A Message from the Secretary

February 2017

DNR Secretary Mark J. BeltonThis month we celebrate Black History Month and the positive contributions members of the African-American community have made and continue to make on our culture, economy and heritage.

As home to many prominent Americans, including Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass and Thurgood Marshall, we have much to appreciate here in Maryland.

This national commemoration has special meaning this year at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, as we prepare to unveil a critical milestone on the road from slavery to freedom.

Next month we will officially open the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center in Dorchester County, commemorating the life and legacy of the legendary abolitionist and heroine.

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is where Tubman’s story began, and it’s where visitors can experience the area where she grew up, worshiped, labored and led others – namely her friends and family – to freedom.

 Harriet Tubman State Park

This 17-acre state-of-the-art park, located near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, will share the remarkable stories of the freedom seekers who risked their lives to escape slavery in the 1800s when it officially opens next month. Visitors will be immersed in Tubman's world through exhibits about her early years in Maryland, the Underground Railroad resistance movement and her work as a freedom fighter (she even led troops into battle during the Civil War).

I’m very proud of the years of planning and preparation by our expert staff, our unwavering partnership with the National Park Service and the dedication and support of other state and local agencies and community stakeholders.

On behalf of everyone at Maryland Natural Resources, we’re honored to help keep this important story alive for this and future generations.

DNR Secretary Belton's Signature

Mark J. Belton
Natural Resources Secretary