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Secretary’s Message: September 2019

September is a Great Time to Enjoy Nature and to Give Back

Photo of Secretary Haddaway-Riccio at Wolf Den Run State ParkFall is one of my favorite seasons, so while I am sad to see summer coming to an end, I am also looking forward to cooler weather and changing leaves. Autumn is a great time of year to experience outdoor recreation in Maryland; and there are many great events planned for the month of September that are the perfect excuse to get outside and assist us with our mission, starting with Day to Serve.

Governor Larry Hogan recently issued a proclamation declaring September 11 through October 10, 2019 as “Day to Serve” month in Maryland. As part of the announcement, Governor Hogan is encouraging all Maryland citizens and state employees to choose a day to participate in a volunteer activity.

On September 14, 2019, we will honor Maryland history by debuting a new film, “Soldier of Freedom,” about the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman. The film will show at her namesake state park and visitors center in Dorchester County, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park. The short film is a moving introduction to the park’s exhibits and programs, and highlights the values that were most meaningful to Tubman: family, faith, freedom, and community.

National Public Lands Day is celebrated on September 28, 2019 and is the largest single-day volunteer event across the nation for public lands. Throughout the month, our parks and state-owned lands will host public cleanups and volunteer activities to help us all steward Maryland’s natural resources. 

This is just a sampling of the many great events across Maryland this fall. So as autumn begins, I encourage you to grab a hot apple cider, layer on a sweater, and check out our weekly Fall Foliage and Festival Report newsletter, which you can sign up for on our website. We will keep you informed of all the activities that will get you outside and engaged.

I look forward to seeing you out there!

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.