News from the DNR Office of Communications

Park Quest 2011 Registration Opens April 25

Annapolis, Md. (April 18, 2011) - The Maryland Park Service (MPS) announces that registration for Park Quest 2011 will begin on April 25 at 10 a.m., and is expected to fill up quickly.

“The Maryland Park Service created Park Quest, an outdoor adventure-based program, in support of the national No Child Left Inside initiative to get children and families outdoors to experience the wonders of our natural world,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “We knew it would be a fun, exciting program, but the overwhelming response has taken the State by surprise.”

Up to 1,000 teams can register online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/parkquest to take part in the fourth season of Park Quest. Registered teams are issued a “Park Quest Passport” providing free access to Park Quest sites. This year, teams have the opportunity to visit 24 parks and participate in activities including kayaking, hiking, geocaching, letterboxing, orienteering, scavenger hunts, mining, biking, horseback riding and much, much more.

The theme for Park Quest is “Where a Family Becomes a Team.” A team consists of at least one adult and one child 16 years of age or younger. Teams can be as large as 10 people. Each team’s goal is to compete in at least 10 Quests this summer from May 7 to September 5, 2011.

Those teams who successfully complete 10 of 24 Quests by September 5, 2011 are eligible to compete in the Park Quest Rendezvous on September 24, 2011 at the Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park. The Rendezvous event has evolved this year, and will feature a mixture of physical and memory-oriented competitions, festival activities, vendors, and family oriented programming. In addition to competitions, door prizes will be awarded during the Rendezvous event. Teams must be registered for the Rendezvous and be present as a team on site to be eligible for the door prizes. There will also be a Grand Prize drawing for teams completing all 24 quests.

Park Quest has introduced hundreds of families to the many hidden treasures found in Maryland’s precious public lands. Now more than ever, it is important for children to be exposed to the wonders of our natural world. The things that a child learns and experiences with an adult today become the fond memories and wisdom that will influence our future. Park Quest is an affordable getaway for any family in Maryland. Registration for Park Quest is free and includes entrance into all participating State Parks and nearly all the quest activities. Adults and children are encouraged to routinely go outside to play together. It‘s good for everyone’s health and Park Quest is the perfect way to get started!

For more information on Park Quest visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/parkquest 

Maryland’s state parks not only provide great outdoor recreation for Marylanders and visitors, they are also a great asset to State and local economies. According to a recent study, conducted in partnership with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Maryland state parks have an estimated annual economic benefit of more than $650 million. In 2010, visitors directly spent more than $567 million locally — $25.56 locally for every dollar the State invests in state parks —during their visits. And almost 95 percent of visitors had their expectations met or exceeded during visits.


   April 18, 2011

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 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov