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First Lady Katie O’Malley, National Wildlife Federation President
Addressed Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature
Edgemere, MD (February 26, 2009) - First Lady Katie O’Malley today addressed members of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature at the group’s monthly meeting at North Point State Park. The First Lady was joined by National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger, and received a briefing and a preview of draft recommendations from the Partnership to share with Governor O’Malley.
“In Maryland, we are committed to ensuring that children from all walks of life have opportunities to experience our natural world,” said First Lady O’Malley. “By exploring the delicate balance of diversity in our ecosystem, children learn first-hand of the shared needs and interconnectedness that is required to build a sustainable future in our State and abroad.”
In its final stages, the task force’s draft report outlines short and long-term strategies that government and community partners can take to address a growing concern for the detachment of youth from nature and outdoor play. To combat this disconnect, the draft recommends giving families more opportunities to explore parks and other public lands, encouraging schools to incorporate nature into teaching and finding ways to ensure that all children have access to quality outdoor opportunities.
The Partnership for Children in Nature was established by Governor Martin O’Malley in April 2008 as a coalition of public and private partners tasked with creating an environmental literacy plan for Maryland students and increasing opportunities for outdoor experiences for Maryland’s young people.
The Partnership is expected to present its final report to the Governor next month. The task force is co-chaired by State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick and Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin. Many Partnership members represent organizations participating in the No Child Left Inside Coalition, an international network of 1,112 organizations representing 47.5 million people, committed to environmental literacy and time spent outdoors.
For more information about Maryland’s Partnership for Children in Nature and interactive children’s activities visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/education/children_nature/. To view the Children in Nature Executive Order, visit www.gov.state.md.us/executiveorders/01.01.2008.06eo.pdf.
February 26, 2009
Contact: Kara Turner
410-260-8018 office I 443-980-2599 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov