The Friends of Maryland State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Maryland State Parks, has recently announced the recipients of its “Small Grants, Big Impact” initiative. Nineteen grants totaling $31,280 have been awarded to various Maryland State Parks, aiming to provide resources for fishing education, bike repair stands, reforestation, and the acquisition of kayaks and paddle boards.
Maryland Park Service Acting Superintendent Ranger Angela Crenshaw expressed appreciation for the partnership between the organization and the Friends of Maryland State Parks, as it enables the support and maintenance of several community-based programs. Crenshaw emphasized the significance of these small grants, stating that they allow the park staff to develop additional projects that substantially impact the services provided.
The nonprofit’s Small Grants program, initiated in 2020, offers $2,000 grants to state parks, assisting them in fulfilling their mission of responsible stewardship and the enjoyment of Maryland’s public lands.
Aside from supporting individual projects at 15 different parks, the Small Grants program allocates funds for additional Spanish language resources, materials, and giveaway items. These resources aim to engage visitors in educational efforts, foster a sense of ownership among guests, and raise awareness about Maryland State Parks’ abundant resources.
With over 20 million annual visitors, Maryland’s state parks are experiencing higher usage than ever before. Friends of Maryland State Parks Board President Chuck Hecker stressed the importance of giving back to ensure the vitality of the parks for current and future generations.
The grant program received substantial contributions in 2023 from various organizations and individuals, including Live.Give.Run Foundation (Charm City Run), Mary Jean and Oliver Travers Foundation, David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation, and over 100 other contributors.
The full list of grants awarded can be found on the Friends of Maryland State Parks website, allowing the public to gain insight into the wide range of projects and initiatives receiving support. These grants will undoubtedly enhance the visitor experience and contribute to the overall preservation and enjoyment of Maryland’s beautiful state parks.