Not a bad day. Aside from bluebirds, gold finches, and cardinals fighting over my bird feeder this morning, a full grown pileated woodpecker landed on the top of the pole holding the feeder. He gave me a great display for at least 20-30 seconds. Fabulous.
I was then lucky enough to catch a bald eagle fly by and land in a tree this morning. so I decided to go for a walk and saw a turkey run across the path out of the wetlands by Lake Elkhorn. I had not seen one here in this green buffer before.
Not a bad day, indeed.
A copy of Ned Tillman’s book The Chesapeake Watershed: A sense of place and a call to action is presented to each of the participants in the University of Maryland sponsored Master Naturalist programs. If you are interested in these programs contact one of the following sponsoring sites.
There are 31 Master Naturalist program Host Sites in 12 Maryland counties (plus Baltimore City and in Washington, DC) with one program (DNR) using volunteers state-wide. They include:
- Adkins Arboretum (Caroline)
- American Chestnut Land Trust (Calvert)
- Anita C. Leight Estuary Center (Harford)
- Audubon Naturalist Society (Montg.)
- Co. Environmental Protection & Sustainability (Balt.) (2017)
- Banneker Historical Park (Balt.)
- Bear Branch/Piney Run Nature Centers (Carroll)
- Brookside Nature Center (Montg.)/Montgomery Parks (Countywide)
- Catoctin Creek Nature Center (Fred.)
- Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (Queen Anne’s)
- Cromwell Valley Park (Balt.)
- Cunningham Falls/Gambrill State Parks (Fred.)
- Cylburn Arboretum (Balt.)
- Eden Mill Nature Center (Harford)
- Elms Environmental Education Center (St. Mary’s)
- Fountain Rock Nature Center (Fred.)
- Hashawha Environmental Education Center (Carroll)
- Howard County Conservancy (Howard)
- Howard CC – Belmont (Howard)
- Irvine Nature Center (Balt.)
- Lake Roland Park (formerly R.E. Lee) (Balt.)
- Locust Grove & Meadowside Nature Centers (Montg.)/Montgomery Parks (Countywide)
- Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources Wildlife & Heritage Service (A.A./Statewide)
- Marshy Point Nature Center (Balt.)
- Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center (Balt. City)
- National Aquarium (Balt. City)
- Phillips Wharf Environmental Center (Talbot)
- Pickering Creek Audubon Center (Talbot)
- Oregon Ridge Nature Center (Balt.)
- Quiet Waters Park/Anne Arundel County Rec & Parks (Anne Arundel)
- Robinson Nature Center (Howard)
If you are interested in multiple copies of The Chesapeake Watershed, volume discounts, or classroom sets please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In these challenging times, I would like to invite you to the following events which are designed to build community and to raise awareness of how we can save the places we love.
I will be there and hope to see you too.
March 2017 – Events to celebrate Columbia’s 50th Birthday
- Friday, March 24, 7pm – Storytelling Performances at Owen Brown Interfaith Center
- Saturday, March 25, 2 to 6pm – Storytelling Workshop at Owen Brown Interfaith Center
- Sunday, March 26, 11am, Walk in Downtown Columbia – meet at the People Tree at the Lakefront
- Thursday, April 20, 10 am, Explore Columbia Walk
- Thursday, April 20, 5 pm, Book of the Year Lecture at HC Central Library
- Friday, April 21, Storytelling Performances at Conservancy at 7pm
- Friday, April 21, 2 to 6 – Storytelling Workshop at HoCo Conservancy
- Saturday, April 22, Greenfest at Howard Community College – 11am to 4pm
For a more complete list of activities and for more detail click here, or contact me at email@example.com
Guest Post by Author Julie Dunlap
Growing up has always been tough. But the millennial generation, my young adult children’s cohort, faced especially daunting challenges. The 9/11 terror attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and SuperStorm Sandy, along with melting ice caps and bleaching coral reefs, have been formative events in their youths and childhoods, shaping their understanding of people and planet along with their maturing characters. As an environmentalist and a parent of four, I wondered and worried how early experiences of a shifting and troubled Earth may alter young adults’ attachments to place and the natural world.
To explore these questions, I joined with Anne Arundel Community College professor Susan A. Cohen (also a mom of two millennials) to collect essays by young writers grappling with growing up in an era replete with environmental and social crises. The result is a new anthology, published this month by Trinity University Press—Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet. The collection’s title alludes to Bill McKibben’s book, The End of Nature, published in 1989 before many of our contributors were born. In the 1990s, McKibben’s best-seller introduced me and millions of other then-young parents to the looming threats of climate change and humanity’s ubiquitous alterations of our basic natural systems.
Perhaps anger was the emotion I most expected at the project’s outset, and some Coming of Age contributors do rail against their earthly inheritance, against the losses imposed as forests shrink and oceans sully. Yet others question older generations’ ideas, rejecting the view that a tourist-thronged canyon is inherently compromised, and insisting that pristine wilderness need not be the ultimate definition of natural beauty. Many find ways to celebrate remaining pockets of tenacious nature, the return of raptors to urban parks, or the rejuvenation of community through sharing food foraged in the wild. And most heartening of all, woven through essay after essay, are feelings of love, of home, and of commitment to a thriving future. Far from the entitled laggards of media myth, these young people are seizing and creating opportunities to protest, study, plant, explore, build, teach, and of course write about the challenges they face and the solutions they foresee. McKibben, in his generous foreword to Coming of Age at the End of Nature, praises the essays as “mature, reflective, deep, and lovely,” but also and most of all “hopeful.”
