A Note About COVID-19 and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.
As part of its Nature Hour winter lecture series – and in preparation for spring! – the Lancaster Conservancy is presenting a virtual exploration of native spring ephemeral wildflowers. Join Keith Williams, naturalist and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Conservancy will lead you through the story of our native spring ephemeral wildflowers. From biology to identification, this presentation will reveal the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems, and give you the confidence to identify a number of these beautiful harbingers of spring when you make your first spring forays into nature. Free. Feb. 23, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. More information and registration.
Greg Kearns, a park naturalist at Patuxent River Park, is an accomplished photographer, worldwide traveler, leader of eco-tours, expert birder and renowned authority on ospreys. As part of the Captain Avery Museum virtual lecture series, join in to learn everything you need to know about ospreys, their life cycle, and their importance to the Chesapeake Bay. Greg promises “You will be on the edge of your seat as you learn more about this unique species of raptor.” $10 per person. Feb. 23, 11:30 am. More information and registration.
Harpers Ferry has been a prominent stage in Black history. During the Jim Crow era, Storer College students referred to Camp Hill as the Hill of Hope, as it represented a place of refuge, equality, and inspiration. The Harpers Ferry Park Association is hosting a tour of Camp Hill, ending with
a stop inside the historic Lockwood House (newly preserved by the National Park Service) prior to its re-opening to the public. Guide David Fox has served as an interpretive park ranger at Harpers Ferry for 30 years, and has a special interest in John Brown’s Raid, Black history, and the intersection of natural and cultural history. This will be an easy walk on sidewalks and grass. $10 per person. Feb. 26, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Harpers Ferry, WVA. More information and registration.
York River State Park is known for its rare and delicate estuarine environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a rich habitat for marine and plant life. It is designated as a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Take a walk and discover life in four different aquatic ecosystems. Hike to a small woodland and marsh stream, freshwater pond, and brackish/saltwater river. Net and identify different crustaceans, fish, and take note of plant life. Free and open to all ages. Feb. 12, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; York River State Park, Williamsburg, VA. More information.
This Mariners’ Museum history lecture will be in person and live streamed. Harriet M. Buss, a school teacher from Sterling, Massachusetts, began teaching formerly enslaved persons in the South in 1863. For the next nine years, she moved between three states, at one point teaching in Norfolk, Virginia. Buss faithfully chronicled her experiences through letters to her parents, providing a personal glimpse into the complexity of post-Civil War Hampton Roads. Buss dedicated the later part of her life to training the next generation of Black educators. You may attend the lecture for $1 admission to the museum or live stream (you do not need Zoom) for free. Feb. 25, 12:00 pm; The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, VA. More information.
This year Pickering Creek has two great ways to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. You can enjoy watching birds from the comfort of your home anytime on Friday, Feb. 18 through Monday, Feb. 21. Then share your results with the Center through e-Bird at PCAC- GBBC (there is a space after the dash). Or you can sign up to join experienced birders at Pickering Creek to go bird watching in small groups on Feb. 19, 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Easton, MD. Registration and more information.

Note: You can also participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count at Patapsco Valley State Park. Register by calling 410-461-5005.
coprolite [ kop-ruh-lahyt ] noun; a stony mass consisting of fossilized fecal matter of animals. The term “coprolite” has its roots in the Greek language, derived from kopros, which means dung, and lithos, which means stone. In this inaugural year, the Calvert Marine Museum will celebrate Universal Coprolite Day with activities and learning stations throughout the museum. Visitors will also get an opportunity to see the museum’s vast collection of coprolites. Activities and exhibits are included with museum admission. February 20, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD. More information.
Bring along your sweetie for this beginner-friendly snowshoe outing in the forest! Enjoy a gentle 2-2.5 mile snowshoe trek and end at a local eatery for happy hour. This program is free but pre-registration is required. Location and additional information will be provided upon official registration. Feb. 18, 6:00 pm; Forbes State Forest, Laughlintown, PA. More information and registration.
Feature of the Week
Scratch Your Winter Fishing Itch
Most fish migrate to avoid the cold of winter, but there’s one species that seems to thrive in winter water temperatures. In fact, frigid temps seem to pique this species’ rather prodigious appetite and add to its feistiness: the chain pickerel. Avid fisherman, Peter Turcik, is a big fan of pickerel fishing and has tips for special equipment needed (like line that will stand up to a pickerel’s sharp teeth), season- and location-specific bait, tactics, and suggestions for places to fish for pickerel. Read Pickerel Fishing: Scratching the Winter Fishing Itch.

Featured Tips
2022 Fishing and Crabbing Guide
With spring fishing and crabbing just around the corner, there’s no better way to prepare than with the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s recently released Fishing and Crabbing Guide. Find information about rules, state records, species identification, licensing, and more. The guide is available online. You can also bookmark or download the guide on your smartphone to take it with you on your fishing excursions. The printed fishing guides are available at the DNR's sport license agent locations.

Head out on the water and learn firsthand the experiences of Captain John Smith's Voyage on NOAA's Chesapeake Bay interpretive Buoy System. CBIBS provides real time weather and environmental information, as well as a glimpse into living Chesapeake Bay History. You can also download the app for your Android or iPhone from the website. Note: some buoys may be offline with no data currently available.

Take a virtual tour of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail from your computer or mobile device! To help you plan your trip before you go, the Chesapeake Conservancy partnered with Terrain360 to bring you virtual tours of the trail’s great rivers. Sit back and virtually explore the Elk, James (sponsored by the James River Association), Nanticoke, Northeast, Patapsco, Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, Sassafras, Susquehanna, and York rivers. Check out some of the Chesapeake’s special places like Werowocomoco, Fones Cliffs, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Mallows Bay. We hope to eventually bring you a virtual tour of the entire Chesapeake Trail! Explore the Chesapeake's great rivers on our website.

Chesapeake Trips and Tips is a partnership publication of National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Chesapeake Conservancy.
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