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Maryland State Parks an Oasis for Summer Fun
Recreation, Relaxation, Relief From Heat Are Top Draws
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Camping at Assateague, fishing at Smallwood and boating at Deep Creek Lake are just a few of the exciting activities that attract nearly 12 million visitors annually to Maryland’s 50 State Parks. And each year, as the “dog days” of summer descend, parks offer an ever-more popular oasis for connecting with nature, history, family and friends, and beating the heat.
“The diversity of users we host at any given park on any given day is really astounding,” says Rusty Ruszin, Acting Superintendent and a 30-year veteran of the Maryland Park Service. “While managing our park system is hard work, it is also incredibly gratifying. There’s really nothing better than seeing people enjoying all that our state’s natural and cultural resources have to offer, and feeling that we are making a difference in people’s lives.”
Marylanders who live in urban centers, citizens of all income levels and those from cultures with a special affinity for the wide open spaces. Instead of going out for a specific activity – early morning fishing or an afternoon swim, more and more groups of families and friends are taking up residence for the day.
“Visitors often come in the morning, establish a base, and spend the entire day – socializing, interacting with nature, and visiting historical sites,” says Ruszin. “It’s the reason we’re here.”
From June 29 through July 8, 2007 – a period encompassing the Independence Day holiday -- the Maryland Park Service hosted 780,529 visitors. Baltimore Magazine named Cunningham Falls State Park Best Camping winner for its 2007 Best of Baltimore edition.
For complete information on Maryland State Park locations and activities, visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/.
August 9, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 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 12 million visitors annually. 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