Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation
Columbia Air Center
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Visitor Information

16000 Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 

301-627-6074; TTY 301-699-2544

Located near Jug Bay Natural Area of the Patuxent River Park.

From Route 301 in Upper Marlboro, turn onto Route 382 (Croom Road). Go 4 miles and turn left onto Croom Airport Road and go to the end of the road.

Hours of Operation

Daily, 8 am-dusk



This outdoor exhibit is dedicated to the significant history of the Columbia Air Center, and is located at the end of Croom Airport Road in Patuxent River Park. Four exhibit panels are dedicated to the history and events at this early African American airport which is the first in Maryland and likely the first licensed African American-owned and operated airfield in America. 



The interpretive panels and windsock are displayed on top of a brick compass rose feature. The compass rose is well known to those who both fly in and pilot aircraft. Compass roses are an integral part of almost every navigational system including aeronautical, nautical, global positioning systems (GPS) and others. A compass rose can be found at most general aviation airports and is used to calibrate the aircraft’s magnetic compass.



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