The organization was originally founded as the Baltimore Recreation Society in 1944. Hope Godwin, employed by the Baltimore City Bureau of Recreation, was the first president. In 1950, the society expanded to include recreation professionals throughout the state of Maryland and changed its name to the Maryland Recreation Society. In 1960, the society once again changed its name to better reflect its membership. The new name was the Maryland Recreation and Parks Society. The current name, The Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, Inc. was formally adopted in 1973.