Great Outdoors

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Spring Volunteer Land Steward Training

Join ESLC's Volunteer Land Steward Team this Spring!


May 21, 9am-4pm

Wye Research and Education Center

124 Wye Narrows Drive

Queenstown, MD 21658




Volunteer Land Steward Opportunity  

In efforts to preserve the prime farmland, wildlife habitats, and unique natural assets of the Eastern Shore, ESLC assists landowners in exploring and implementing various conservation options for their properties. The most highly utilized option is a legal agreement known as a conservation easement, which restricts future development of a property in order to protect it in perpetuity. To ensure the ongoing preservation of special places, ESLC visits and inspects preserved properties on an annual basis. Volunteer Land Stewards play an instrumental role in assisting ESLC to carry out these responsibilities. For more information including duties and time commitment of the position, click here.


Training Details  

ESLC's Volunteer Land Steward training covers topics relating to land conservation as well as an orientation to conducting a site visit and completing field work. Training is required for new Volunteer Land Stewards. In addition to the monitoring skills and knowledge gained from the training, volunteers will have the unique opportunity of participating in the preservation of some of the most beautiful lands on the Eastern Shore.

Join Sultana Projects on a Paddle in Search of the Great Blue Heron

Saturday, May 14 on the Upper Sassafras River Portion of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail



Kayak Image

Join Sultana Projects' staff naturalists Chris Cerino and John Mann for an incredible paddle on the National Park Service's new Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.  On Saturday, May 14, Chris, John, and a handful of lucky kayakers will venture to the headwaters of the Sassafras River and the site of one of the most active Great Blue Heron rookeries on Maryland's Upper Eastern Shore.  In addition to seeing the active Blue Heron population, paddlers can look forward to enjoying a remote, beautiful portion of the Sassafras that is only accessible by kayak. 




This 2.5 hour paddle begins at 10am and costs $25 per person.  Single-seat kayaks are provided so all you need to bring is sunscreen, a bottle of water, and your binoculars!  Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling the Sultana Projects' office at 410-778-5954.


Sultana's May 14 "Blue Heron Paddle" is the first of four themed public paddles in 2011.   Future paddles for 2011 include an "Osprey Paddle" on June 18, an "American Lotus Paddle" on July 23, and a "Waterfowl Paddle," on October 15.  


Click Here to Learn More About Sultana Projects' Public Kayak Paddles 



Explore the Shore with Kids – and Dogs!

By Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Hate seeing those sad puppy eyes when you leave the house for some well-deserved fun and adventure? Take heart! There are a ton of dog-friendly places and activities on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay!

Let’s start with every four-legged friend’s definition of a doggone good time: off leash adventures with other dogs!

                                              Western Shore

Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis offers canine heaven. Leashed dogs are welcome all over the park, including the playgrounds and trails. Two fenced parks offer a safe off-leash play area for small or geriatric dogs that don’t enjoy the occasional rough play of the larger, younger versions. There are benches in shaded corners and two refillable kiddie pools for cooling off. Children younger than 6 are not permitted in the larger park – a very sensible precaution given the speed of these energetic pups.

The best feature of Quiet Waters – an off leash doggie beach! It’s not fenced in, but is isolated and the dogs are having too much fun with each other to plot escape routes. There’s no way you could use a leash safely – at least not with weekend crowds. Dogs hurled back and forth on the sandy beach and raced each other to fetch sticks, balls and toys from the water. Several dogs would join together to retrieve a large branch, while another barked instructions: “Get that end, it’s going to sink!” “Don’t swim that way!” “Over HERE – don’t you SEE me???” HBO has nothing on the doggie beach. Older children joined in the fun – wee ones watched from a safe distance.

The park offers real bathrooms for two-legged visitors, and a hand held outdoor shower to de-sand the dogs and kids. The park costs $6.00 per carload to enter, and is closed every Tuesday. Take your bikes – paved trails cover the large park. Their website is: http://www.aacounty.org/RecParks/parks/quietwaters/.

Downs Park in Pasadena offers another secluded dog beach, along with playgrounds, trails, handball and basketball courts. Like Quiet Waters, it costs $6.00 per carload to enter and is closed on Tuesdays.

The a-MAZE-ing River Plantation Family Corn Maze

The theme for this year’s maze is “Birds of Maryland, The Baltimore Orioles & Ravens” and will open Friday, October 1st and remain open every weekend during the month of October 2010. The maze will offer a variety of games within the maze that are designed to add fun and challenge to the maze experience. In addition to the games featuring Baltimore Ravens & Orioles trivia, families can enjoy a putting green, pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin and special events throughout the month.

Two dates to remember: Saturday, Oct. 16th Meet & Greet two of the Baltimore Ravens’ Cheerleaders and Saturday, October 30th for Halloween in the Maze. Every October weekend, Flashlight Friday & Bonfire Saturday will provide a great opportunities for scout meetings, birthday parties or your own special event.

At The River Plantation, Queenstown. Flashlight Friday, 5-8 p.m.; Sat., Noon-6 p.m.; Sunday Bonfire, 6-8 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.; Weekdays Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations required for school trips, Mom's groups, clubs, and other group organizations. 800-697-1777.



Adkins Arboretum will waive admission fees on Sat., Sept. 25 in recognition of Smithsonian magazine’s sixth annual Museum Day. A celebration of culture, learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Museum Day reflects the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums in Washington, D.C. Doors of museums and cultural institutions nationwide will be open free of charge.

