ter service and use of the recreational areas by the public. Included
in land acquisition items mentioned are appropriations for the Gun-
powder River Valley State Park system, as well as funds for acquisi-
tion of Assateague Island State Park, which will provide an ocean
front recreation area.
This past summer we initiated a special study to assess the potenti-
alities and delineate a program for the development of the Patuxent
River State Park which will serve another region of heavily increasing
population. This study will soon be completed. Finally, we recently
activated a real estate unit in the Department of Public Improve-
ments centralizing responsibility for all and transactions of the State.
This action is designed to expedite the acquisition of land needed for
State purposes, including park and recreation lands.
In 1959, we abolished the old State Roads Commission and created
a new State Planning Department to function as the Governor's staff
agency in planning matters, and to prepare, recommend and keep
up-to-date a balanced, integrated program for the development and
effective employment of the natural and other resources of the State.
The Department is responsible directly to the Governor. This De-
partment has not only continued to review requests for State capital
improvement funds and make recommendations to the Governor
thereon, but it has studied operations of State departments in the
water resources and management field and, with the assistance of
a top-level consultant in this area, has prepared recommendations
for the improvement of administrative operations of these agencies.
Perhaps foremost in the accomplishments of the Planning Department
has been increased activity in the area of local and regional planning.
The Department has alerted local governments to the necessity for
community planning at the local level. This emphasis is of particular
importance at this time because of Maryland's tremendous popula-
tion growth with its attendant problems arising from burgeoning
new communities and development and expansion of older com-
munities. The Federal government, in recognition of the acuteness of
the problem involved and the terrible cost and waste occasioned by
lack of adequate planning, has provided for planning funds to county
and local governments. Federal funds are also available for urban
renewal. Urban renewal eligibility, of course, assumes a sound plan-
The State Planning Department has emphasized to local officials
the importance of local planning; it is administering and supervising
local planning programs in some localities of the State; it has obtained