Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maryland Geocaching Seminar

A free Geocaching 101 seminar will be taught by members of the Maryland Geocaching Society, from 9 to 10 a.m. on October 8. The seminar, hosted by New Germany State Park, will be held at the New Germany Lake House.

“There are a number of approved geocaches hidden in the park,” said Ranger Erin Thomas of New Germany State Park. “If you’re new to the game, this is a great place to get started.”

Geocaching is a world-wide treasure-hunting game in which participants use GPS units to locate ‘geocaches,’ which are containers that usually hold a logbook and other items.

Upon locating a geocache, participants are encouraged to take an item from the container and replace it with something of equal or greater value.

A limited number of GPS units will be available for loan during the class. For more information, contact 301-895-5453 or

source: MD DNR

Friday, September 16, 2011

Marylanders Plant Trees Program

Help is available to help replace trees that were destroyed in Maryland by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The State is offering $25 coupons toward the purchase of a Maryland native tree through the Marylanders Plant Trees program.

Citizens concerned about planting new trees in light of the recent storms can learn best practices on selecting the location of new trees by visiting or by contacting a participating tree nursery for further tips and advice.

Groups that would like to plant trees on public lands such as schools, churches and parks can buy them at a significant discount through Tree-Mendous Maryland. These trees also contribute to Maryland's citizen tree planting goal.

Trees protect water quality, clean our air and provide important wildlife habitat. One large tree can eliminate 5,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year, and well placed trees can help reduce energy costs by 15 to 35 percent. Trees also help beautify communities and parks, provide sound barriers and shade, and help increase property values.

The Marylanders Plant Trees program continues to offer $25 coupons toward the purchase of native trees costing $50 or more, redeemable at nearly 86 participating nurseries across the State.

DNR encourages citizens to “plant and be counted” by registering every tree they plant. Participants will be eligible for prizes, while observing the environmental benefits of their tree through interactive maps and charts. For more information, a list of prizes, and to register a tree, visit

2011 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

Allen Sklar took overall top honors in the 8th Annual Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest with his bird photograph, ‘Fast’ Food Pick-up. The winning photo captured a bald eagle swooping down onto Assateague Beach shoreline.

Allen Sklar explained the moment when the photograph was captured:

“Getting the shot was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was really cool. I had just got done fishing at the beach when I saw an eagle sitting on a sand dune, which is extremely unusual. I looked around because I knew something was going on and I saw a fisherman dumping bait onto the beach. The eagle then lifted up his wings and flew right by me!”

Sklar will receive the grand prize of $500, a 2012 Maryland State Park Passport, a lifetime subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine and five copies of the 2012 DNR Calendar, which will feature the winning photo on the cover.

First place winners in each category will receive a Maryland State Park Passport, a two-year subscription to the Maryland Natural Resource magazine and two copies of the 2012 DNR Calendar. Second place winners will receive a one-year subscription to the magazine and a calendar.

For 2011, more than 300 photographers entered approximately 1,000 photographs. The winning photos will appear in the winter issue of The Maryland Natural Resource Magazine, as well as the 2012 DNR calendar.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MD State Parks Affected By Flooding

On September 9, 2011, the Maryland Park Service (MPS) announced that it had closed the several state park areas effective immediately, and until further notice, due to flooding from the recent heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Lee

The closures include:

Patapsco Valley State Park

Glen Artney area of Patapsco Valley State Park is closed. All other areas of the park remain open, including the Hollofield and Hilton campgrounds.

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail (formerly the Northern Central Railroad Trail)

The portion of the trail between Phoenix Road and Glencoe Road is closed.

Rocks State Park

Hills Grove area of Rocks State Park is closed. All other areas of the park remain open.

Susquehanna State Park

All areas along the Susquehanna River and Stafford Road (Deer Creek picnic area, the Historic area, Lapidum Landing boat ramp) are closed. All other areas of the park, including the campground, remain open.

For more information on flooding from Tropical Storm Lee and other weather systems, see this post on Mid Atlantic Flooding.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Maryland Crab Meat Wins Taste Test

Maryland’s blue crab was the winner in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) non-scientific, blind taste test. The event was held during the 2011 Maryland State Fair.

In the blind taste test, fair goers were asked to try four pieces of crab from across the globe: Indonesia, China, South America and Maryland. Without knowing which crab meat came from which country, fair goers chose which meat they liked the best.

