Friends of Assateague State Park

Friends of Assateague State Park (FOASP) is a nonprofit organization that has supported Assateague State Park since the year 2000. Donations to this organization go directly to sponsor projects and programs that benefit the park’s visitors and campers. Examples of projects supported by FOASP donations are: Repair and maintenance of a fleet of Beach Wheelchairs available to visitors free of charge; Nature Center and Interpretive programs such as Tie Dye Tuesday and Stampede and the Scales & Tales Program; Book and Beach Toy Lending Libraries; the Bicycle Safety Program; as well as their premier project for wild horse safety, Break the Habit.


Wild Horse Safety “Break the Habit”

The Friends of Assateague State Park promote the park's efforts to ensure safe and positive interactions between our visitors and the island's wild horses and other wildlife. FOASP’s Break the Habit initiative provides financial support, assists with grant writing and management, and assists in educating campers and visitors about what you can do to share the island safely with the wild horses.

Horses are creatures of habit, and they unfortunately have become habituated to being fed or to scavenge food from campsites. This food is not healthy for them, even things like apples and carrots can cause a wild horse to get afflicted with colic, suffer and potentially die. When visitors store food properly, this results in many fewer food related incidents or dangerous interactions between horses and humans.

Thanks to grants received from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority and generous private donations, the park is transitioning to horse-resistant picnic tables with attached food storage units. Campers will still use hard-sided containers (such as totes) or zippered storage bags but can store these securely beneath their table. Break the Habit tables are currently located in several camp loops and will be throughout the campground over the next few seasons. FOASP is promoting new educational efforts to encourage use of these and continued safe storage of food and pet food throughout the campground- please do your part to Break the Habit!

Board of Directors

President: Cathy Cox
Vice President: Alan Smith
Treasurer: Roddy Rodriguez
Secretary: Trish Smoczynski
Board of Director At-Large: Roberta Laynor, Anita Smith, Marty Skarson

Annual Events & Meetings

The Friends of Assateague State Park sponsor a spring cleanup each April ahead of the campground opening for the season as well as park events throughout the year. Three organizational meetings are held each summer: one per month in June, July and August. If you visit Assateague, look for information about us in the Ranger Station and concession stand, as well as on the bathhouse bulletin boards. Details of FOASP activities are available in the newsletter sent to members or by request.

Support Friends of Assateague State Park

To join Friends of Assateague State Park, please send an email to If you would like to help support our efforts in keeping the wild horses of Assateague safe, please donate to Friends of Assateague State Park. Every donation will bring us closer to our goal of 350 picnic tables and new educational materials for our visitors. Donations can be sent to the address below or by contacting the Board.

Contact Information

Friends of Assateague State Park
7307 Stephen Decatur Highway
Berlin, MD 21811