“Celebrating Our Past, Creating Our Future.”



Maryland has been a leader among the states in establishing a program of forest conservation, and out of that forest conservation initiative, Maryland’s system of state parks emerged almost immediately. We have completed our celebration of the Maryland Forestry and Parks Centennial by recognizing the accomplishments and milestones made over the past one hundred years. We challenge the generations to come to match or exceed the accomplishments of the first 100 years.

Centennial Notes

Our Final Centennial Note

Daughter of Maryland’s First State Forester Celebrated 100th Birthday by Officiating at the Maryland State Forest & Park Service Centennial Time Capsule Ceremony
Gambrill State Park- July 31, 2007

Helen Besley Overington celebrates 100 years of conservation in Maryland on her 100th birthday "The simple fact is that she has lived through and participated in the whole century of forestry and parks which we have been honoring for the last year and a half. It is no wonder that Maryland’s forest and park historians fell in love with her when they began to collect information for the Centennial two years ago. Her clear mind and astonishing memory has been an invaluable resource for all of us. When historians had questions about the life of Fred Besley or his views on many issues, Holly was often the ultimate authority. Ross Kimmel, Offut Johnson, Champ Zumbrun and Robert Bailey who are here with us today can all attest to this. The Centennial would simply hot have been the same without her." - Kirk P. Rodgers

100 Years from Now...

Learn About the Centennial Time Capsule

The Centennial Celebration of Maryland Forestry and State Parks offered us an opportunity to think about future generations and how our environmental stewardship will benefit them. We can also try to envision how they will preserve, protect, enhance and enjoy Maryland’s public lands 100 years from now.

During this 2006-2007 Centennial Year, we prepared a time capsule to be opened in the year 2106. The gifts we chose to send forth to those who will follow include information and artifacts about the work we do today and our message to those in the future. A century from now, these will be priceless treasures to future generations.

The time capsule is 12 inches wide by 36 inches long. The Centennial Time Capsule was buried at Gambrill State Park on July 31, 2007, the same day Helen Besley Overington, daughter of Maryland's first State Forester, Fred W. Besley, celebrated her 100th birthday. See our final Centennial Note.

Preserving Our Legacy for the Future

With the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, the State of Maryland maintains thousands of acres of public lands - forests, parks, wildlife management areas, and natural environmental areas - for the enjoyment of its citizens and visitors. Enjoy these endless opportunities for enriching and rewarding outdoor experiences, remembering to leave the land as you found it, or help The Department of Natural Resources staff to improve it. It's our legacy to the future.