Maryland ranked first with 54 percent of votes. Indonesia received 22 percent, South America received 14 percent and China received 10 percent.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Poplar Hill Mansion Presents The Art and Life of Clara Gunby

Poplar Hill Mansion presents The Art and Life of Clara Gunby on Sunday, September 11, from 1-4 pm.

The public is invited to view the paintings of Clara Gunby, civil war era artist at Poplar Hill Mansion in Salisbury MD .

Accompanying the exhibition will be a reception. Civil War re-enactors will portray Clara Gunby and Sgt. D. Coleman’s 7th Maryland Company.

Local authors Andy Nunez and Elaine Patterson will have autographed books for sale.

This event is free to the public.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Ocean City MD Sunfest

Sunfest is coming up in Ocean City MD on Sep 22nd, 2011. The event includes music, food, arts and crafts, hayrides, children's activities and more.

This popular Maryland festival celebrates summer's end and the start of the fall season at the beach. Sunfest is held at the Ocean City Inlet and along the beach. Admission to the festival is free.

For 2011, Sunfest has once again been rated by Sunshine Artist, “America’s Premier Show and Festival Magazine,” the number one traditional art and craft show in the nation. This is the second year in a row Sunfest was ranked as number 1. The rankings are based on audit reports, reader surveys and anecdotal reports from participating exhibitors.

Several concerts will be held during the festival. Linwood Peel’s Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and the Del Vikings are scheduled to play on Thursday, September 22. Country star Jamey Johnson takes the stage on Friday, September 23. Country and pop legend Kenny Rogers is to appear on Saturday, September 24.

Tickets for all three shows are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th St. in Ocean City. Box office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are also available at or by calling 800-551-7328.

For more information about Sunfest, visit, call 410-250-0125 or toll-free at 1-800-626-2326.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lefty Kreh To Speak at Trout Unlimited Annual Meeting

Join the Maryland Chapter of Trout Unlimited (MDTU) on September 21 as they celebrate 40 years of protecting and enhancing cold water resources in Maryland.

Well known angler Lefty Kreh, who has been instrumental in the growth of MDTU over the years, will be the featured speaker. His presentation is entitled: “Tips and Tricks for Fly Fishing.”

The meeting starts at 7:00 PM with some social time and refreshments and is at Towson Presbyterian Church on 400 West Chesapeake Avenue.

Anglers will also will have a chance to buy some 40th anniversary souvenirs and swap tall tales.  

Admission is free! Come early to get a good seat.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Things to Do in Maryland on Labor Day Weekend

There are a million and one things to do in Maryland on Labor Day weekend.

The Maryland Park Service (MPS) has reopened all of Maryland’s State Parks after extensive clean-up and repairs in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Some parks may still be in the final stages of clean-up and there may be lingering power outages in some limited areas by the weekend, but the MPS encourages Maryland families to enjoy outdoor recreation at their State Parks over the holiday weekend.

For astronomy enthusiasts, the Maryland Park Service is featuring a night time viewing of the lunar surface, double stars, galaxies, star clusters, the Milky Way and other deep sky objects, at 8 p.m. on September 3 at Fort Frederick State Park.

Fort Frederick is an ideal site for astronomical observation. The skies are dark and there is minimal light pollution. Amateur astronomers are encouraged to bring their telescopes and binoculars to the event and to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.

The event will be held at the newly-created amphitheater behind the nature center. The nature center is next to Captain Wort’s store across the road from the fort. Overnight camping on 29 sites is available at a cost of $15 per site on a first come, first served basis.

The Astronomy Program will be presented by a park naturalist and is free, with light refreshments provided. In the event of clouds or rain, the program will be rescheduled for September 4

Fort Frederick is located off of Route 70 exit 12 at State Route 56, in Big Pool, MD. For more information call 301-842-2155 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or visit

For beach goers, Assateague State Park has re-opened after being hard hit by Hurricane Irene. This is a great time to go shell collecting as the storm washed millions of shells and other treasures high up onto the beach.Visitors to Assateague Island can also enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kite flying, photography, kayaking or other pastimes.

Here are more things to do in Maryland during Labor Day weekend:

 - Go saltwater fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, or enjoy freshwater fishing in a lake, pond, river or creek.

 - Visit an orchard and pick fresh Maryland peaches, pears, apples and other fruits.

 - Shop at one of Maryland's many farmer's markets where organic, natural and locally sourced foods are available at unbeatable prices.

 - Visit a festival. Labor Day festivals throughout Maryland showcase music, art, local foods, crafts and other interests.