Smart Green & Growing

Governor O’Malley Endorses Recommendations of the
Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

State work plan to be released this fall

Baltimore – Governor Martin O’Malley today issued the following statement to the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, applauding the work of nearly 100 professionals and endorsing their report and recommendations:

“Just over a year ago we brought together the best and the brightest minds in Maryland to address the pressing need to provide opportunities to educate our children about their environment and encourage them to personally connect with our natural world.

“Today, our Partnership is already heralded as a national model. After an extensive review, I am pleased to endorse the final report and recommendations, which lay the groundwork for programming that will forever change the lives of Maryland’s children and the future of our planet.

“On behalf of the children of our One Maryland, I offer my most heartfelt thanks for your continued commitment to the future of our State, helping to ensure our kids grow to become healthy adults and responsible stewards of our planet.”

Governor O’Malley established the Partnership by Executive Order in April 2008, tasking its members with creating an environmental literacy plan for Maryland students, increasing opportunities for structured outdoor learning on state parks and conservation lands, and enhancing school and community natural areas to enable more play and learning outdoors.

The 21-member Partnership, which is co-chaired by State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick and Department of Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin, brought together more than 80 professionals to develop the report and recommendations presented to Governor O’Malley in the spring. Staff members from both agencies are working to finalize a work plan for implementing the Partnership’s recommendations, which will be released in the fall.

Under this initiative, Governor O’Malley created the Maryland Civic Justice Corps, a summer job and environmental education program that employs at risk youth in Maryland State Parks, which recently completed its second successful summer of programming. This spring, Governor O’Malley introduced the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which served as the centerpiece for the 2009 Maryland Bay Game. 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, investing more than $5.5 billion this year in our schools.

View the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature Report and Recommendations here:

  • View the Executive Summary
  • View the Complete Document
  • View the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights
  • Introduced by Governor Martin O’Malley in October 2008, Maryland’s Smart, Green & Growing initiative was created to strengthen the state’s leadership role in fostering smarter, more sustainable growth and inspire action among all Marylanders to achieve a more sustainable future. The Initiative brings together state agencies, local governments, businesses and citizens to create more livable communities, improve transportation options, reduce the state’s carbon footprint, support resource based industry, invest in green technologies, preserve valuable resource lands and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

       August 20, 2009

    Contact: Darlene Pisani
    410-260-8004 office I 410-507-7524 cell

    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