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Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors Named in Talbot County

‘Deputized’ Organizations Help Promote Maryland Outdoor Recreation

Logo of Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesA century-old yacht club, a historic ferry, a YMCA and senior center, and two outdoor retailers have been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors in Talbot County for their efforts to promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities. 

Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, and Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio named the ambassadors during site visits to their facilities this week. 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:

Photo of people standing on deck of a ferry

Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, owned by Judy and Tom Bixler. The nation’s oldest privately-owned ferry route — Talbot County authorized the service for “horses and men” in 1683 — Oxford-Bellevue Ferry now transports cars, bicycles, people, and pets. Many biking enthusiasts ride through Talbot County’s scenic backroads and take a ride on the ferry to get to St Michaels and Tilghman Island or to get back to Oxford. The Bixlers have owned the route since 2002.

Photo of people in front of a bike shop

Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

TriCycle and Run, St. Michaels, owned by Jason Chance. This retail shop serves swimmers, cyclists, and runners, and provides equipment repairs and rentals, along with coaching and gait analysis. The business also includes TCR Event Management, which develops community events including the St. Michaels Running Festival and Salisbury Marathon.

Photo of certificate being presented by Secretary Schulz to Robbie Gill inside Chesapeake YMCA

Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

YMCA of the Chesapeake, St. Michaels, represented by CEO Robbie Gill. This organization comprises the Perkins Family YMCA and Bay Hundred Senior Center, an intergenerational model that brings seniors and young people together. The YMCA includes a wellness center, conference rooms, indoor gymnasium, fitness classes, and a pool. The full service senior center serves more than 60 people providing meals, art opportunities, seminars, and other services. The organization also offers financial assistance so that all can use the Y’s services.

Photo of group in front of bike shop

Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

Shore Pedal and Paddle, St. Michaels, owned by Dave Geller. Selling and renting equipment for biking, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding, this retailer will deliver the equipment to homes or right to the water. The company also sponsors kayak and bicycling tours, and provides team building opportunities. 

Photo of secretaries Schulz and Riccio presenting citation to man inside yacht club

Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland State House

Miles River Yacht Club, St. Michaels. The club, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is noted for sponsoring its races of historic log canoe races — a sailboat designed for the Chesapeake Bay for carrying freight and oysters — along with its regattas, clubhouse and socials, swim team, and junior sailing program.

“Deputizing” ambassadors was one of the recommendations from the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission, which was established by Governor 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.