Need to find a park or green space near you? Check out this new Story Map, “Get Kids Outside in Maryland.” The site was developed to help improve awareness of and access to nature. It contains state, local, and Federal parks and facilities, and how to get there (foot paths, bike trails, roads, bus and train routes…). Many of these facilities schedule programs with schools or communities or hold events for families or groups. The map also contains public school locations, to show proximity to nature sites for learning during the school year.This tool was created by the Maryland Department of Transportation, as part of their partnership with Maryland Project Green Classrooms. It will help connect Marylanders with spaces to enjoy, and will help decision-makers to see where there may be gaps to fill in available green space or ways to get to it.
Maryland offers state parks in every county, natural areas, and Research Reserves to explore. These public lands have low entry and activity fees, and many have none at all. Got a fourth grader? The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is once again partnering with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Every Kid in a Park program to provide fourth-grade children and their families free admission to national public lands and state parks. Learn more here.
What can you do at these places? Fishing, hiking, swimming, picnicking, paddling, birdwatching, photography, art, camping, stargazing… Create your own outdoor adventure. Here are some ideas:
Join a hike, ranger-led program, and more on this calendar.
Ideas for outdoor activities at state parks
Check the website for individual parks for scheduled activities.
Also check your county recreational listings for activities in county-run parks.
Fishing is a relaxing way to soak up some outdoor time, connect with nature and each other. Maryland hosts license-free fishing days on the first and second Saturday of June and on July 4th. Beginners wanting to learn can borrow fishing equipment at many local libraries and some state parks. Or sign your child up for a free summer fishing program.
Outdoor time is beneficial to your body, mind, and spirit. Make more time to get outdoors every day!