BOONSBORO, Md. (WDVM) — This is the second year Maryland leaders declared April 15th – 22nd Maryland State Park Week.

Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford is exploring all the parks across the state, he says it’s something he’s wanted to do for a while.

WDVM caught up with him at a park in Western Maryland to learn more about the investments being made to help maintain these parks.

His tour on Wednesday included South Moutain State Park and Woodmont Natural Resource Management Area.

“I wanted to get to all the state parks, just to one brings attention to the state parks but personally just to be able to see and experience our parks,” said Rutherford.

Fort Frederick State Park Complex park manager Jacob Doyle says it excites him when people take interest in their parks.

“That’s why I do what I do is because I want to see people experience our state parks in Maryland. So it’s been really great to have taken interest and want to visit all of them,” said Doyle.

He says the pandemic brought out more visitors. “We saw a lot of new people that visit our parks that wouldn’t have before and I think it’s really been beneficial for the parks because it’s introduced a lot of folks that didn’t know or didn’t realize,” he said.

The pandemic also shed light on some issues state parks are dealing with.

“Parking is always an issue with we want as many people as we can to experience our state parks. With us here the maintenance of course, as well we have some things to get fixed,” said Doyle.

Recently state leaders included $150 million in the governor’s budget to invest in state parks.

“We want to be able to adequately take care of the lands that were responsible for. We want our visitors to have a good experience when they come to visit our parks. So the funding that the governor provided in his budget is really a historic 20-year high for us and will go a long way towards making sure we take care of our parks,” said Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“It’s always good to know that we’re getting some more funding. Surely thankful for that,” said Doyle.