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Six Adventures Await Families Through Maryland’s Park Quest
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) new Park Quest summer family adventure that kicked off on Saturday, May 24 in six Eastern Shore state parks has already proved to be a family favorite. With six weeks remaining in the free quest, the Maryland Park Service encourages families to sign up while space is still available.
“Families who have started the quests are having a great time exploring our beautiful parks on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” reports Ranger John Ohler, manager of Tuckahoe State Park. “Offering families a chance to work together to figure out challenges and learn more about nature is core to the Maryland Park Service’s mission.”
Ohler asked one 9-year-old named Justin what he thought about his paddling experience at Pocomoke River State Park and his enthusiastically responded by saying, “It was awesome! And I caught more fish than my dad, which was really cool!”
Each team tackling Park Quest includes at least one adult and one child 16 years of age or younger. Each team is encouraged to visit six state parks and take part in a specially designated activity at each park. Activities include a word scramble done while canoeing along a quiet creek, hiking trails in search of letter boxes, a scavenger hunt, and learning how to catch blue crabs. Parks offering Park Quest adventures this summer include Tuckahoe, Martinak, Jane’s Island, Pocomoke River and Assateague, as well as Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area.
Upon completion of each challenge, teams receive a sticker for their official Park Quest passport. At the end of the quest, teams who completed all six activities will be invited to attend the official Park Quest picnic finale at Pocomoke River State Park on August 2. At the finale picnic teams compete for one of the four grand-prize packages themed on camping, fishing, biking and paddling, as well as other prizes.
“Getting families out to enjoy Maryland’s natural resources is what Park Quest is all about,” said Ranger Gary Adelhardt, manager of Pocomoke River State Park.
Interested participants must register online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/parkquest or by calling Tuckahoe State Park at 410-820-1668.
To read personal narratives and see photos submitted from Park Quest families, check out the team diaries online at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/parkquest/track.html.
In addition to encouraging families and children to enjoy Maryland’s great outdoors through the Park Quest program, Governor Martin O’Malley recently signed an Executive Order establishing the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, a coalition of state, local, private and non-profit partners charged with promoting the well-being of youth by accelerating environmental learning and expanding opportunities for outdoor experiences. The partnership is working to create an environmental literacy plan for Maryland students, increase opportunities for structured outdoor learning through programming on state parks and other conservation lands, enhance school and community natural areas to provide for structured and unstructured play, and track progress.
June 19, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbelll
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
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