The Maryland Park Service is challenging Marylanders everywhere to join a new tradition — Create Your Own State Park at home! Begun during the pandemic in 2020, this innovative series of activities — with prizes available for participants — teaches Marylanders how to provide their own place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about nature, create wildlife habitat, attract more birds and butterflies, and have plenty of fun.
The Create Your Own State Park Challenge encourages people to enjoy their own outdoor spaces and to plant native trees and plants, just as the Maryland Park Service conserves and protects nature. After completing 10 or more activities and providing photo documentation, participants will be entered into the Create Your Own State Park prize drawing. Participants are encouraged to make a park entrance sign, draw a park map, plant a tree or native wildflower garden, or create a camping or picnic area or trails right in their own backyard.
The program, designed for all ages, drew great enthusiasm with people eager to participate and learn more about how to make their home more park-like and participate in this program. New activities are being added for the 2021 season.
“Maryland State Parks offer outdoor recreation experiences in Maryland’s most scenic and important natural places,” Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina said. “But nature isn’t only found in parks, it’s all around us. By participating in the Create Your Own State Park challenge, you can support wildlife and enjoy the awe and wonder of nature at home, every day.”
Those who accept the challenge will receive a free day pass to access any State Park along with a certificate of completion and a packet of native plant seeds to use in your new home park. All valid entries will also be entered in a drawing to win a variety of prizes, ranging from complimentary passes for camping, cabin stays, and a Maryland Park Service Annual Park and Trail Passport.
“Create Your Own State Park” challenge entries are due by November 30, 2021.