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May 20, 2013

Citizens and Organizations Invited to Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days, June 8-22

by Martha

Governor O’Malley Proclaims June Great Outdoors Month

father and daughter outsideNationally recognized Great Outdoors Month is right around the corner and Governor Martin O’Malley’s Partnership for Children in Nature is helping citizens celebrate! The second annual Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days encourages families to get outside and invites Maryland organizations to post and promote their nature-inspired events. This two-week statewide collection of activities kicks off in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day on June 8 and culminates with the Great American Backyard Campout on June 22.

“June marks the end of school, the excitement and anticipation of summer, and the perfect time to encourage our children to connect with nature through outside activities,” said Governor O’Malley. “Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days reminds everyone to take the time to enjoy and explore the unique sights, sounds and recreation our natural world provides.”

The Partnership invites everyone to visit the Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days website to check out fun happenings taking place across the State. The website serves as a forum where parks, environmental groups and other organizations ─ including faith or community groups, school or youth clubs ─ can post information about their outdoor events, activities, and places to visit for outdoor recreation.

Visitors can choose from a wide variety of activities which support the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. These two weeks in June will highlight opportunities for bird-watching, archery, kayaking, fishing, gardening, camping, hiking and more. Most are also extremely affordable ─ if not free ─ and can be enjoyed any time of year. June 8 also marks a Free Fishing Day in Maryland!

The Great American Backyard Campout on June 22 encourages families to experience their natural world through camping. All Maryland State Parks with campgrounds are offering special campfire and s’mores programs. In addition, select parks are offering unique programs including Scales and Tales, guided hikes, campfire cooking, owl prowls and kayaking.

To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008, involving numerous agencies and organizations. Under this initiative, which is now being used as a national model, an ambitious set of actions focuses on improving connections with nature during the school day as well as outside of school and in communities. With help from the Partnership, Maryland became the first state to adopt a high school graduation environmental literacy requirement.

More information on Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days is available at dnr.maryland.gov/cin/CMO or by emailing mdoutdoorsdays@gmail.com.

Click here to view a copy of the Governor’s proclamation.

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