Introduction of Master Plan for Fred Eskew AreaRanger Nita SettinaSuperintendent, Maryland Park Service
Good afternoon, as Superintendent it is my sincere pleasure to be
here on Earth Day and to welcome all of you and Mr. Eskew's family
to this special dedication of the Fred Eskew Recreation Area at
Rosaryville State Park.
In 1986, the Maryland State Board of Public Works dedicated the
Day Use Area of Rosaryville State Park to Fred Eskew in perpetuity
as a sign of grateful appreciation and respect for his accomplished
25-year career in public recreation, parks, open space preservation
and natural resource management.
The Board was comprised at that time of Governor Harry Hughes,
Comptroller Louis Goldstein and Treasurer William James. This honor
was not bestowed lightly and it signified the breadth and
significance of his contributions and his dedicated public service
to the citizens of Maryland.
The resolution honored Fred Eskew and recognized the special
place that these scenic & historically important 1,000 acres of
rolling forest and fields had in his heart …and for which he worked
to preserve as a state park and oasis in Prince George's County,
which was undergoing suburbanization even at that time.
I was not fortunate enough to know Fred Eskew, he was already
busy conserving land and building parks while some of us were still
children….but in talking to the people who did know him, and reading
about his legacy, a few things struck me about our dedication today.
One, was that for those of us who work at DNR, we are humbly
reminded at these times of those who came before us…of the
importance of public service, the trail blazing, accomplishments and
the policy and program foundations laid that made DNR and the
Maryland Park Service what it is today.
It gives one a heightened sense of responsibility to "play it
forward", to re-dedicate ourselves, to carry the torch and vision of
people like Fred Eskew…and his contemporaries here today…with the
time that is now ours, and with perhaps a little more urgency.
Hence, we have been inspired to pick up things where they were
left off here at Rosaryville, and have found (thanks Grace), and
have dusted off, the 1976 Master Plan and taken a fresh look.
With Mr. Eskew's memory at the forefront of our minds, we are
working to renew and complete the Master Plan for Rosaryville that
was envisioned 36 years ago when he was Asst. Secretary of DNR's
Capital Programs Administration.
Some things have changed, witness the hundreds of mountain bikers
on these trails just inside these woods every week, a form of
recreation that had not been invented yet in 1976. We are also newly
managing grassland meadows for bird habitat that is in decline in
Maryland and controlling exotic invasive species that now threaten
native flora and fauna.
But much of the original intent of the 1976 Plan will remain – to
connect people with nature, to minimize the sights and sounds of
man, to provide for equestrian activities and to preserve and
interpret the special early American history of the Mt. Airy
mansion, a history that includes President George Washington.
In closing, I share this final thought…there have been many
complimentary things remembered and written about Mr. Eskew, by an
historian, a U.S. Senator, former colleagues and employees. He was
considered…Visionary. Politically savvy. Determined, and, having
You don't often hear the word "grit" used to describe someone. My
Aunt, who is a psychologist, explained to me that to have "grit"
means that you do not let things stand in your way when you want to
get something done.
She said that it is considered as important, and may actually be
more important, than IQ or talent when it comes to achieving
So, perhaps, especially during these austere budget times, we are
inspired and called upon to apply the same grit and determination
that Fred Eskew would have brought were he still with us today…to
follow in his footsteps and to continue his legacy, to complete
Rosaryville State Park and to preserve Maryland's natural and
cultural heritage and her park lands and to build outdoor recreation
opportunities for today and generations of families to come.
Return to the Fred Eskew Recreation Area Dedication
Click here for more information and directions to
Rosaryville State Park.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401