Lt. Governor Rutherford Kicks off Maryland State Park Week With Sandy Point Nature Center Dedication Ceremony
Announced Two New State Parks Will Open During State Park Week, April 15-22
Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today joined the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to announce the second Maryland State Park Week, with a ribbon-cutting at the Sandy Point State Park Nature Center. The new center features a Chesapeake Bay themed playground and a redeveloped plaza.
State Park Week will be held April 15 – April 22, and concludes on Earth Day with the celebration of two new parks: Bohemia River State Park in Cecil County, and Cypress Branch State Park in Kent County.
“As I continue my journey to visit every park in the state, I invite all Marylanders to join me during State Park Week and enjoy the world class outdoor experiences that our state has to offer,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Today, I am proud to be back at Sandy Point State Park as we open this new nature center and celebrate the nearly $150 million in record funding dedicated to expanding and preserving our state parks.”
Sandy Point State Park Nature Center, developed in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service, will provide educational opportunities about flora and fauna native to the Bay. Part of $2.5 million in ongoing investments at the park, the center will offer information on how the public can protect the Bay from the effects of pollution and climate change. Throughout State Park Week, Lt. Governor Rutherford and DNR will highlight critical investments at parks statewide.
During State Park Week, Lt. Governor Rutherford and DNR will visit these parks:
- April 20: Woodmont Natural Resource Management Area and South Mountain State Park
- April 21: Chapel Point State Park and Mattawoman Natural Environment Area
- April 22 (Earth Day): Bohemia River State Park and Cypress Branch State Park
Maryland State Parks will offer events and opportunities for the public to enjoy the amenities, explore nature, and engage in conservation and cleanup volunteer activities at parks statewide.
“Our incredible team of dedicated professionals has once again readied our parks and state lands to ensure our visitors have a high quality experience, not only during State Park Week, but throughout the year,” said Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “We have seen attendance at our parks double in the past decade. Thanks to the strong support from Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford, we are also celebrating record funding so that we can continue to care for the lands that have been entrusted to us for generations to come.”
Also during the kickoff event, the Maryland Park Advisory Commission presented its annual “Legislative Champion” award to Lt. Governor Rutherford and the late former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Michael E. Busch. Speaker Busch’s wife, Cindy, and daughter Megan accepted the award on his behalf. The Commission’s Partner of the Year Awards were given to Washington College in 2020 and the Chesapeake Conservancy in 2021, and Wolf Den Run State Park received the Award of Excellence.
The Chesapeake Conservancy worked with the Maryland Park Service to outfit the Sandy Point State Park nature center with bilingual interpretive materials.
“We are grateful for the Hogan administration’s leadership in enhancing the visitor experience at Sandy Point State Park, including a bilingual nature center,” said Joel Dunn, President and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy. “This is a great example of how the Maryland State Parks, National Park Service, and nonprofit organizations can work together to engage the next generation in conservation.”
This month, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland hospital and healthcare workers can visit any state park free of charge. Healthcare employees will be asked to show their work ID upon arrival to gain admission.
More information about Maryland State Parks is available on the DNR website at dnr.maryland.gov. You can follow the Lt. Governor’s state park journey on his State Park Bucket List website.