Marshy Point connects residents to Mother Nature
At a time when it seems like kids prefer playing games on an iPad over climbing a tree and texting over hiking, the Marshy Point Nature Center Council in Middle River provides many resources and programs for local children to embrace the great outdoors.
The Marshy Point Nature Center is a volunteer organization that works with the Department of Recreation and Parks to promote environmental education. With Earth Day approaching on April 22, the center hopes to
share the natural beauty of Baltimore County through its dozens of events and presentations.
“A lot of people don’t even realize that there’s such great place like this in our backyards,” said Ben Foster, a naturalist at Marshy Point, about the area’s thousands of acres of protected habitat. “One of our goals here at Marshy Point is to show people here in Eastern Baltimore County what an amazing resource we have. The shores, the habitats, and wetlands and forests and marshes that are all right here hold so many animals and plant species, it really diverse.”
On Saturday, April 15, the center will celebrate the changing season with their 15th Annual Spring Festival. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., there will be a variety of activities including naturerelated crafts, food vendors, games, and animals shows. Viewers will be able to see a group of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Maryland’s state dog, doing tricks and demonstrations and will be able to get up-close-andpersonal with live animals like a Great Horned Owl. There will also be an Easter Egg hunt, canoe trips, and even a place to build your own boat. Last year’s spring festival set an attendance record of over 2,000 and Foster is optimistic that this year’s will be even bigger and better. Parking and admission to the festival are free and the money raised will go directly back into the center.
On Mondays throughout the entire season, Marshy Point will host their PreK Nature Drop-In classes which introduce little ones to nature while covering a variety of topics including how to spot the first signs of spring, and what to do when you find a baby bird or a bird’s nest.
There are also hands-on programs where explorers can learn everything from wood-craving, to paddleboating, to building a frog pond. Their live speaker series brings in experts to discuss important issues pertaining the environment. For example, on Tuesday, April 18, Maryland Department of the Environment Biologist Charles Poukish will discuss harmful algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay, a problem that has plagued Middle River and resulted in the area’s largest fish kills.
In late March, a family of ospreys set up a nest on Dundee Creek near Marshy Point and the center is running a 24-7 live cam so you can see the exact moment the baby birds hatch.
“I think everyone can find something they’ll enjoy here,” said Foster. “We’re all about encouraging exploration for kids and kids at heart.”
Marshy Point Nature Center is located at 7130 Marshy Point Rd. and is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
For a full list of events at the center, visit www. marshypoint.org or contact 410-887-2817.