Photo of Governor Martin O'Malley with group of children - Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Partners please note new links in the right-hand column, designed to make it easier for you to access important information about Partnership meetings and agendas and the work of the Partnership.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Initiative

Gov. O’Malley Schoolshed Kickoff

Explore and Restore Your SchoolShed

Click here to view the new Teacher Resource Guide!

Explore and Restore Your Schoolshed

Students across the state are gearing up to take action to care for Maryland’s streams, as a key part of Bay restoration. Approximately 110 teachers representing schools in 22 counties across Maryland are participating in this year’s “Explore and Restore your SchoolShed” initiative.

Aligned with the Governor’s vision of schools using their local streams as outdoor classrooms, teachers will engage their students in studying the health of their streams, and then take action to help make improvements over time. By investigating real-world, local environmental issues, and making informed decisions about how to affect them, schools are directly in line with Maryland’s environmental literacy graduation requirement, which has been in place since 2011.

Free Monthly Newsletter

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Governor O'Malley Renews The Stream Restoration Challenge

Photo of Gov. O'Malley fly fishingNew grant program open to local governments, schools

“Our Bay, Our Forested Streams, Our Children’s Future” Maryland’s Stream Restoration Challenge is a competitive grant program open to local governments and non-government organizations to establish 1,000 acres of stream-side forests by 2015. For the challenge, the State and its partners made $6 million available to plant forested stream buffers with the goals of improving Bay water quality and creating opportunities for middle and high school students to engage in service-learning and environmental literacy activities. $2 million dollars was awarded through the first round of funding. The remaining $4 million will be awarded to projects that begin after September 2, 2013 and will plant in fall 2013, spring 2014, and/or fall 2014.

The Request for Proposals and additional resources are available online.

16 Organizations Partner to Expand Opportunities for Children in Nature

In a new effort supporting Governor Martin O’Malley’s Children in Nature (CIN) initiative, 16 state, federal, county and private organizations are coming together to improve and expand opportunities for children to learn about, play in and experience our natural world. The new public-private effort, which officially re-establishes the Governor’s Partnership for Children in Nature, will be responsible for putting the state’s CIN plan into action. Read more...

Nature Play Spaces

When was the last time you or your child balanced on a tree log, or jumped off a rock?

Young girl balances on a log at Play & Learn Annapolis, a new Nature Play Space in Anne Arundel CountyThere are new nature play spaces popping off all over Maryland at local and State parks, schools and public spaces.

Explore them for yourself in the new Nature Play Spaces Pattern Book.

The Nature Play Space “Pattern Book” is a visual tool used to convey the concept of creating play areas with natural components. These areas provide an early connection for children with nature, an opportunity for both physical and creative play and support children’s physical, intellectual, and emotional development. This on-line tool provides not only a map of where some nature play spaces can be found in Maryland, but allows the user to navigate through a list of components and activities that are typically found in a nature play space such as climbing, hiding and balancing.

By showing some on the ground examples, the Partnership for Children in Nature and DNR hope to spur creativity and inspire the development of nature play spaces across the state, providing an alternative to standard metal and plastic playgrounds. Check the site often, as new images and information will be added often!

Nature Play Space Pattern Book Icon, links to the online book

Office of Governor

Maryland's Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

Click here to download a print version.