Baltimore County Now
Nature Quest is Your Ticket to Outdoor Adventure
Interested in an adventure and a chance to find new parks in your area? You’ll love Baltimore County’s Nature Quest! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore County Local Health Coalition and Wegmans grocery store have partnered to provide this fun, free adventure.
You can experience the outdoors and be active while discovering some of the best parks and trails in Baltimore County. It’s great for families, scout troops, seniors – anyone who wants to get outdoors and have fun. You can bike, hike, or canoe on designated trails and complete the Nature Quest while earning prizes.
All you have to do is finish at least five trails and you can join us on October 17 to celebrate at our Nature Quest Fest. This action- packed event will include various activities such as canoeing, fishing, live animals, crafts and more. So get your family and friends together and begin your adventure!
Complete Your Quest in Three Easy Steps!
1. Get your Passport booklet. Pick up a Nature Quest booklet from your local Wegmans store, at participating parks (Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, or Honeygo Run Regional Park), or print one online at relpnc.org/nature-quest.
2. Start hiking. Take your booklet and a pencil or crayon and head out on the trails. Record your progress by making a rubbing of the trail marker located on each of 13 trails.
3. Collect your prizes. Prizes are awarded after accumulating rubbings from at least five of the 13 trails. In addition to the prizes, questers that complete five trails or more also receive free admission to the Nature Quest Fest on October 17. Extra incentives are available to questers that complete 7 to 13 trails!
Shannon Davis, Park Ranger, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
What is land art? It can be part art, part nature, part environmental statement. Sometimes it’s a commentary on society or forces in the universe. It can be an artist’s interpretation inspired by agriculture and farm life. Other times it’s a living, growing work that collaborates with nature to organically change over time.
LAND and ART at MARC
A new project at the Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville brings land art and creative land use installations throughout the four seasons. Art will be in full bloom all year long through the LAND&ART@MARC: A 4 SEASON PROJECT through a partnership between the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and the Washington Sculpture Group.
A jury panel selected two pieces to launch this innovative project. The installations, “Leaves of Grass” by Pattie Porter Firestone and “Uncle Mike's Animal House” by Mike Shaffer will be on view through November 2015.
Blades of Grass Pattie Porter Firestone's work portrays seen and unseen patterns of energy in the world around us. Her outdoor sculptures imply movement below the surface of the earth and the relationship between the earth and humans. Leaves of Grass depicts energy from the earth pushing nine red blades of grass eight feet out of the ground. The size and color of the work challenges the viewer to question the importance of scale and the relationship between natural vs. man-made objects.
Uncle Mike’s Animal House Mike Shaffer’s work is made from recycled construction lumber and measures about 8 x 10 horizontally and is about seven feet high. The concept is based on cage or pen-like structures used by farmers in the frontier days to protect small animals such as sheep, goats and pigs from bears and other wild animals especially at night. Actual "houses" (pens) of this sort would have been quite crudely made with straight logs perhaps, closer together, forming a flat or sloping roof and probably with a door or gate in one of the sides. The gabled roof as shown here in this work makes the structure more like a house but would probably have been considered an unnecessary luxury feature on early frontier homesteads.
Opening Celebration and Children’s Workshop
While the public is invited to come out and enjoy the art anytime, the official opening of LAND&ART@MARC will be held Saturday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Baltimore County Ag Center in conjunction with the 70th Annual Hereford Junior Farm Fair. The celebration will include a free hands-on lands art workshop for children conducted by Artemis Herber, curator of the program. Artemis invites children to visualize basic experiences through their senses and create colorful paintwork on fallen trees we have lost in nature. Registration for this free workshop is required to guarantee a space.
Hours and Location
The Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park is part of the County’s park system and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Visit at1114 Shawan Road, on the corner of Shawan and Cuba Roads in Cockeysville.
Call for Fall Land Art Entries
As MARC celebrates the first installations, the second call for entries has just been published. In this call, artists will install land art that reflects on the theme of the equinox including ideas of cycles in nature, farming and the cosmos. Installation will be slated to coincide with MARC”s annual Family Farm Day, September 20. Call for Entries information.
The Land and Art initiative is part of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council’s Arts on the Farm Program, a continuing exploration of the intersection of art and agriculture. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Bronwyn at Bronwyn@marylandagriculture.org.
Programs Manager, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council
Another Clean Green County Initiative
At beautiful Meadowood Park in Lutherville this morning, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced to recycling advocates and recreation leaders that the County has initiated recycling collection in 12 Baltimore County parks.
“Recycling brings critical environmental benefits, both locally and globally,” Kamenetz said. “Offering our residents the opportunity to recycle conveniently in parks is another step toward a clean, green Baltimore County.”
The parks included in the program are:
- Banneker Historical Park and Museum
- Eastern Regional Park
- Honeygo Regional Park
- Marshy Point Nature Center
- Meadowood Regional Park
- Northwest Regional Park
- Reisterstown Regional Park
- Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park
- Oregon Ridge Lodge and Nature Center
- Robert E Lee Park
- Loch Raven Fishing Center (seasonal)
- Rocky Point Beach and Park
These parks were selected because they already have on-site staff who empty trash and aggregate it in dumpsters for weekly collection. Although no significant additional personnel time will be required, each of these sites will need additional equipment and fixtures to implement the program. The initial cost excluding the weekly hauling is approximately $44,000.
Either the private hauler for each area or the County’s Property Management staff will empty the dumpsters on a set schedule. Private haulers charge approximately $88 per unit per year depending upon location.
The program began in May and features a combination of blue or white recycling barrels and attractive green trash and recycle containers. Two of the green containers will be placed at each of the designated parks and the number of barrels varies according to the park’s popularity, size and anticipated amount of recyclables.
“It is important to offer residents every opportunity to recycle and I congratulate County Executive Kamenetz on his continuing commitment to protecting our environment,” said County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.
Clean Green County Facts
- Our residential recycling program continues to break records in terms of tonnage collected, and is generating approximately $2 million in net revenues per year.
- Baltimore County continues to be recognized by the national Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for our investment in community trees, plus we are aggressively pursuing our goal of increasing the County’s overall tree canopy to 50 percent coverage.
- Our stream restoration program is nationally recognized, with seven stream restoration projects completed since 2011 and more than two dozen now in the planning and design stages.
- We are putting the Stormwater Utility Fee funding to work with projects all around the County including:
- street sweeping
- storm drain cleaning
- stormwater facility inspection, maintenance and upgrades
- shoreline stabilization
- urban canopy tree planting
- monitoring, planning and programming
- other improvements to impervious surfaces
- DPW is promoting residential recycling with billboards promoting the benefits of recycling, including environmental, jobs and landfill conservation. The three billboards can be viewed on the County’s Facebook page at: