News from the DNR Office of Communications

Ranger Cindy Ecker Receives Edmund Prince Award

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 2, 2009) — The Maryland Park Service (MPS) has awarded Ranger Cindy Ecker, manager of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks, the Edmund Prince Award. MPS Superintendent Nita Settina presented Ecker with the award at the fall park manager’s meeting. The award, named for Maryland’s first park ranger, is given to those who distinguish themselves in this role.

“I want to congratulate Cindy Ecker for her dedication,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “As the first woman in the Maryland Park service promoted to Park Manager, Cindy is a shining example of the commitment our Park Rangers show to managing and protecting our natural resources for Maryland Families.”

Ecker began her distinguished career with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a seasonal employee at Seneca Creek State Park. She was hired full-time as a park ranger in 1984 and assigned to Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Parks in Garret County. She was then transferred in 1985 to Greenbrier State Park in Washington County.

Ecker was the first woman in MPS promoted to Park Manager and began her management tenure at Smallwood State Park in Charles County in 1986. She was then promoted in 1993 to serve as the Complex Manager of Smallwood State Park, Cedarville State Forest, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Rosaryville State Park and Calvert Cliffs State Park in Southern Maryland. She moved to her current position in 1996.

Ecker received an Associate’s degree in Park Management from Frederick Community College, and her Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. She resides in Smithsburg, Md. with her husband Mark. They have two sons, Benjamin and Christopher, who both attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The Edmund Prince Award is named for Maryland’s first park ranger and honors those who personify the culture, heritage and proud tradition of MPS, a division of DNR.

   December 2, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 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