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January 30, 2013

Maryland State Park Advisory Commission Honors Legislative Champions

by Martha
Sandy Turner, Advisory Commissioner; Senator Middleton; Delegate Gaines; Nita Settina, Maryland Park Service Superintendent ; Tim Casey, Advisory Commission Chair

Sandy Turner, Advisory Commissioner; Senator Middleton; Delegate Gaines; Nita Settina, Maryland Park Service Superintendent ; Tim Casey, Advisory Commission Chair

The Governor’s Maryland State Park Advisory Commission named Delegate Tawanna Gaines and Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton 2012-2013 Legislative Champions for their dedication and passionate commitment to the well being of Maryland State Parks. They received the Commission’s highest award on January 24 at the Maryland Rangers Legislative Reception held at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis.

“Both Delegate Gaines and Senator Middleton exemplify a deep understanding of the benefits and values parks contribute to our modern society and have continually demonstrated an active interest in their preservation, financial health, and protection,” said Maryland State Park Advisory Commission Chair Tim Casey.

Gaines, a member of the Appropriation Committee and the Chair of Transportation and the Environment Committee, is a long time visitor of Maryland State Parks who has supported and advocated for the park system for more than 10 years.

“I am delighted to receive this award” said Gaines. “My appreciation comes from my experience as a young mother sharing time with my children and now my grandchildren in parks as we camp and picnic.”

Middleton is Chair of the Finance Committee and co-Chair of the Joint House/Senate Program Open Space and Land Agricultural Preservation Committee. He has supported statewide citizen advocacy as a Friend of Maryland State Parks for more than 10 years.

“I am delighted to receive this wonderful award. My passion for the Parks comes from the inspiration received from those that have been so dedicated to improving our State Parks, most notably my old friend and past commissioner Herb Schwartz, and Tim Casey,” said Middleton.

“I want to thank Delegate Gaines and Senator Middleton for their continuous support and work to ensure that our State parks have the necessary resources to accommodate ever-increasing visitation, and remain beautiful, fun, safe places for visitors and residents alike,” said Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina.

At the reception, volunteers, friends, park commissioners, park service leadership, rangers and numerous delegates and senators gathered to honor and celebrate Gaines and Middleton for their work in spearheading a plan focused on the sustainable resourcing of Maryland State Parks.  The plan will be introduced to the Maryland General Assembly for consideration this year. When implemented, it will provide a secure source of funding for increased operation, safety and overall service to the public.

Launched by Governor Glendenning in 2001, the Governor’s Maryland State Park Advisory Commission consists of 12 members who work to develop recommendations, on an ongoing basis, for the Governor and the Secretary of Natural Resources and propose new or enhanced management and implementation strategies that improve and promote the Maryland State Park system.

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