To mark the centennial of the founding of state forestry and state parks in Maryland, the Maryland Forest Service and the Maryland Park Service, agencies of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, cooperated on a number of activities during 2006 and the beginning of 2007. This report is a summary of the activities and accomplishments of the Maryland Forestry and Parks Centennial Committee.
The committee was comprised of employees from the two services, as well as volunteers. It funded most of the observance activities with donated funds.
The committee first met at a luncheon on October 20, 2004, at the Elkridge Furnace Inn, in Elkridge, Maryland. The historic Inn is located within Patapsco Valley State Park. At this meeting a number of ideas for centennial observances and projects were identified. The committee continued to meet monthly into 2007 to further plan and execute centennial events and projects.
Although both services provided staff time and equipment,
as will as some financial support, to help accomplish the 2006 Maryland Forestry
and Park Centennial, generous donations from corporate sponsors and private
individuals made the Centennial activities possible.
On the Park Service side, one anonymous private individual
generously donated $10,000 to digitize and transcribe about 50 taped oral
history interviews that had been undertaken in 1980 with veterans of the
Civilian Conservation Corps.The Maryland Aggregates Association, Inc.,
contributed $10,250 from five of their member companies and one private
contributor. The Maryland Aggregates donations resulted from the efforts of Yvon
Bergevin of Aggregate Industries and David Thomey of the Maryland Aggregates
Association, Inc.These gentlemen devoted considerable time to making the
donations possible.Other private donations brought in an additional $1,050.The Days Cove Reclamation Company, through the help of Ken Bennix, contributed
$2,500.Altogether, on the park side, private and corporate donations equaled
The Park and Resources Conservation Foundation, Inc., and
the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, Inc., provided a most valuable
service by acting as a depository for these funds, and wrote checks to cover
On the Forest Service side, the Maryland Forests
Association served as banker for $12,723 in donations.These donations were
forthcoming chiefly through the efforts of Centennial Committee member Kirk
Rodgers, whose family business the Besley and Rodgers, Inc., continues the
private forestry business started by Kirk’s grandfather, Fred W. Besley.The
Besley-Rodgers family, including the matriarch, Helen Besley Overington, 99 year
old surviving child of Fred Besley, participated in various centennial
The Maryland Forestry and Parks Committee deserves special
mention.The members were the “miracle workers” who, despite severe state
budget cuts and staff shortages, placed a high priority on staging the
centennial observance.Motivation for participation were many, but the common
thread was a heart-felt dedication to memorializing the record of the first
hundred years of Maryland forestry and parks history as well as to research and
record as much as could be done during the centennial year, an effort that
Countless individuals contributed time and effort to making
the 2006 Maryland Forestry and Park Centennial possible.The following is a
list of many of those individuals, and is no doubt incomplete. Additional names
will be found among the material in the Centennial Time Capsule.
The many contributions of these individuals, and
others not named, are gratefully acknowledged.
Many individuals and corporate entities made
financial contributions to the 2006 Maryland Forest and Park Centennial, as
The contributions of all these corporate bodies and individuals are gratefully acknowledged.
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