|Nassawango Creek Preserve & Furnace Town Added to Gateways Network|
Annapolis, MD (03/15/02) - Nassawango Creek Preserve and Furnace Town in Worcester County, MD have been added to the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a system of over 100 special places where people can experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay. The joint designation as a Bay Gateway brings the total number of parks, refuges, historic ports, museums and trails in the Network to 108.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network is a partnership system of sites, trails and water trails around the Bay watershed. Each of these “Bay Gateways” tells a part of the multi-faceted Chesapeake story. Together, as the Gateways Network, they provide a way for people to experience and understand the Bay as a whole.
Nassawango Creek Preserve, 3,900 acres along one of the most pristine Eastern Shore waterways, is home to bald cypress swamps, 12 species of orchids, 21 species of warblers and other natural communities. Managed by The Nature Conservancy, the preserve is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. Adjacent Furnace Town is a living history museum telling the story of a 19th century iron-making village, dependent on the creek, Pocomoke River and Chesapeake Bay for transporting its products. Visitors enter the preserve and museum through a joint visitor center.
“We are very pleased to have Nassawango Creek and Furnace Town as a Chesapeake Bay Gateway,” said Jonathan Doherty, manager of the Gateways Network. “Here people can experience both Bay watershed’s tremendous beauty and how we have used its resources over time.”
Today, the Gateways Network includes 20 state parks, 9 units of the National Park System, 5 National Wildlife Refuges, 16 museums, an Indian reservation, 17 water trails, and a number of other types of sites.
While designated Bay Gateways are managed a variety of different organizations, the overall Network is coordinated jointly by the National Park Service and the Chesapeake Bay Program and its partners. The Bay Program, a partnership of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, the Bay Commission and the Federal government, works to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
A Map & Guide to the Gateways Network is available to help visitors explore the Gateways to the Chesapeake Bay. It is available free of charge at most Gateway sites, as well as in many state welcome centers in Maryland and Virginia. To order a copy by phone, call toll-free, either: 1-866-BAY-WAYS (1-866-229-9297) in Maryland or 1-888-824-5877 in Virginia. Copies may also be ordered on-line from at www.baygateways.net. The Gateways website also provides descriptions and links for all designated Gateways, as well as the ability to search for Gateways by activities, areas of interest or location.
The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network will continue to expand in the future. The National Park Service and other partners provide financial and technical assistance to designated Gateways to help tell the Bay story, improve public access and undertake conservation efforts.