As the summer season begins, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is getting ready for an unprecedented number of park visitors following two years of record-breaking numbers.
Maryland’s 75 state parks offer a variety of venues to explore nature, and Maryland’s DNR is pleased so many individuals and families are enjoying the state’s natural treasures. But the increase in visitors is not without its challenges.
According to a Maryland State Park press release:
The sheer number of visitors, compounded with many newcomers inexperienced with outdoor, resource-based recreation has led to substantial increases in litter, trail damage, parking issues, user conflicts, and other resource impacts. The Maryland Park Service will be educating visitors about several simple principles that will help them make responsible decisions to better minimize their impact, while maximizing their outdoor recreational experience.
“It is wonderful that so many visitors are enjoying our State Parks, but we also need to be vigilant about protecting the very resources people are coming to enjoy,” Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina said. “That’s why we are raising awareness about the simple, but important ways visitors can help keep their parks green and clean.”
There are 7 simple principles that visitors can follow in order to preserve Maryland’s state parks:
- Know Before You Go.
- Stick to Trails and Camp Overnight Right.
- Trash Your Trash.
- Leave What You Find.
- Be Careful with Fire.
- Keep Wildlife Wild.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
Read more about outdoor ethics on the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s website.