Posts Tagged 'agriculture'

A Day in Southern Anne Arundel County

Last week, Four Rivers Heritage Area was so pleased to host a tour of one of the region’s “hidden” treasures – Southern Anne Arundel County – for the staff of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau (the “CVB”). South County really could be considered Maryland in microcosm with its rural and agricultural landscapes, water front communities, horse farms, fruit and vegetable farms, marinas, wildlife, and, of course, historic places. It was such a treat to spend all day touring this part of the county that we want to share some of the images from these special places with our readers.

We began the day by heading down to Historic London Town and Gardens where Executive Director Donna Ware gave everyone a tour of the Visitors’ Center, Archaeology Lab, gardens, and reconstructed and original historic buildings.
 
We then drove down Muddy Creek Road to Galesville’s historic Main Street where Roberta Cassard and Norman Hazard of the Galesville Heritage Society shared the town’s rich maritime history with a tour of the Galesville Heritage Museum.
 
Executive Director Laurel Fletcher met us at the Captain Salem Avery Museum where we took a walk on the pier leading down to the West River and checked out a crab trap. Laurel also gave a tour of the inside of the museum where fantastic family heirlooms and other historic artifacts are neatly curated.
A delicious lunch, incorporating local peaches and rockfish, was provided by the staff of Herrington Harbour South, a local marina and resort. Anna Chaney Willman, the marina’s catering director, gave us an inside look at the “greening” initiatives of the marina and resort, such as wash water recycling, energy efficiency, and the creation of marsh land for wildlife habitat. We hopped over to Herrington Harbour North where Ruth Hazen of the Deale Area Historical Society gave a tour of the Historic Village situated at the entrance of the marina.
Last stop was the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) during which Karen McDonald talked about SERC’s education and public programs. John Parker of the Terrestrial Ecology department also took the group up to the ruins of the Contee Mansion, on top of a steep hill, to share a spectacular view of the Rhode River.
Thank you to all of our hosts and to the CVB for allowing us to share the rich heritage of South County with them. Visit the Four Rivers website to download a variety of brochures to help you create your own tour of South County. Explore, Experience, Discover Four Rivers and Landings (for all you boaters) are available online! Give us a call at 410-222-1805 or send a request to heritage_area@aacounty.org and we will send you a copy of our large History Explorer’s Map with detailed information about dozens of historic sites in the Heritage Area.
 Happy trails! – Aleithea
View of one of the gardens. Can you spot the tobacco?

View of one of the Historic London Town gardens. Can you spot the tobacco?

 

The gang talks with Roberta Cassard on the steps of the Galesville Heritage Museum (photo by Susan Steckman)

The gang talks with Roberta Cassard on the steps of the Galesville Heritage Museum (photo by Susan Steckman)

 

Laurel Fletcher pulls up the crab trap (Photo by Susan Steckman)

Laurel Fletcher pulls up the crab trap (Photo by Susan Steckman)

 

This sign post marks a segment of Herrington Harbour's mile-long eco-trail.

This sign post marks a segment of Herrington Harbour's mile-long eco-trail.

 

We spent some time at the Nutwell Schoolhouse at the Herrington Harbour Historic Village

We spent some time at the Nutwell Schoolhouse at the Herrington Harbour Historic Village

 

The pier at SERC overlooks a canoe/kayak ramp. I took this photo from a relaxing gazebo.

The pier at SERC overlooks a canoe/kayak ramp. I took this photo from a relaxing gazebo.

Preserving the Chesapeake Bay – My time with Earthwatch

Nearly a year ago, I spent a week at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland as apart of the HSBC Climate Partnership program administered by Earthwatch Institute

As many preservationists will tell you, the field is not limited to historic buildings (the “bricks and mortar”), but to preserving landscapes as well. Especially here in the Chesapeake Bay region, many of us find it impossible to separate our cultural identity from our environment. We thrive on our relationship with the Bay and its associated icons, such as the Great Blue Heron, the Blue Crab, sailing and other maritime activities, oysters and oystering, otters and dolphins (yes, dolphins!), turtles (like, of course, the Diamondback Terrapin), and lush riparian (or streamside)  forests. 

At the weeklong workshop, we not only learned theories about global climate change, but also participated hands-on in on-going sustainable forestry research taking place at SERC, including the impact of deforestation on the carbon balance in our region. We identified, classified, mapped, tagged, and measured hundreds of trees growing near the Rhode River. The goal of this particular project was to track how healthy the forests are in this area in light of the historical past use of the land for agricultural purposes. Some of the forest cover is new growth, after having been logged for farming purposes as late as the early twentieth century. Researchers will use this data to help North American forestry management deal with the ever increasing human impact on the landscape.

 On another occasion, I had the chance to canoe the Rhode River with the SERC staff during which I learned of human impact on the tiniest of flora and fauna in the Chesapeake Bay and the research at SERC charged with stemming the tide (so to speak) of negative change. 

Below are photos of my week-long adventure at SERC; it was the middle of autumn and quite extraordinary. – Aleithea

Me standing in front of a root system of an enormous fallen tree

Me standing in front of a root system of an enormous fallen tree

I climbed this 50 meter tower to view the landscape. Researchers use it to study the tree canopy.

I climbed this 50 meter tower to view the landscape. Researchers use it to study the tree canopy.

View of the Rhode River from the top of the tower

View of Edgewater from the top of the tower

 

With two feet back on the ground, a view of the tree canopy

With two feet back on the ground, a view of the tree canopy


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