Our History

History of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department

In the 1950s, Wicomico became the second county in Maryland to establish a Recreation & Parks Department. By utilizing the City of Salisbury, schools and church facilities, the department was able to offer indoor and outdoor programs to 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 built, and it quickly became the center of community activities. Planning for the building began in 1950.

Wicomico County's first parks were established in the 1960s as three properties were acquired to provide swimming areas for local residents. In the 1970s, with funding from the State of Maryland's Program Open Space, the Recreation & Parks Department began 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 1980s, and included the preservation of the 260-acre tract of land that became Pemberton Historical Park.

In 1997, the County combined the operations of the Civic Center with the Recreation, Parks and Tourism divisions to create the new Recreation, Parks & Tourism Department. This partnership has allowed a pooling of resources to provide a better, more varied, and efficient delivery of service to customers.

Currently, the County's Parks Division operates 39 parks and facilities encompassing over 1400 acres of land, while the Recreation Division runs numerous community programs.

The facilities, valued at over $32 million in 2021, were built at a cost of approximately $3 million.

They include...

Ball Fields

Tennis Courts

Basketball Courts



Boat Ramps

Boat Slips

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