Annapolis, MD (06/29/06) - Residents of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania are never very far away from the Chesapeake Bay and its all-important watershed. With summer here, the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network offers some exciting new opportunities to enjoy, explore and educate oneself about this national treasure.
From new water trails that offer history, culture, geology and scenic beauty in one day to interactive museum exhibits that answer the question “From where did the name Pride of Baltimore come?” the network offers everyone a chance to experience the Bay in new and exciting ways.
Swatara Creek Water Trail offers a trail guide for canoeists to help explore this unique urban/suburban wilderness only 50 minutes from Harrisburg , PA. The trail guide for “The Swatie” combines water, good food, recreation, open space, history, culture, scenic beauty and geology in a one day trip. Canoes can access the water trail at Scotto's Italian Restaurant in Jonestown and the Boat House Road Park in Derry Township.
The Fells Point Maritime Museum has new interactive exhibits including “Fastest Vessels of the Seas” highlighting the Baltimore Clipper and the ship Chasseur which came to be known as the Pride of Baltimore . Special coloring pages for children and three-dimensional ship models are fun and educational.
Visitors to the Annapolis City Dock will find something new at this familiar destination. The Dock now has a number of information panels that trace the development of Annapolis and its dock as a center for commerce and transportation, watermen working the Bay and boaters and sailors enjoying the Bay as a recreational destination. It's time to come back to City Dock and learn a lot more about how important it is to the Chesapeake Bay.
The Baltimore Visitors Center in the Inner Harbor has an outdoor display about Baltimore Bay Trails. This exhibit integrates 13 current and 5 future trails telling Chesapeake Bay stories at their point of intersection at the Harbor. Included in the exhibit is the new Heritage Walk Trail. The Visitors Center is open every day this summer from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Piscataway Park on the Potomac has made watching birds in their natural habitat a lot easier this summer. Three observation blinds with interpretive panels explaining the birds that can be seen help visitors understand the importance of preserving old farmland as habitat for resident and migratory species. Bird watching packs are available for use by visitors who stop by the Visitors Center . The park is open dawn to dusk through the summer months.
Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve in Portsmouth VA has new wayside exhibits that illustrate the value of the habitats contained in the preserve. Learn how wildlife and humans are connected in the natural resources of the Bay.
The Potomac River Gorge Trail is a self-guided trail that connects Fairfax County's Riverbend Park with Great Falls Park in Virginia. The trail follows the River's shoreline for 2.5 miles and features 14 trailside information panels highlighting various aspects of the trail's history and the river ecosystem and its connection to the Bay.
The National Aquarium's new Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Waterfront Park on Pier 3 of the Inner Harbor fully describes the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and tells stories of the Bay's magic and its conservation challenges while showing us the role each of us can play in preserving the Bay. The Park simulates the 3 major Chesapeake watershed habitat zones. The plaza has been inlaid with a granite map depicting the entire Bay watershed.
The summer of 2006 is the time to experience all the Chesapeake Bay has to offer and all close to home. The more each of us learns about the Chesapeake Bay , the better able we will be to work for its preservation and improvement. Enjoy all these gateways and join the thousands of residents in the region who have become stewards of the Chesapeake .
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