Baltimore County News
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
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
Surely you know that Baltimore County parks are among the coolest places in the county…But did you know that in the winter, these cold and often snow-covered havens of nature-at-its-best are even “cooler”?
If you are thinking parks are closed in the winter, oh boy, do we have some great news for you…We’re open for business with lots to keep you exercising your body and mind, and having lots of fun!
Over at Robert E. Lee Park, in addition to some spectacular sightings of beaver, otter, bald eagles and migrating waterfowl, the park has some exceptional programming: School’s Out Days, Parents’ Night Out, Friday Strolls, Cherry Pie Hikes and the Bird Extravaganza. For more information on these programs you can call 410-887-4156. www.roberteleepark.org
This winter, just how bold (and immune to cold!) are you? Marshy Point Nature Center is sponsoring the 8th Annual Popsicle Plunge. On Saturday, March 1st, it is your chance to get cold and wet for a great cause as you jump into the water off Rocky Point Park’s beach. All funds raised will go to the Marshy Point Nature Center’s many activities and programs; including winter-time programs like our Speaker Series (“Save the Bees” on February 18th); Maple Sugar Time (February 15 and 16); and “Fly Tying” workshop on February 22 and 23. For information on the Popsicle Plunge and all the winter-time programs, call 410-887-2817. http://www.marshypoint.org
Cromwell Valley Park has programs for all this winter - inside and outside, families and individuals, and for kids of all ages. A sweet favorite is “Maple Sugaring” where you can learn to tap a tree and make maple syrup. “Project Feeder Watch” is a project that will offer important scientific information – and it needs your help! And, how’s this for an intriguing Adult evening out, “Night Out With Nature: Iceman’s Last Hours”. So much to do, so little space to share it all. For information on these and many more Cromwell Valley Park programs, call 410-887-2503. www.cromwellvalleypark.org
Oregon Ridge Nature Center is offering some hot times this winter including their delicious (and for a great cause) hot cake breakfast. This is just a part of the ORNC winter offerings, there’s also: Maple Sugaring, Habitats, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Arthropods on this winter’s schedule. We’re loving this one: “Sugar and Your Sweetheart Night Hike” on Valentine’s Day – let your imagination flow! And for the adult nature lover: “Trail Guide Training” will be taking place in early February to give those special folks with an inclination towards the out-of-doors the chance to learn and lead. This is all great stuff! To learn more, you can call 410-887-1815. www.oregonridgenaturecenter.org.
They do winter a bit differently at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum and here “different” means, pretty cool stuff! Set your sights on some great historical workshops like “Honoring African American Firsts in Baltimore County” and “Meet Molly: Ben’s Amazing Grandmother” and “Ben’s Nature Journal”. Of course, what’s a park without great outdoor/nature themes and workshops – moss, turtles, raptors, frogs - just so much going on at Banneker, you’ve got to get in touch with them to see their incredible winter line-up. 410-887-1081. www.BenjaminBanneker.wordpress.com.
Did you know that Nature Quest, the trek through the trails of Benjamin Banneker, Cromwell Valley, Marshy Point, Oregon Ridge and Robert E. Lee Parks continues year ‘round? It is a great chance to see some beautiful trails, find trail markers and earn prizes –spring, summer, fall AND winter. You can ask a ranger for a Nature Quest Booklet. If you complete at least five trails, you will have earned admission to Nature Quest Fest! For more information, call 410-887-4156; or the Therapeutic Office at 410-887-5370. NatureQuest
So, what are you waiting for? Come on out to our parks this winter - it is still lots of fun, interesting and yes, really cool!
Revised April 6, 2016