Families heading to ocean resorts this summer will again have a chance to learn about their connections to the Chesapeake by playing Maryland’s latest edition of the award-winning “Bay Game.”
Now in its third year, the “Bay Game” is designed to be played from the back seat of the car by anyone 3 years or older. It includes pictures to color, quizzes, games and colored stickers.
The game, designed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, increases children’s awareness of how things they see on the trip relate to the Chesapeake. They are challenged to find such Bay-related items as osprey nests, wetlands, farm fields and forest buffers.
Last year, 300,000 copies of the Bay Game were distributed. Surveys returned from last year’s games found that 91 percent of players said they would do something to help the Bay because of what they leaned while playing the “Bay Game.”
Also, 85 percent said that other people looked at their game, and 37 percent said they shared their game with three or more people, indicating the game may have reached 750,000 people in a three-month period.
Those weren’t all children: 42 percent of the survey respondents said they played the game with adults. The survey found that most players 15 years or under think trash is the most harmful pollutant to the Bay, while players 16 year or older think nutrients are the most harmful pollutant.
The game has been recognized by the Innovations in American Government awards program, which is sponsored by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. It is funded through grants and corporate sponsors.
The “Bay Game” is available by request at the toll booths on the Bay Bridge. A limited number are also available at Hardee’s restaurants on the Eastern Shore.