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.
The Norfolk Botanical Garden is Virginia’s largest botanical garden, with 175-acres, and 53 themed gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat or by foot. Join NBG’s Curator of Herbaceous Plants, Michelle Baudanza, for an early spring casual informative walk and discussion of the botanical garden’s spring bulbs and blooms. Included with admission. March 26, 10:00 am to 11:30 am; Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA. More information and registration.
Kick off your spring gardening with by choosing native plants from the Adkins Arboretum annual Spring Plant Sale. Ordering is now underway; just go online and make your selections from the Arboretum’s large inventory of ornamental native plants, and then schedule your pickup time. See a list of available plants. Now through March 31; Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD. More information.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Harriet Tubman and the 5th anniversary of its opening, “Team Tubman,” of the the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center are hosting special programs to honor the life and legacy of the abolitionist and suffragist. Events include the virtual premier of the film Rooted Wisdom: Nature’s Role in the Underground Railroad at 7:00 pm March 11. On March 12 there wll be an opening ceremony featuring a living history interpretation by Millicent Sparks at the Visitor Center, an update of the successful effort to locate and excavate the homesite of Ben Ross, songs and stories by the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices, and a discussion of the free and enslaved people who helped raise, protect, nurture, and educate Harriet Tubman. The celebration continues on Sunday March 13 with more musical presentations and much more about the amazing story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. More information and weekend schedule details. 
There will be lots of fun for the whole family at the Delmarva Discovery Museum’s heritage festival. Blue ribbon carvers will demonstrate their skills at making decoys, and painters and authors from all over the Eastern Shore will be sharing their work and telling their stories. Refreshments will be available, featuring Chesapeake fare like fried oyster sandwiches. Admission is free. March 26, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and March 27, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Delmarva Discovery Museum, Pocomoke City. More information.
Herbalism is as ancient as life itself and is the foundation of all other forms of medicine. Learn how to use whole plant materials such as leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, stems, bark, roots, moss, lichen, seaweed or fungi to support and maintain health. You’ll have the opportunity to taste a few herbs and take home a tea or tincture sample. $30; ages 16+. March 19, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD. More info and registration.
Birds cannot live on bird seed alone, they also need insects and insects need native plants for food and shelter. Join Sam Hoadley of the Mt. Cuba Center, for an online presentation on newly released hydrangea arborescens evaluation results. The results from a five-year study are in on which hydrangea species received top marks from a garden perspective, and which species and cultivars tallied the most pollinator visits. Included will be tips for successful cultivation and care of wild hydrangea. This webinar, co-sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the American Horticultural Society, will be recorded, and the recording will be made available to registrants following the live event. $10 per registrant. March 10, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. More information and registration.
Looking for a totally new and different treasure hunt? Pennsylvania’s Sinnemahoning State Park is hosting an introduction to the thrill of a different kind of hunt – searching for antlers that deer and elk have shed. The program will begin indoors with a brief talk about deer and elk antlers, how they grow, and where and when to find them, then head outdoors for a one to two-mile hike to practice locating and identifying good places to search. Free; for adults and children 8+. Most of the hiking will be off-trail and over rough, uneven terrain. No pre-registration is required. March 12, 10:00 am to 11:30 am; Sinnemahoning State Park, Austin, PA. More info.
Join Leesylvania State Park staff, Friends of Leesylvania State Park, and Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince William Master Gardener, Patrick Lucas, for the why, what, and how of composting. Learn how to reduce landfill usage, reduce greenhouse gases, and increase the productivity of your garden soil. Free and open to all ages. March 12, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, VA. More information and registration.
Feature of the Week
Shad double header, Doug Austen photo
How to Catch Chesapeake Shad
Pound-for-pound, shad are one of the Chesapeake watershed’s most fun fish to catch, and now’s the time to go after them! An anadromous fish, shad spend the majority of their lives in the ocean, but migrate to freshwater to spawn. Avid fisherman, Peter Turcik, is once again ready to share all of his shad fishing know-how, from where to try your luck to types of rods, line, and lures. Once near extinction, shad are now protected throughout the watershed and fishing is strictly for sport – but their feistiness makes them a go-to favorite when spring comes to the Chesapeake. Read Shad Fishing in the Chesapeake. 

Featured Tips
March in the Vegetable Garden
With the return of warmer days comes the urge to mess about in the garden. It’s time to prepare your vegetable garden bed and begin planting cool weather plants, like kale, cabbage, collards, English peas, mustard greens, radishes, spinach, and certain lettuces like arugula. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia has some great tips for how to prepare you vegetable beds, amend your soil, select and sort seeds, build a raised bed, and more. Read more about March Vegetable Gardening.

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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