Maryland Living

June is Great Outdoors Month

Guest feature: Mark Belton is Secretary for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Follow DNR on Facebook and Twitter.

Children are enjoying summer vacation. Fireflies are beginning to light up the backyard. And bikes, kayaks, tents, camp stoves, snorkels and other gear are coming out of storage.

June is Great Outdoors Month, and it’s time to go outside and play!

We are fortunate in Maryland to have plenty of public lands and spaces that make outdoor adventures immediately accessible – from hiking our mountain trails to running on sandy beaches to peaceful days fishing in our lakes and rivers.

I encourage everyone to celebrate and experience Maryland’s natural beauty.

Our system of 72 state parks offer tremendous day trips with exciting outdoor activities. We recently reached capacity for our 10th annual Park Quest, an adventure program designed for families to engage in outdoor activities throughout the summer. But even if you missed registering, you can still participate in the fun by purchasing a 2017 Maryland State Park and Trail Passport, which provides unlimited day-use access to all state parks through the year.

I also encourage parents to take part in the national “Every Kid in a Park” program, which provides free access to all fourth-grade students to national parks across the country and all state parks in Maryland.

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Mark Belton

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