Nearly 200 Families Enjoy Park Quest Rendezvous Celebration
Chase, Md. (September 29, 2011) – The Maryland Park Service (MPS) and 192 families participated in the end-of-summer Park Quest Rendezvous celebration Saturday at Gunpowder Falls State Park. The fourth annual event was the culmination of 17 weeks of outdoor challenges and exploration of State Parks across Maryland, and an opportunity for Park Quest teams to meet up for additional fun challenges.
“Park Quest highlights Maryland’s wonderful and unique State Parks in a way that also encourages families to explore the outdoors together,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “It’s a perfect way to connect our children with nature, and Maryland’s families with their children, as they enjoy our resources and work together as a team.”
The Rendezvous celebration challenged teams to participate in 20 outdoor activities, including a Leave No Trace campsite challenge, Ranger Bingo, horseshoe crab game, lifeguard challenge and activities involving live animals associated with the MPS Scales and Tales and Volunteer Mounted Patrol programs.
The MPS created the Park Quest program in 2008 as a way to get children outdoors playing and learning, and inspire them to participate in outdoors activities that create an awareness and appreciation for our natural world. Since then, Park Quest has introduced hundreds of families to the many hidden treasures found in Maryland’s public lands and beyond. Partnering with more than 30 private sector businesses and local county tourism agencies this year, Park Quest also encourages families to explore other unique destinations the state has to offer.
This summer, 1,000 families from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware were challenged to complete quests at each State Park, including hiking, kayaking, letterboxing, history exploration and biking challenges. Park Quest teams must include at least one adult and one child age 16 or younger. Many teams included grandparents, adult mentors, and friends and relatives, and provided a way for families and friends to spend the summer together outdoors. Families shared their experiences with other Park Quest families through the program’s Facebook page.
Grand prizes awarded to 14 lucky families included camping gear and equipment, outdoor fly fishing and whitewater rafting packages, and additional outdoor recreation and vacation packages across the state.
To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Conservation Jobs Corps and the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. The Maryland Green School Program and the annual Youth Summit are two of a number of endeavors serving to carry out the Governor’s Vision for Children in Nature.
|September 29, 2011||
Contact: Josh Davidsburg
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 a 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov