The Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition
In April 2008, Governor O'Malley issued a groundbreaking Executive Order establishing the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature. Co-chaired by the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the State School Superintendent, the Partnership was charged with developing and implementing a plan to provide youth with structured and unstructured opportunities for play, outdoor recreation, learning and scientific study and a state environmental literacy plan. At the same time, the Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition formed to provide public outreach and support for Partnership efforts.
In 2009, the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature Report & Recommendations was released to the public. These recommendations focus on connecting kids to nature during the school day, in communities and on public lands (parks, waterways, etc.). Thanks to Partnership efforts and critically strong and vocal support from the Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition, Maryland became the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive environmental literacy graduation requirement in 2011! The Partnership is currently focusing on four priority initiatives: Outreach, Community Planning (including nature playspaces and improved public access), Environmental Literacy, and Health and Agriculture (Food) Connections.
The Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition is now 250+ organizations strong, representing over 635,000 Marylanders. The Coalition represents education, environment, recreation, religion, youth, health and business interests across Maryland. An active member of the Maryland Children in Nature Partnership, the Coalition continues to support Partnership efforts. In addition, the Coalition focuses on public outreach, keeping Marylanders informed of the progress of Partnership efforts and national No Child Left Inside legislation, as well exciting opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds & professions to become involved.
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