Monday, November 22, 2010

Professor Bill Schindler on NPR's Weekend Edition

Listen to Professor Bill Schindler, one of the professors of the Chesapeake Semester, speak on foraging for Thanksgiving with Bonny Wolf, NPR Weekend Edition Food Commentator.

Foraging for Your Thanksgiving Meal

Eastern Neck Open House

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a special Open House on Saturday, December 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The community is invited to explore Eastern Neck Island and areas of the Refuge that are normally closed to the public. “This is a great time of year to bring your binoculars and learn about local wildlife and island habitat,” says Gren Whitman, president of the Friends.

Refuge facilities include miles of hiking paths through woods and meadows, a small natural history/visitor center, ponds, beach access, wildlife and waterfowl observation decks, a watertrail with public access, a butterfly garden (pretty even in winter), a caretaker's house, relaxing picnic areas, bike racks, a small gift shop, clean restrooms and an ample visitor parking lot.

The Friends of Eastern Neck, the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Kent County Bird Club, a local chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are teaming up to offer guided walks and talks throughout the day. All the tours, talks and nature walks start at the Refuge Office. The bird walk begins at the trail head. “It’s a family-friendly schedule,” says Refuge Manager Cindy Beemiller: 10:00 AM – Tubby Cove & Boxes Point bird walk; 10:30 AM – Cedar Point nature walk; 11:00 AM – Green Tree Reservoir tour; 12:15 PM – Tundra Swan talk; 1:30 PM – Shipyard Creek nature walk; 1:45 PM – Maintenance “Nuts & Bolts” talk; 2:30 PM – Duck Impoundment & pond tour. Bookstore manager Jackie Cicconi says she’s promoting a 10% discount all day, and the visitor center will feature live music and lunch concessions at noon.

This rain or shine event is free and open to the public. ENNWR is located at 1730 Eastern Neck Road in Rock Hall. For more information, contact or To learn more about volunteer opportunities through the Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc. visit or call (410) 639-7056.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Full Moon Kayaking

October 22, 2010

Six Washington College students (Dan Danko, Nicole Robinson, and 4 other member of SEA) were among 22 paddlers on a Full Moon Float at Eastern Neck Island on October 22nd. It was brisk but calm as the group launched from Bogles Wharf and headed for the Duck Inn Trail. "It was peaceful gliding through the water and watching the moon come up," said Katherine Thornton, a sophomore at Washington College who took some of these photos. The event was organized by the Center for Environment & Society, and John Wagner, head of the College's waterfront programs, provided kayaks, paddles and life vests for students. The other intrepid paddlers (including a father and son in an Old Town canoe) brought their own gear and flashlights. The next group kayaking event at ENNWR is planned for 21 June 2011 in celebration of the summer solstice.

Eastern Neck Island has approximately 15 miles of shoreline, but the fall Shoreline Cleanup concentrated on a section of garbage and debris that washed ashore during recent storms. About a dozen people, including many volunteers from the Student Environmental Alliance (Nicole, Kathy, etc), hauled 11 bags of trash from the beach up to an abandoned trail head. The litter weighed approximately 200 pounds (not including an old tire)! Kevin Hemstock took a great photo of the cleanup participants - all women - that ran in the October 28th edition of the Kent County News.

Do bats make you think of Halloween and vampires? Beyond the myth and folklore, bats are one of the most important groups of animals. U.S. Fish & Wildlife specialist Colby Hawkinson taught a class on bat ecology, called Curious Creatures of the Night, on October 31st. Nine participants learned what bats eat, where they live and how they behave. Afterwards they built bat boxes using Boy Scouts' kits provided by Washington College's Center for Environment & Society.

All the October events at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge were part of a recent advertising campaign coordinated by CES and the Friends of Eastern Neck. The ongoing goal is to raise awareness of the Wildlife Refuge and the many recreational opportunities on the island. "Hiking trails, waterfowl counts, birdwatching, kayaking, beachcombing and fishing - it's all in your backyard," says Fairchild. If you have program suggestions, or for more information, please contact or (410) 778-7295. "We hope to see you at the Wildlife Open House on the island on December 4th," says Ms. Fairchild.