DNR To Host Children In Nature National Web Seminar

Annapolis, MD (March 29, 2010) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to host “Be Out There: A National Summit on Children and the Outdoors.” This webcast event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, Md. and will advance a state and national policy to reconnect children with nature. Through this webcast, Marylanders will be able to participate in the summit which is being held in Houston, Texas.

“Maryland is leading the way to ensuring our children will experience and learn about their natural world through Maryland’s Partnership for Children in Nature,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I now ask other state and federal leaders to join in, ensuring that children across the country enjoy the same opportunities.”

This National Summit will issue a three-fold call to state and federal leaders:
1) For federal leaders to implement policy that creates more opportunities to connect children with the outdoors;
2) For governors to issue executive orders to develop state plans and champion legislation; and
3) For parks, conservation and recreation leaders to place greater emphasis on outdoor immersion experiences such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, boating and more.

The webcast will feature National Wildlife Federation CEO Larry Schweiger, Texas Representative Carol Alvarado, and video messages from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson, and Governor O'Malley. There will also be a panel discussion entitled, "New Partners and Innovative Strategies to Address the Indoor Childhood," featuring Dr. Sandra Stenmark of Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Nina Roberts of San Francisco State University, and Margo Pedroso of Safe Routes to Schools.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in the 90-minute National Summit by webcast as well as the option to schedule additional time for discussion. Following the panel presentations, participants will also be able to submit questions to the panelists through email. There will be a light lunch served after the summit, provided courtesy of Arlington Echo.

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 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.

This event is open to all interested participants and is free of charge. Pre-registration is required, and the deadline to register is April 8. Please contact Elena Takaki at 410-260-8715 to find out how to register.


   March 29, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office | 410-507-7526 cell

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