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Citizens Invited to Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days, June 9-23

Governor O’Malley Proclaims June Great Outdoors Month

Maryland Outdoors Days, June 9-23

Annapolis, Md. (June 1, 2012) ─ In celebration of Maryland’s abundant natural resources and exciting recreational opportunities, Governor Martin O’Malley today proclaimed June Great Outdoors Month in Maryland for the sixth year in a row, and the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature is helping citizens find a way to celebrate! The inaugural Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days encourages everyone to get outside and explore the State’s natural wonders through a wide array of fun events and activities. Catch a fish, watch wildlife, follow a trail, camp under the stars, go for a swim… it’s all available somewhere nearby! The 2-week statewide event kicks off in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day on June 9 and culminates with the Great American Backyard Campout on June 23.

“June marks the start of summer, the end of the school year and the perfect time to plan for outdoor activities, whether it’s in your backyard, your neighborhood, along our waterways or in Maryland’s parks and forests,” said Governor O’Malley. “Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days reminds everyone to take the time to enjoy our unsurpassed recreational opportunities.”

The Partnership invites everyone to visit the Celebrate Maryland Outdoors website to see the fun activities available and the parks, trails, and natural areas to visit, not just during the 2-week event, but all year long! Visitors will be able to choose any activity from the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which leads them to bird-watching hikes, archery, kayaking, fishing, gardening, camping and more! Participants are also invited to share stories and photographs of their adventures, to encourage others to get outside. Most of the opportunities are also extremely affordable ─ if not free.

The website has been designed to serve as a forum for parks, environmental groups and other organizations ─ including faith or community groups, school and youth clubs ─ to post information about their outdoor events and activities, so that everyone can find natural activities to suit their interests.

On Saturday, June 23 all Maryland State Parks with campgrounds are offering special campfire and s’mores programs in celebration of the Great American Backyard Campout. Five parks with special camping programs for families and organized groups including Scales and Tales, guided hikes, campfire cooking, owl prowls and kayaking: Rocky Gap, Dan's Mountain, Elk Neck, Sandy Point and Point Lookout State Parks.

To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008, involving numerous agencies and organizations. Under this initiative, which is now being used as a national model, an ambitious set of actions focuses on improving connections with nature during the school day as well as outside of school and in communities. With help from the Partnership, Maryland recently became the first state to adopt a high school graduation environmental literacy requirement.

More information on Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days is available at dnr.maryland.gov/cin/GOM/index.asp or by emailing mdoutdoorsdays@gmail.com.


   June 1, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

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. 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