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Category Archives: Lakes

Another Columbia Not-So-Secret Place – Come Explore Lake Kittamaqundi

Lake K from damLake Kittamaqundi now has a wonderful and complete, new paved path all around it with several wooden bridges. Have you walked it yet? If not, come join me as I lead my third walk of the season for the Columbia Association on Sept 24th at 10 am. Meet me at (more…)

Another Columbia Secret Place – Come Explore Jackson Pond

jackson pond islandOur second walk of the fall takes place on Thursday, September 10th at 10 am. We will be visiting a beautiful area that most Howard County residents have never seen. We will start off from the Phelps Luck Neighborhood Center and walk along paved paths down and around the Pond. There are beautiful mature beech woods, granite boulders, bucolic stretches of Long Reach/Elkhorn Branch, and the beauty of the pond itself. Come on out and learn a little bit more about this area’s past, present, and future. Check out the YouTube invitation that explains the purpose for these walks. (more…)

Lake Elkhorn’s Past, Present, and Future – Join me for a Walk on Thursday Aug 20th

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SONY DSC

Lake Elkhorn is my favorite lake to walk around. I have done it 3000 times. I have written about it in both of my books and on previous blogs. It has so much to offer and there is so much to see. I invite you to come take a walk with me this Thursday at 10 am to discover the past, the present, and discuss what the future might be like (more…)

Signs You Can Use To Restore Your Special Places

when you fertilize your lawnMost signs are ignored. Their messages are obvious or they are not of interest to us. However, recently I was walking along the docks in Portland, Maine and my attention was captured by a series of signs about human’s everyday impact on the water quality in Casco Bay. The signs were attractive and provocative. They captured my interest, and more importantly they captured my wife’s interest. We stopped and read them all the way through!!

We wondered why we did not see more signs like this around the lakes where we lived. They could have the very same (more…)

Top Ten, Kid-friendly, Camping Grounds in Maryland

tent at nightimeWhat makes a campground kid-friendly? It often is a place that is easy to get to and has the basic, easily accessible and well maintained facilities. Some campgrounds have many more amenities, play areas, and access to trails and water bodies, but the most important aspects to me are places that are quiet and relaxed and where a family can go to explore the great outdoors.

I have camped at private and public sites all across Maryland. We are so lucky to have such a broad variety of natural habitats from the coast to the mountains. I have selected a few sites here that are spread around the state and all of which deserve your attention. Go out and explore the closest ones first and then expand out if you like. Many people just find one they like and keep going back. Do what you can to help preserve and maintain these treasures and be sure to let me know what you think. (more…)

Ned’s Top Ten Hikes in Howard County, Maryland

nature walkWell here they are. My new rankings for 2015!! All are good for walking, some are fine for jogging or biking. A few are used by horseback riders. My challenge to you is to get outside this spring and explore each of these. If you have a group to inspire, feel free to contact me at ned@sustainable.us. I routinely lead interpretive hikes on all of these paths. (more…)

Get Outside, America! Give yourself a gift

4298704-animal-footprints-on-snowIt is not quite a January thaw, but it is one of those sky-blue days between snowfalls. The sun beats down on my back as I walk around the lake. The birds are up and about bringing life to the silent stage laid down by yesterday’s gentle snow. I had to get out of the house, so here I am – bundled up and ready to explore some of my favorite places in the middle of winter.

Half way through my walk, I realized how badly I needed this escape. I have been suffering the January blues. Maybe even a bit of seasonal affective disorder. Who knows? But the sun dragged me out of the house and what a difference that has made.

The lake is frozen and covered with (more…)

When Parking Lots Help To Restore Our World

unnamed (2)When you go shopping next, check out the parking lots. How are they designed? Do they just flush all the rainfall right into a storm drain which then empties directly into a stream or lake? Or do they capture the water and allow it to filter back into the ground to recharge the groundwater table and restore our streams?

I recently visited (more…)

Sounds of our Special Places – guest post by Kathy Bell Tillman

artmax_1294[1]Recently, The Sun magazine had an interview with Bernie Krause, who has spent years recording the collective sounds of nonhuman living things (called biophony) and nonbiological natural sounds of the earth processes such as waterfalls and cracking ice (called geophony) in places all around the world. Krause challenges us to be present in nature by actively listening to the sounds around us as we venture out in the natural world.

I live near Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, Maryland, and I take daily walks around the lake. Since reading the Krause interview, I have been (more…)

Could Your Water Supply Be Cut off?

Photograph 2 Lake Erie Algal BloomThe loss of our water supply is not just a risk in dry areas where there is a very limited supply of water and water must be rationed during droughts (e.g., in California today). Losing access to potable water can happen anywhere. Last winter 300,000 residents of Charleston, West Virginia were told not to drink or bathe in their water. This past summer 400,000 Toledo, OH residents were told the same thing about their water coming from Lake Erie (http://www.weather.com/health/what-you-need-know-about-microcystin-toledos-water-toxin-20140804).  The irony of course is that there was plenty of water in these moist areas of the country. Water quantity is not the problem in the East. Water quality is.

The WV problem was the result of a 5000 gallon chemical spill (more…)