Citizen Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation, & Opportunities to Take Action

Maryland's decisions about how we use and reuse our resources, where and how to grow and build, and what we keep or lose are our legacy for the future. The One DNR Plan creates a list of goals and actions to guide the department towards making decisions that help the environment and provide cost savings.

ALL Marylanders have the inalienable right to get outside and enjoy nature and have the responsibility to take care of its resources. Therefore, DNR must foster an environmental ethic among our citizens by providing them opportunities to appreciate and to take part in conserving, restoring and managing our natural resources.

If you have questions contact Christine Conn at or (410) 260-8405.

Partner with other Groups to Attain Common Goals

  • DNR will develop a comprehensive listing of organizations, businesses, individuals, etc. that identifies their goals, objectives, interests, etc. that align with conservation or recreation needs identified for Maryland, especially the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, by 2011.

  • Establish 5 new public/private partnerships for environmental restoration efforts (funding, volunteers, etc.) by 2011
    • These public/private partnerships will enable the undertaking of large scale projects that otherwise would not be able to be completed with current funding opportunities.

Connect Children with Nature

  • Assist with the implementation of the Governor's Partnership for Children in Nature Executive Order by increasing awareness of what nature play spaces are and how essential they are to the health and well-being of children and establishing a naturalized space on/near school grounds in every school in Maryland by 2014
  • Family and Youth Group Outdoor Experiences increased by 50% by 2012
    • The experiences and lessons gathered throughout their developing years – through classroom learning and outdoor experiences – stay with Maryland's children throughout their lifetimes, preparing them to take active roles in addressing the complex environmental and economic challenges facing our world, and instilling in them a sense of responsibility for and stewardship of the open spaces, waterways and natural resources that so richly shaped their childhood.
  • Increase the number of youth participating in the Civic Justice Corps to 1,000 by 2015
    • Upon the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources expanded the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) to include a new initiative called the Maryland Civic Justice Corps (CJC). The CJC works in partnership with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and other youth-based urban organizations to provide conservation service opportunities for youth in Maryland State Parks.
  • Establish an after-school program for 200 Civic Justice Corps graduates by 2010
  • The program will expand the Civic Justice Corps program beyond the summer experience. Youth will be able to participate in environmental based activities all year round in an after school format.

Strengthen Maryland Citizen's Civic & Environmental Ethic

  • Encourage homeowners, community associations and other landowners to make meaningful environmental enhancements (install rain gardens and rain barrels, plant native plants and trees) on their property or to “adopt” public spaces for restoration. Go to for more information.
  • Establish certified "Green Community" and "Green Citizen" programs as part of the State's "Smart, Green and Growing" campaign. These efforts will encourage and provide incentives for communities and citizens to get involved.

Social Equity Impacts are Considered & Addressed

This goal is designed to improve access for all Maryland citizens so they can connect with their natural world whether they live in Baltimore City or the mountains of Western Maryland.

  • All Maryland citizens will have a park or other natural area accessible to them within ten miles from their place of residence and work
  • Develop and encourage alternative systems of access to parks and natural areas that reduce vehicle and energy use and facilitate increased use by seniors, youths, low income families, adjacent communities and the disabled
  • Increase the number of “Green Schools” in economically depressed communities by 25% by 2014
    • The Maryland Green Schools program is a comprehensive program that increases the environmental efforts and participation by students while also providing opportunities for teachers to learn different ways to teach environmental education. Go to for more information.
  • Create a “sense of belonging” in citizens of all ages, races and cultures through accessibility enhancements, multicultural signage, multilingual programming, etc. in parks, natural areas and outdoor activities in general.

Increase Interest and Opportunities for Volunteerism

Chesapeake Bay Health Information Maryland's Green Website

Sustainability Tip

Install a rain garden or rain barrel to catch rainwater. Stormwater rushing off of roofs and lawns carries pollution directly into streams and the Bay. Rain gardens and rain barrels slow the water down and keep pollution out of our waters. Click here for other helpful information.

Join the Sustainability Network

Click on the map to see our network

The Sustainability Network is a place where interested citizens, businesses and organizations can share ideas on projects and make connections between others who share their interest.