The public is invited on Museum Day to explore the Arboretum’s 400 acres of native woodlands, wetlands, gardens and meadows along four miles of maintained paths; join a guided walk at 11 a.m.; and view the artwork of Kelly Adams. Visitors can also enjoy an audio tour that provides lessons about the Arboretum’s plant communities and ecology. A variety of native perennials, trees, shrubs and grasses will be available for fall planting. Arboretum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can gain free admission by mentioning Museum Day or by printing tickets at http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/.


Admission will also be waived on Sun., Oct. 3 for the Arboretum’s quarterly Free Admission Sunday.


Adkins Arboretum’s popular Soup ’n Walk programs for the fall season begins! Discover autumn’s sunny meadows, dazzling colors and signs of wildlife. Following a guided walk with a docent naturalist, enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch along with a brief lesson about the meal’s nutritional value. Copies of recipes are provided. This season’s offerings include:

Search for Fall Colors that Dazzle the Eye and Whet the Appetite

Sat.,  Oct. 16, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

On this walk, look for orange sweet gum, sassafras, tupelo, sumac, dogwood, yellow paw paw, hickory, beech and tulip tree. Menu: roasted red pepper and corn soup, curried sweet potato and apple pilaf, spiced pumpkin bread with cream cheese and yellow cake with cranberry-blueberry glaze.

Look Again! Join the Wildlife Hunt for Nutritious Berries, Nuts and Seeds

Sat., Nov. 20, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Learn about dogwood, hibiscus, partridge berry, oak, juniper, verbena, ironwood and strawberry bush. Menu: Italian sausage, white bean, and kale soup, wheatberry Waldorf salad with walnuts, pumpernickel bread and amaranth date bars.

Each Soup ’n Walk program is $18 per person for members, $20 per person for the general public. Register online at www.adkinsarboretum.org, or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0. To schedule Soup ’n Walk programs for groups of 15 or more, contact Ginna Tiernan, Adult Program Coordinator, at 410-634-2847, ext. 27 or gtiernan@adkinsarboretum.org.

Fall Birding Event

Fall Birding Event
September 25, 2010


Join ESLC's expert Birder Jared Parks for a walking tour of Easton's private Bailey Neck property to observe native migrant songbirds and early waterfowl amongst the beautifully restored waterfowl impoundments and native grass and forested buffers.  Please join us on September 25, 2010 for a guided bird walk in Easton. We will meet at 7 a.m. in the Waterside Village parking lot and carpool to Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage's Bailey's Neck property. 

So grab your binoculars and join us for a fun time!  Cost is $10 for ESLC members and $15 for non-members, but make sure to sign up fast as there are only 25 available spots!  Please call Jared Parks for any additional information at (443) 988-8128.  Remember to sign up today!

Magic in the Meadow—A Twilight Cabaret


Adkins Arboretum promises an enchanted evening when it hosts Magic in the Meadow—A Twilight Cabaret, a dazzling event to benefit the Arboretum's conservation programs. As twilight falls from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 18, guests will mingle in the meadow, surrounded by the Arboretum's 400 acres of majestic native gardens, wetlands, forests and streams.

The evening will feature the music of the incomparable Stef Scaggiari, sumptuous multicourse small plates and hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, delicious local wines from Cassinelli Vineyards and Winery, and dancing to the music of Dan Saunders.

Magic in the Meadow guests will have the opportunity to bid on a variety of unique items during the live and silent auctions taking place throughout the evening. Items range from fine wines to art, private parties and dinners, and custom travel packages to stunning destinations.

Murphy's Law of Summer Gardens

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

Almost every Spring I succumb to the allure of Earth, warmth and bounty. I buy endless seeds and plants, I dig beds, fertilize, and plan. I'm always so proud when the sprouts poke through the earth, announcing the plentiful abundance of things to come.

From there things go downhill for me. Some years, I don't transplant quickly enough, and the sprouts crumple like ice cream on a hot sidewalk. Other times I manage to transplant - but weather or birds quickly destroy my fledgling sprouts. Sometimes they just flatly refuse to grow (other times I forget they need regular watering - SHHH!).

This year I knew the deer and rabbits would attack my garden like hungry children after a birthday cake. I delayed my planting until we had installed a protective fence around the majority of my garden. I replanted my seedlings, added more fertilizer and watered every morning. Finally - I was going to have a bumper crop!!! I'd planted enough tomatoes and peppers to ensure we'd have salsa all year thru! (I lost a few plants to the construction workers, who dumped a load of dirt on them!)

And then I recalled that my husband ALWAYS refers to my spring planting frenzy as "the annual immediately to the gardening gods".  First, my lovely tomatoes are all ROTTEN on the bottom. (I'm told I watered a bit TOO frequently). No problem - I'll stop watering everyday - and the REST of the tomatoes will be wonderful!

Sumi-e Painting in the Wetlands for Kids

August 17, 9am-noon, Environmental Concern Wetland Education Center and Campus, St. Michaels , Call 410 212-9320 for price.

Sumi-e is a type of traditional Chinese painting using black ink. Many painters throughout Chinese history were inspired by wetlands and the animals that inhabit them. This camp will give kids and opportunity to experience this inspiration themselves by trying the traditional eastern approach to painting wetlands animals and water while learning about the amazing animals and characteristics of them.  Traditional Chinese painting media, such as the bamboo brush, sumi-e ink, rice paper and suzuri inkwell will be demonstrated. With most of the camp held on the banks of Environmental Concern’s wetlands, there will be many opportunities to paint beautiful wetlands scenes inspired by eastern painting styles and Chinese painting tradition. RSVP required by calling 410 212-9320. 








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