15 New Maryland State Park Projects Promote Conservation & Education
The grants awarded total $13,619 and provide funding for state parks across Maryland to collaborate with community partners to improve shoreline habitats, build interpretive displays, renovate trails and campgrounds, create pollinator gardens, and more.
Given the challenges faced in 2020, even the smallest grant can bring a smile to park staff and visitors. Project examples include:
Deep Creek Lake State Park Implement a fruit tree orchard including pear, peach, plum, cherry and apple trees. Interpretive signs along a trail within the new orchard will share insights on the history of arboriculture and importance of fruit trees to the nation. And the apples will be used to craft apple cider and butter during demonstrations at the annual Sang Run State Park’s Fall Festival.
Maryland State Parks (statewide) Offer interactive snorkeling adventures in Maryland’s rivers and streams. With the purchase of snorkeling kits, park staff will be able to engage students and visitors in interactive aquatic adventures, exploring life below the surface of the clear waters of our parks’ creeks and rivers.
Susquehanna State Park Establish an 8-acre field of native warm season grasses to enhance the ecosystem and serve as a demonstration, learning resource for local landowners and farmers. Traditionally the fields in Susquehanna State Park have been hayed commercially, providing little in the way of benefit to the natural environment. Natural grasses will provide habitat for small mammals, wild turkey and bobwhite quail among other species. The habitat will also provide hunting grounds for birds of prey such as hawks and owls. Tuckahoe State Park Complex –Martinak State Park Nature Center Construct a new exhibit tank for two Diamondback Terrapins that will provide the terrapins a more expanded land and water habitat. The new exhibit will give the terrapins a healthier environment and will also help students and park visitors see the terrapins up close, while keeping the terrapins safe in their native habitat.
Pocomoke River State Park Install trail puncheons (boardwalks) to enable visitors to access remote portions of the park. The popular Trail of Change takes visitors through diverse elevations and vegetation, introducing them to a portion of the northernmost bald cypress swamp in the United States. Portions of the trail are often saturated and subject to tides, so the new puncheons will provide visitors a safe and dry path.
During times like these, we need our parks more than ever. Given COVID self-quarantine, our use of trails and open areas of parks has increased dramatically. In addition to increased visitation, parks face challenges from a changing climate and diminished budgets.
Consequently, your park resources and staff are being strained to the breaking point – a Small Grant can provide vital support. Whether you contribute $10 or $1,000 to our Small Grants Program, your dollars will support Conservation & Education activities in 2020/2021.
CONSERVATION: Our goal is to protect and enhance the conservation or recreation value of Maryland’s State Parks, and to inspire the public to adopt conservation stewardship ethics.
EDUCATION: Our goal is to create opportunities for hands-on experimentation and minds-on reflection in our state parks. Place-based learning places students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences, and uses these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum.
To raise the awareness and appreciation of the “quality of life” benefits associated with the preservation, protection, improvement, and expansion of our Maryland State Parks for current and future generations.
To develop a constituency of citizens and elected representatives and officials who believe in the advocacy and support of our Maryland State Parks.