Of course, I still wonder and worry about what lies ahead for my children and yours, as places and processes we knew to be timeless transform at an accelerating pace. But thanks to the youthful voices in this collection, I know the rising millennial generation has roots in their Earth, deep and wide, and the resilience to face whatever comes next.
Julie Dunlap is a writer, editor, and educator living in Columbia, Maryland. For more information about Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, please visit: http://tupress.org/books/coming-of-age-at-the-end-of-nature .
I am delighted to share the great news that Saving the Places we Love, my second book, has been picked as the Howard County Book Connection selection for 2016-2017. The book was chosen by the Howard Community College, the Howard County Library System, and Hocopolitso.
You can join the county-wide discussion to see how we can create a more sustainable community by ordering a copy of the book from Amazon. If your community or organization would like to buy multiple copies, volume discounts are available at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds go toward efforts to improve our environment.
Please come participate in the following events:
- Thursday, October 20, 2016, 7pm. Meet the Author: Ned Tillman – Saving the Places We Love at the Miller Branch of the Library. RSVP
- Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 11 am. Nature Walk Howard Community College Campus on College Sustainability Day.
- Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 3:30pm. Keynote, Q&A, book signing, and reception at Howard Community College, 3:30pm – 5pm.
- Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7:00pm. Presentation on Saving The Places We Love at the Main Branch of the Howard County Library System.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you would like to create another event for your friends, your community, or your business or non-profit organization.
Guest post by Mark Southerland, PhD
We are all familiar with the pervasive effect of electronic devices on communication worldwide. Nearly everyone uses texts, emails, digital documents, e-books, and social media as their primary means for conducting business and personal affairs. This has allowed communication to grow exponentially without a concomitant increase in paper production. It is now common knowledge that everyone can make specific consumer choices to save paper, and the forests that produce it, such as by receiving financial statements and medical records electronically. There are, however, many other inventions that provide consumers an environmentally friendly choice. Here are two recent inventions where the consumer can choose to reduce their impact on our marine ecosystems.
- Reduced, recycled, compostable, and edible packaging – six-pack rings that fish can eat
The change to more environmentally friendly packaging for consumer products has been a more gradual evolution, often associated with advent of environmental brands of products and stores. The most recent innovation in packaging is the creation of an edible six-pack ring from barley waste produced in beer brewing .This product addresses the tragic effect that six-pack rings have on sea life through entanglement and ingestion, resulting in thousands of deaths of fish, birds, and sea turtles each year.
- Guilt-free seafood — removing invasive species by eating them
Recognition of the declines in fish populations and other seafood species spawned the sustainable seafood movement in the 1990s, producing lists of sustainable seafood that has been caught or farmed in ways that protect the long-term vitality of harvested species. While many consumers make their seafood choice based on these lists of sustainable alternatives, such as Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, there is now the opportunity to seek out invasive species for your dinner plate. Wegmans in Columbia (and at other stores throughout the country) has recently added lionfish to their shelves. The red lionfish of the Indo-Pacific, whose populations have exploded in the subtropical waters of the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean, is devastating local coral reef ecosystems. Let’s work together and help remove these fish by eating them.
Take-a-way: These are two easy steps that you can take to make a difference and to encourage more innovation like this.
We had a great hike around Kendall Ridge, Maryland on this past Thursday. I bet you have never been there. It was a 2 mile walk – part of the 120 miles of paths in Howard County. It was 1 of 10 walks I am leading this year for the Columbia Association.
The woods have changed so much over the past few weeks. Dark green canopies cover the paths. Noonday cicadas drown out all human noise including the airplanes, and Joe Pye, Ironweed, jewelweed and golden rod offer a bit of color.
Part of the difference in the woods or the edges of the woods is the result of the vines taking over the forests. All the trees were magically draped with vines climbing up 10, 30, 60 feet covering trees of all sizes. We saw a range of grapevines (fox, summer, riverbank, etc.), Virginia creeper, poison ivy, English ivy, cut-thumb/mile-a-minute, porcelain berry, honeysuckle, and trumpet vine.
It was a special walk along boardwalks reaching across streams, floodplains, and engineered wetlands. We saw stressed sycamores and locust trees, lots of black walnuts, and a series of dying ash trees. It was interesting to envision what life must have been like pre-colonization, and after Daniel Kendall received his 400 and 500 acre land grants back in 1701 (Kendall’s Delight and Kendall’s Enhancement). The forests are recovering as are the streams and a whole host of flora and fauna, including many native and non-native species. It is a seldom visited path that extends sound from the Kendall Ridge Pool. Go try it one day. You will forget you live in a city.
Take-a-way: For a list of future hikes this fall visit this schedule of events. Don’t leave the trails just to the PokemonGo searchers!