Governor Martin O’Malley Addresses Children In Nature Web Seminar

Annapolis, MD (April 15, 2010) - Governor Martin O’Malley Saturday addressed the hundreds of attendees from across the country at the National Wildlife Federation’s national webinar: “Be Out There: A National Summit on Children and the Outdoors.”

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) held the seminar through webcast at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, Md. The webcast allowed Marylanders to participate in the seminar held in Houston advanced a state and national policy to reconnect children with nature.

“Through Maryland’s Partnership for Children in Nature, we are at the forefront, ensuring our children will experience and learn about their natural world,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Children across the country deserve the same rights. I am asking other states and our federal leaders to join in, creating more opportunities for children to explore their natural world.”

This National Summit issued a three-fold call:
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 featured 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 was also 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.

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 No.1 ranked public schools for the third consecutive year, with an investment of more than $5.5 billion.

To see the Governor’s address go to: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/cin/.


  April 15, 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