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Spring Flings

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March, April and May are always the busiest months in this area. You can’t turn around without seeing events every weekend. Sort of like September and October have become. People seem to want to cram everything in before it gets too hot or too cold.

Looking at potential things to put on the calendar. Suffering from sensory overload. Add Easter to this month and I could fill up every weekend, and most weekdays to things to do if I wish.

Events at the Conservancy are ramping up. We have events there three of the four weekends. Some weekends have more than one. Take this weekend for example. I can work with the family geocaching event on Saturday. There are already three dozen people signed up to do a search for hidden boxes of little gems for the successful hunters using the compass function and learning to navigate around obstacles. While all this is going on, the artists are coming to drop off their art for hanging and judging in the Art of Stewardship juried art show. The following five weeks there will be opportunities for people to come see the art in this year’s show, and buy something that strikes their fancy, before it hits the auction day next month. Last year I ended up with a lovely painting at the auction, even if I couldn’t afford the winning piece. Later next week I will get pictures of some of the best pieces entered this year.

conservancy and snowball stand 027

Next weekend on the 16th, there are two events. One a family hike, and the other event, the third in a series of workshops for educators, called Project WET. Some of our naturalists will be taking the training as well as teachers looking to receive professional development credit in the green school application. Family hikes are very popular, with age appropriate groups going out with different volunteer naturalists.

The weekend of the 22-24th, Tom Wessels is coming in from New England to read the natural landscapes around the Conservancy and in Patapsco State Park. This event, with an attendance limit on the hikes, is being sponsored by the Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club. Bringing Tom in here is a real treat. I can’t wait to learn more about what was done on the land around the farmhouse at the Conservancy. Forest forensics. Pretty interesting topics. The Friday night lecture is about The Myth of Progress and sustainability.

If you head over to the Conservancy webpage, you will see the sign up forms.

If that doesn’t give us enough to do, there is volunteer training, and the opportunity to participate as a naturalist at the “weather event” for secondary schools, five of them coming next Wednesday the 13th. It will even be featured on WBAL news that morning, with their meteorologist Ava Marie coming out at 5 am, yes, 5 AM (daylight savings time), so really really early to do some reporting on the event.

Being a volunteer naturalist there can certainly keep you busy. Nice that we can do as much or as little as we can fit in our schedules.

Today in training we were using handheld recorders to register weather data. We will be leading activities in the spring field trips for secondary schools, having teams of students measuring wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, humidity and temperature, in all sorts of different locations on the property.

In two weeks, our final secondary training is a pilot program for History during the Civil War on the farm here in Howard County. I find this activity fascinating and have already signed up to lead one of the trips in April.

Lots of new faces at the training sessions this month for elementary and secondary training. Volunteering is just one way to make a difference here in the county. Time spent is just as important to the nonprofits as donations can be.

Nothing like a lovely spring day outside in the forest, enjoying the scenery and helping out. I even signed up to lead service learning, which is always fun. Particularly in making sure shovels, clippers, tree and brush cutters are used properly by high school students. They do really get into it.

trail clean up

trail clean up

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About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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