No Child Left Inside - Maryland Chapter

Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature Recommendations

In April 2009, The Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature Report & Recommendations for Governor Martin O’Malley was released including recommendations to connect kids to nature during the school day, in communities and on public lands:

Connecting communities & families to nature:

  1. Incorporate nature play spaces into community health planning, land use planning and community development design. 
  2. Establish a Maryland Trail Development Office to address trail planning and funding, trail advocacy, a one-stop trail GIS database, and the development of a new Maryland Trail Town Program.
  3. Develop a strategic state park and public lands Interpretive and Outdoor Classroom Plan, identifying funding needs to support a greater presence of park rangers and seasonal naturalist staff.

Reaching out to underserved communities:

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive program to increase access and utilization of public lands and waterways for underserved communities.
  2. Expand and improve the existing Civic Conservation Corps (CJC) model to serve 1,000 at-risk youth statewide by 2015 with summer conservation jobs and outdoor enrichment activities.

Strengthening student’s connection to nature during the school day:

  1. Provide an annual meaningful outdoor environmental education experience for every student every year, pre-K through grade 12.
  2. Require for graduation that every high school student take and pass a designated environmental literacy “course of study”.
  3. Establish a comprehensive initiative to green all schools and school grounds, and embed schoolyard habitat programs as integrated indoor and outdoor instructional components of the curriculum.
  4. Provide professional development for teachers, state park rangers and naturalists, and other service providers.
  5. Adopt the Maryland State Environmental Literacy Standards

The Partnership is currently focusing on four priority areas: Outreach, Community Planning, Environmental Literacy, and Health & Agriculture (Food) Connections. Click here to learn more about the Maryland Children in Nature Partnership, their current efforts, and opportunities to become involved.