xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland residents give parks thumbs-up

Maryland residents were fans of their state parks this year, and many are interested in visiting one next year, according to a recently released Goucher Poll.

In a survey conducted from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 and released Dec. 2, state parks received mostly favorable reviews from Maryland residents. Of the 71 percent polled who said they had visited a Maryland state park at least once during the past year, 76 percent rated their overall experience a 4 or 5, on a scale of 1 to 5.

Advertisement

Slightly more than half of Maryland residents said they are "very interested" in visiting a state park during the next year, while 34 percent are "somewhat interested," according to the survey. Fourteen percent of polled residents said they are "not at all interested" in visiting a state park within the next year.

"I think the poll validates some of the things we are trying to do in state parks," said Nita Settina, superintendent of the Maryland Park Service. "We are essentially providing people with opportunities to connect with nature in ways that really contrast their everyday urban and suburban lives."

Advertisement

Marylanders surveyed about activities at state parks said they're most likely to participate in relaxing, visiting historic sites, and hiking or walking.

"It's not just about nature," Settina said. "The poll also validates our mission as it relates to preserving and interpreting some of the state's most important historic sites."

Just 32 percent of respondents said they were likely to go camping, but Settina said that statistic is deceiving.

"Our campgrounds are full all summer long," she said. "Camping is extremely popular in state parks. Surveys have shown that the majority of people that camp as adults camped as children, so it's really important that we continue to get children out camping in order to continue to have a camping population in the future."

Settina said the Maryland Park Service always is seeking feedback on how to improve the state parks. More than 80 percent of Maryland residents, according to the poll, said connecting children to nature, preserving historic sites, improving natural areas for wildlife and conserving more land to protect natural resources should be the top goals of the Park Service.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement