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Secretary’s Message — September 2021

Maryland’s Outdoors Preparing a Cool Transition to Fall

Photo of group holding a citation in front of a table

The Maryland Geological Survey is honored for its 125th anniversary at the Maryland State Fair on Sept. 2. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House


One of Maryland’s favorite summer pastimes is visiting the Maryland State Fair. Now in its 140th year, DNR was pleased to participate again this year and showcase the many ways we work to preserve, protect, and enhance our state’s natural resources. It was also a great opportunity to reach younger audiences with Smokey Bear and Splash who shared information about the importance of wildfire prevention and boater safety. Another highlight of the Fair was Governor Larry Hogan joining us to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our Maryland Geological Survey. For 125 years the Survey has served as a scientific-investigative organization that investigates the geologic and water resources of Maryland. They are also responsible for geologic, topographic, and geophysical mapping, environmental geology, mineral resources, and coastal and estuarine geology.

While the State Fair ended on Labor Day, and some traditionally view that as the end of summer, we are still days away from the Autumn Equinox and there are plenty of fair weather days left to enjoy outdoor recreation in Maryland which is year round!

For example, September 25 is the annual National Public Lands Day, which is a great time to explore our public lands. Many locations will be holding special events and hosting volunteer opportunities to help maintain our natural spaces for all to enjoy. Please check our website and calendar for events near you.

Hunting is another strong outdoor recreation tradition in Maryland that also plays a vital role in managing wildlife. Many hunting activities start this month and continue through winter. Our state offers a variety of unique and world-class opportunities for hunters, trappers, and other wildlife enthusiasts.

Photo of Secretary RiccioAnd later this fall, we are proud to be hosting an internationally-renowned equestrian event at the Special Event Zone within Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. Tickets are now available for the 2021 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, which will be held from October 14-17. The event’s prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the Olympic sport of Eventing, often described as an equestrian triathlon.

Last but not least, if you are like me and enjoy watching the seasons change, I encourage you to sign up for the Maryland Fall Foliage Report. Thanks to the contributions of our rangers, foresters, and naturalists, our subscribers can find fun and engaging information on the best places to view the changing colors of this spectacular season.

Whether it is hiking, fishing, hunting, equestrian activities, or just enjoying Maryland’s scenic vistas, there are many great ways to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors year-round. I hope to see you in your favorite outdoor setting enjoying your favorite fall activity soon!

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