News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Park Service Launches Park Quest 2010

Nearly 150 Teams Register within a Few Hours

Annapolis, MD (May 3, 2010) — The Maryland Park Service, in association with its partner, the Friends of Jerusalem Mill, today launched Park Quest 2010, and within hours, almost 150 teams registered for the program. Park Quest is an outdoor adventure program designed to engage families with children of all ages through interactive activities at Maryland State Parks.

“Park Quest creates a fun, exciting learning opportunities for Maryland families, encouraging them to explore areas of our Parks they may not know about,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By getting parents and kids outside to children and explore the outdoors, Park Quest helps to create a bond between children, their parents and nature while teaching them a sense of stewardship.”

Up to 750 teams can register online to participate in the third season of Park Quest. Registered teams will be issued a Passport that provides free access to 24 Park Quest sites, which are located within State Parks. Teams will have the opportunity to engage in activities ranging from a GPS-guided hike to paddling in a cypress swamp to grinding corn at a water powered mill.

The theme for Park Quest 2010 is “Where a Family Becomes a Team.” Teams must include at least one adult and one child 16 years of age or younger, but can be as large as 10 people, so families may invite grandparents, neighbors and friends to join. The goal is for teams to complete at least 10 Quests this summer between May 29 and September 6, 2010.

Teams that successfully finish 10 Quests will be eligible to participate in the Park Quest Finale on September 11, 2010 at the Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park, where they could win outdoor-themed prizes such as camping gear, kayaks and vacation packages.

New for 2010, the Maryland Park Service is developing a Facebook page where teams will be able to share pictures and information related to their Park Quest adventures. Teams are encouraged to develop a team profile and show their team pride on Facebook.

Park Quest has introduced hundreds of families to the treasures hidden in many of Maryland’s most precious public lands and has instilled a lasting bond with nature in many children and families. To register or learn more, visit the Park Quest web site at www.dnr.maryland.gov/parkquest.

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; issued the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights; and is implementing the Partnership’s Report.


   May 3, 2010

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 celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 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