The National Park Service is less than a year away from celebrating 100 years, and its centennial celebration is expected to be nothing short of spectacular. In fact, it’s been in the works for several years now, creating many opportunities and initiatives to connect people with parks and historic places.

A new initiative, “Find Your Park,” has been launched to help guide visitors to discover and experience America’s city, county, state and national parks and places, enjoyed by so many for the past 100 years.

In Maryland, finding a state park is easy to do. With 72 state parks in all, the Maryland Park Service (MPS) serves more than 10 million visitors annually. A comprehensive Maryland State Parks Economic Impact and Visitor Study indicated that Maryland state parks have an estimated annual economic benefit to local economies and the state of more than $650 million annually, and visitor spending supports more than 10,000 full-time jobs.

Pets are welcome to Maryland’s state parks. There has been an increase in visitors traveling and camping with their pets, and MPS recognizes that they are part of the family, too. It has expanded areas in all of its state parks to accommodate this growing trend.

Connect with MPS through the “social media scenery.” You can “Like” it on Facebook at MDStateParks, or follow it on Twitter at @MDStateParks and Instagram: MDStateParks.

MPS provides wildlife and park features, volunteer opportunities and public events. It has contests, Park Ranger recommendations and fun facts every day. Join the conversation and share your experiences and memories.

The AccessDNR free mobile app for Maryland’s outdoor enthusiasts provides easy access to state park information, including regarding hunting, fishing, access to waterways by boat or kayak or simply to watch wildlife. The app provides all the information and services you need on the go, and is available on iPhone and Android devices. Visit to download the free app.

Christina Holden is public relations, marketing, social media and veterans programs manager for the Maryland Park Service. She can be reached at 410-260-8155.