Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors Named in Wicomico County
‘Deputized’ Ambassadors Help Promote Maryland Outdoor Recreation
A hunting outfitter, a nonprofit running club, a special needs sports facility, and an outdoors television program have been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors in Wicomico County for their efforts to promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities.
Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz and Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio named the ambassadors during site visits to their facilities. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will continue working to promote the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor recreation.
The newest group of Maryland Outdoor Ambassador organizations are:
DOA (Delmarva Outdoor Adventure) Outfitters, Mardela Springs, owned by Joe Austin. This retailer and hunting guide began as a small family business and now offers hunting trips from New York to South Carolina, helping clients pursue big game, sika and white-tailed deer, turkey, and waterfowl. During warmer months, DOA offers excursions for crabbing, fishing, and paddling. The firm also owns a hunting lodge in Wicomico that can house up to 10 hunters, and is a reputable breeder of Red Fox Labrador retrievers.
Eastern Shore Running Club, Salisbury, represented by club secretary Vanessa Junkin.
This nonprofit organization supports outdoor exercise by hosting group runs and social events, selling athletic merchandise to raise funds, and awarding annual scholarships to high school seniors who are running enthusiasts.
Field 7 ½, Salisbury, managed by Wicomico County Parks and Recreation Director Steve Miller. Field 7 1⁄2, which is housed within the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex, opened May 8, 2021, and is designed to allow people with physical or mental challenges to play baseball. The field — named because it was built between fields 7 and 8 — includes a synthetic surface for added safety, adjacent reserved parking, and amenities including accessible pavilions, portalets and a changing room. The complex also includes an inclusive playground and walking trail which is fully accessible, and has a wide range of tactile, physical, and auditory stimulation for children.
WBOC’s Outdoors Delmarva, hosted by Andrew Tawes. This program airs weekends, and the accompanying online videos and blog highlight outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state, including family activities, fishing, hunting, and viewer experiences in the outdoors. Tawes is also carrying on a family tradition, as grandson of Scorchy Tawes, WBOC’s original outdoors reporter.
“Deputizing” ambassadors was one of the recommendations from the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission, which was established by Governor Larry Hogan via executive order in 2017.
The outdoor recreation economy in Maryland generates 109,000 direct jobs, $14 billion in consumer spending, $4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $951 million in state and local tax revenue. Nationwide the outdoor recreation economy generates $887 billion in consumer spending, supports $7.6 million jobs, and provides $125 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue annually.