News from the DNR Office of Communications

69 Family Teams Compete at Park Quest Finale

Winners Received Exciting Recreational Prize Packages

Queen Anne, MD – Sixty-nine families participated in the Park Quest summer adventure finale event on Saturday, August 8 at Tuckahoe State Park.  The event was the culmination of 11 weeks of outdoor challenges and exploration of State Parks across Maryland, and an opportunity for Park Quest teams to gather for a picnic and some friendly competition.

”I want to congratulate all of the families who participated in this year’s Park Quest program,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The explorations of these teams illuminate the importance of getting outdoors and experiencing nature firsthand, and the exciting, affordable recreational opportunities available for Maryland families in our State Parks.”

During the finale event, teams participated in seven outdoor activities, including a disc golf competition, a park recognition photo game, a ranger round-up, a nature matching quest, a mock firefighting competition, a casting competition and a compass navigation contest.

The Adventurers from Selbyville, DE were the overall winners of the day, taking first place in the competitions and walking away with a boating package that included two new kayaks, paddles, life jackets and rack.

Placing second were Three Jimmies and a Sook from Severna Park, MD, who won a camping gear package that includes sleeping bags, tent, chairs, dishware and other necessities. Third place went to the Mauk Family from Arnold, Md., who won four bicycles, helmets and bike racks. Taking fourth was the Frost Team from Conowingo, Md. They won a ski trip package to Wisp Mountain Resort in Garrett County.

A program of the Maryland Park Service (MPS), Park Quest is made possible by numerous private sponsors who worked with DNR to provide families with the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities at little or no cost as well as the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes. Major sponsors this year included: Macy’s, Delmarva Power, Bull on the Beach, Owl Creek Consulting, Wisp Mountain Resort, Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, the Lodges at Sunset Village and REI. Donations from these and many other sponsors were coordinated by the Friends of Fort Frederick State Park.

“The Maryland Park Service staff is thrilled with the overwhelming response to this year’s Park Quest program,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “We hope that their adventures inspire other Maryland families to embark on their own outdoor explorations – camping, kayaking, hiking, or even just going for a long afternoon walk – all activities which are readily available in 65 Maryland State Parks.”

The Park Quest family adventure program kicked off on May 9th and lasted for 11 weeks. All teams had to complete at least eight of 14 Park Quest adventures to be eligible to compete in the finale event.

The goal of Park Quest is to get children outdoors playing and learning, and inspiring them to participate in outdoor activities which create an awareness and appreciation of their natural resources. Park Quest adventures went digital this year with videos and diaries available online so citizens can track families’ outdoor explorations across Maryland. Videos of some of this year’s Park Quest teams in action can be viewed at www.mpt.org/loveourparks and team adventure diaries are available on DNR’s website at http://dnr.maryland.gov/parkquest/diary.asp.

For more information about Park Quest, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/parkquest. For more information about the Maryland Park Service, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands.

To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Civic Justice Corps, a summer job and environmental education program that employs at risk youth in Maryland State Parks, and recently issued the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. A plan to implement the Partnership’s Report and Recommendations – presented to Governor O’Malley in April -- is under development. During the 2009 legislative session, the O’Malley-Brown Administration secured record funding for Maryland’s #1 ranked public schools for the third consecutive year, with an investment of more than $5.5 billion.


   August 11, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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