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State Parks Across Maryland Now Listed As Green Travel Destinations

Maryland Green Travel Manager Catherine Batavick presents Green Travel Certificate to Park Service’s Steve McCoy and Christina Holden.

Thirty-five Maryland State Parks have been approved as partners of Maryland Green Travel, a free and voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable environmental practices by businesses in the tourism industry.

“Visitation of our beautiful State lands is the bedrock of Maryland tourism,” said DNR Secretary Joe Gill. “Our staff is always working diligently to enrich the guest experience and make these areas more sustainable. The steps we take today will help conserve our vibrant natural world, ensuring Marylanders and visitors can enjoy these special places long into the future.”

Maryland State Parks have long been community leaders in environmental stewardship. Staff and volunteers frequently host restoration projects such as habitat construction, stream/river cleanup, invasive species removal and tree plantings, as well as provide numerous environmental education programs to schools, community groups and the general public.

“Our parks are designed to be sustainable with minimal impact to the natural world around them,” said Nita Settina, superintendent of the Maryland Park Service. “These areas offer a wide variety of landscapes and provide diverse recreation while preserving the ecology, beauty and sense of place of the local area. They are a terrific choice for those seeking the best in environmentally-friendly tourism.”

In addition to service projects, outreach and education, the Maryland Park Service continuously makes significant efforts to improve day-use areas, campgrounds, nature centers, offices and other facilities. Such efforts include a substantial reduction in electricity and fuel use, as well as the use of environmentally safe cleaning products, recycled materials, high-efficiency lighting and improved HVAC systems.

Maryland Green Travel launched in November 2009 as part of the State’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative. Membership encourages accommodations, restaurants, attractions and other organizations to share information on the practices they have in place to reduce the environmental impact of their facilities and services. This information is then used to market the partners as eco-friendly businesses. Lean more at