate events, and birthday and graduation parties.
The tourism and special events division hosts family-friendly annual events for residents and visitors. Celebrate Charles events are held throughout the year. These events include A Fun-Filled Fourth in July and FallFest in October. Tourism events focus on a variety of interests, including history. The county offers tours of the Historic Port Tobacco Village and historic trails, such as the Civil War Trails and the John Wilkes Booth Escape Trail.
Currently, the tourism and special events division is working to re-brand tourism marketing efforts to engage more visitors. Events drawing overnight visitors are essential because they create a positive economic impact. These events generate tourism industry sales and tax dollars, and support local hospitality jobs. The tourism division hosts several events throughout the year that bring people into the county from other areas. Bassmaster Tournaments, Fishing League Worldwide Tournaments, Maryland High School Rodeo and Fall Festival, Amateur Athletic Union Tae Kwon Do Maryland District Championship and the St. Charles Running Festival are just a few events that bring in tourism revenue.
Whatever your interest, the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism has an activity, program or facility for you to improve your social, mental and physical well-being. Our professional staff is dedicated to enriching the quality of life for present and future generations. Read the GUIDE and learn more about events, services and activities at www.CharlesCountyParks.com, or by calling the department at 301-934-3470. Fun happens here!