News from the DNR Office of Communications

Governor O'Malley, BPW Honor Frank Oslislo

BPW Approves Naming of the Visitors Center at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary for Long-Time DNR Employee

Annapolis, Md. (September 1, 2010) —  Governor Martin O’Malley and the Board of Public Works (BPW) today approved the naming of the Visitors Center at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary after long-time Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employee Frank Oslislo. Upon its dedication, the Visitors Center will be known as the Frank Oslislo Visitors Center at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Today we honor an individual who dedicated his life to preserving the landscapes that are iconic to all Marylanders,” said Governor O’Malley. “Frank’s work will now live on not only in the hearts and minds of all who he touched, but also through the great outdoors that he so cherished.”

Frank began his distinguished career with DNR in 1976 after having served his country in the U.S. Navy. During his time at DNR, Frank oversaw the management of several properties, including Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, and served as Director of DNR’s Land Planning Services, helping to author many of the management plans that still guide the management of DNR properties. He served as the manager of DNR’s Regional Teams, coordinating a complex matrix of DNR disciplines, and represented the department before the BPW and the Maryland General Assembly for many years. Frank was well-known and well-respected among his colleagues at all levels of State and local governments, and was a beloved member of the DNR family until his untimely passing from cancer in October of 2008.

“Frank’s passion and dedication has long-inspired our DNR family,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “It is our honor to be able to recognize his spirit and contributions in this way.”

Merkle is the only wildlife sanctuary operated by DNR, and is the wintering ground for thousands of Canada geese – the largest concentration on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay – in addition to being a natural environment for a wide variety of birds and mammals. The spectacular view from the Frank Oslislo Visitors Center can bring to mind a phrase of which Frank was so fond: “It’s not about how many breaths we take; rather it’s the moments that take our breath away.”

   September 1, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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