Tawes State Office Building (wings E & D), view from Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland, February 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
c/o Maryland Park Service, Dept. of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building, E-3
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, MD 21401 - 2397
The Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature was created by the Governor in April 2008 (Executive Order 01.01.2008.06; Executive Order 01.01.2008.10).
To achieve its primary goal of enabling children to spend more time outdoors and experience the natural environment, the Partnership devised two plans. The first focused on developing more opportunities for outdoor recreation and education, including increased support and expansion of Schoolyard Habitat Programs; the creation of trail systems for walking and biking that connect schools, parks, and communities; green initiatives to form nature play areas in communities; and the establishment of a statewide Civic Justice Corps for youths within the juvenile justice system to work in conservation crews for the Maryland Park Service. The Plan included how to initiate an outdoor classroom program; provide increased access to State naturalists; and partner with organizations serving minority children to increase their outdoor experiences in State parks and public lands.
The second part of the plan, the State Environmental Literacy Plan, reviewed and assessed the current state of environmental education in Maryland. It identified the necessary elements in a curriculum to develop environmentally literate students, and what outdoor activities should be integrated into that curriculum. Further, the Plan covered how to prepare teachers and environmental educators to produce environmentally literate graduates; methods for measuring and reporting progress in environmental education; and provisions for updating the Plan.
Currently, the Partnership meets quarterly to compile an annual work plan with long- and short-term goals. The Partnership also is working to establish a methodology to measure baseline data and the increases in time children spend outdoors, as well as to identify current barriers to implementing Partnership programs and existing opportunities in local school systems and on public lands.
July 1, 2015
Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites.