History of the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Department
In the 1950's, Wicomico became the second county in Maryland to establish a Recreation & Parks Department. By utilizing the City of Salisbury, school, and church facilities, the Department was able to offer indoor and outdoor programs to the youth and citizens of the County. The Recreation Commission also worked with the City of Salisbury to help design, build, and improve city parks. In 1959, the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center was dedicated and quickly became the center of community activities.
Wicomico County's first parks were established in the 1960's as three properties were acquired to provide swimming areas for local residents. In the 1970's, with funding from the State of Maryland's Program Open Space, the Recreation & Parks Department began in earnest to build the Wicomico County Parks system. Partnering with local groups who contributed funds, talent, and sweat equity, park facilities sprung up in the local communities of Sharptown, Mardela, Delmar, Willards, and Pittsville. This growth continued into the 1980's, and included the preservation of the 260-acre tract of land, which is today Pemberton Historical Park.
In 1997 the County combined the operations of their indoor stadium (Civic Center), recreation, parks, and tourism divisions to create the new Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. This partnership has allowed a pooling of resources to provide a better, more varied, and efficient delivery of service to their customers.
Currently, the County's Parks Division operates 39 facilities encompassing over 1400 acres of land, while the Recreation Division runs numerous programs for the community. The facilities, currently valued at over $32 million were built at a cost of approximately $3 million in local money. They include 32 ball fields, 34 tennis courts, 18 basketball courts, 20 playgrounds, 17 pavilions, 8 boat ramps, and 212 boat slips.
Current Programs & News
Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan
The update of Wicomico County's Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan has been locally adopted. Read more to view the plan. - Read More
Youth & Adult Chess Tournaments
Our annual Chess Tournaments will return this February. The Youth Tournament is Friday, Feb. 22, and the Adult Tournament will follow on Saturday, Feb. 23. - Read More
Youth Drop-In Basketball
Middle and high school students can drop in at Salisbury Middle School to play basketball for free on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. - Read More