Planning parks, recreation, and open space plans had been another of URDC’s specialties since the firm’s founding. We have prepared plans for many communities, regions, states, and have even prepared topical studies for the federal government. URDC also prepares plans for specialized recreation facilities, such as lakes and reservoirs. We have worked not only throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, but in high-profile areas such as East Hampton (NY) and Beaufort County (SC), the home of world-class resort Hilton Head Island.

Our work with the federal government included developing the concept of “recreation carrying capacity”, the idea that any specific recreation facility has an identifiable capacity that helps determine the need for additional facilities. We worked with the U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) to analyze the need for recreation facilities at various CoE sites nationwide.


Abington is a large, older, inner-ring suburb adjacent to the City of Philadelphia. URDC authored a comprehensive park, recreation and open space plan for this municipality that recommended ways to improve existing parks, acquire new parkland, create new program opportunities, expand trails, and refine the Township’s approach to administering all of its  recreation-related services.


Home of the state capital of Pennsylvania, and Hershey Foods, URDC inventoried each of the 150+ local, county, and state parks in the county.  In addition, we worked with local officials and stakeholders to identify key land areas to be preserved as a greenway system, which became a proposed system of more than 350 miles.  The system also incorporated the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Susquehanna River National Recreation Trail. 


Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania retained URDC to analyze the feasibility of the County expanding its role in recreation by assuming control and operation of several regionally-serving parks and trails. URDC personnel organized cost estimates for completing and sustaining these recreation resources. We then recommended how the County Commissioners could create, fund and staff a new authority to mange this new responsibility.


Since the 1980's URDC has been preparing land preservation, recreation and parks plans for numerous Maryland counties, including Caroline, Howard, Prince Georges, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester. To continue qualifying for state Program Open Space grants, these plans must document land acquisition priorities, park improvements needs and regional trail initiatives.