Baltimore County Now
Michael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
This summertime guarantee brought to you exclusively by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks:
There will be no snow storms, snow flurries or snow squalls at all this summer on any Recreation and Parks sites and parks this summer. Guaranteed!
Wait, there’s more…
We will also guarantee fun and lots of great programs for families, kids and kids of all ages. We are calling this our “Hot times” summer package guarantee!
Here is a sampling of some of the hot times coming your way. Just the names of the programs should be enough to get your attention and participation…
Robert E. Lee Park –Growing up WILD, Beaver Night Hike, The Great American Campout, Natural Play, Bike Rodeo, Mud Day
Cromwell Valley Park – Animal Mothers; Art, Music, Poetry, Food, Wine and Classic Cars; Tin Can Gardening; “Reptiles by Day, Amphibians by Night;” the annual TALMAR Mother’s Day Plant Sale; Fairy Furniture; and you’re gonna love this one: “Eat Your Weedies” – sounds perfectly delicious!
Oregon Ridge Park – 4th of July BSO Star Spangled Spectacular/Fireworks
Throughout our County are “Summer Playgrounds” and camps, enthusiastically and well supervised with excitement, entertainment, socializing, and even some learning slipped in with all the fun. Here are just some of the camps:
Dragon Tao Karate Camp, Premier Basketball Camp; Boys Lax Camp; Step Up to Lax Camp; Camp Gymtastic; Al Bumbry Baseball Camp; Running Camp; Field Hockey Camp; Soccer Camp; Volleyball Camp; Camp New Horizons; Music, Nature, Drama, Art, Camp Chickadee, Around the Pond Summer Camp, Polar Pals, Grizzly Gang, Imagination Station, Muscular Mustangs, Creativity Camp, Gators Summer Camp, Blast Soccer Camp, camps for children and young adults with special needs. There’s really too much to list here, so, go to the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks homepage for a full listing of summer camps and playgrounds.
Keep in mind, that pretty much every one of our 40+ recreation centers offer programming throughout the summer with the above mentioned camps, activities and community events. Follow this link to our Recreation Councils and recreation offices to learn more about what is going on in your neighborhood.
Of course, there are over 200 small, medium, large and extra large- and all beautiful – parks, sites, waterfronts and fields. Imagine, so many great places to relax, picnic, exercise and simply to enjoy; many nearby your home.
For those that might be looking for something to do this summer, not as a participant, but more in line with earning those community service hours, or to have a summer job, there are some options for you, too. There are still some paying positions at Oregon Ridge Park (410-887-1818) and Rocky Point Park (410-887-2818) on the waterfront. There might still be some summer positions out there at our camps and recreation centers. Use this link to our Recreation Offices and ask if there is something to suit your skills and the needs of that office.
There you have it; a special summer guaranteed to be all you need it to be; well supervised, exciting, interesting and fun. And don’t forget, guaranteed to be snow free – though it may include a “sno-ball” from time to time!
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!
Contributed by Fronda Cohen
Director, Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences
It was about 5:30 in the evening, near the entrance to Meadowood Regional Park at the gateway to Greenspring Valley. The park on Falls Road is especially beautiful this time of day, when the light is low over the trees and you hear the stream that runs into Jones Falls. Students and parents rounded the running track, headed to the parking lot after a game.
And there I was with my little camera. Taking a picture of a picture in a place that looks like the picture. One of the parents stopped and asked why there was a large painting in an ornate gold frame sitting in the middle of the field.
It’s off the wall, I said.
The man took a step or two away from me. OK, but what is it and why is it here?
It’s from the Walters Art Museum. They’ve taken paintings from their collection and made high quality reproductions on waterproof canvas, then placed them in unexpected places around the community. They call it “Off the Wall,” and it’s a way to bring art closer to people and people closer to art. Isn’t it amazing the way the painting looks so much like the park? It makes you stop for a minute and see the park and the art in a whole new way.
You know, you’re right. Pretty cool.
You can view The Catskills by 19th century artist Asher Brown Durand at Meadowood Regional Park. The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring by impressionist painter Alfred Sisley is at Robert E. Lee Park. Next spring, the Walters will be bringing more Off the Wall paintings to other Baltimore County locations.