Science Programs for Homeschool Students Begin in February at Adkins Arboretum

This winter, Adkins Arboretum will offer homeschool programs for students ages 7 and up. Programs include:

Hooray for Herps!
Tuesdays, 2/13, 2/27, 3/13, 3/27, 4/10, 4/24
1–2:30 p.m.
Enter the bizarre and fascinating world of reptiles and amphibians in this exciting, hands-on herpetology program. We’ll compare herps past and present, conduct experiments to learn how herps regulate body temperature, investigate the survival strategies of salamanders and much more. Searching for herps in the Arboretum’s wetland, stream and forest will be part of the fun. Hooray for Herps! is for students ages 7 to 10.

The Climate Challenge
Tuesdays, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3 4/17
1–2:30 p.m.
Global climate change and its impacts on people and resources pose serious challenges. The actions we take today will influence the path of future greenhouse gas emissions and the magnitude of warming. They will also affect our ability to respond and adapt to changes. This program for students ages 11 and up seeks to educate the rising generation of environmental stewards about the fundamental issues of climate science the impacts of climate change on society and global resources, and mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Advance registration is required for both programs. Visit adkinsarboretum.org for more information or to register your student, or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Habitat House of the Week: Tilghman-on-Chesapeake Charmer

This house’s design responded very well to its waterfront site on the Choptank River. The rear elevation that faces the panoramic water views has a sunroom with windows on three sides and French doors from the family room to a large deck with its perimeter seat for soaking in the sun and the water view. The front elevation has great curb appeal with its soft blue cedar siding, crisp white trim, multiple gables and a variety of windows-dormer windows, bay window, corner windows and a decorative accent window at the front entry gable.

The centrally located family room’s pitched ceiling was open to the second floor and the high windows on the rear wall over each pair of French doors created water views from the staircase to the second floor. The family room, kitchen and breakfast were connected for easy flow and each room had water views. The charming dining room had a large bay window as its focal point. The second floor bedrooms had slightly angled ceilings and nooks under each dormer window for restful retreats and the most charming one was the bedroom with the four-poster bed.

My favorite room was the large sunroom that was parallel to the water’s edge and was generously sized to accommodate both seating and comfortable chairs. This room and the adjacent large deck would be perfect spaces for spending a languid Sunday afternoon watching the boats on the river.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Mid-Shore Board of Realtors Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with Contest

The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act is this year and Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS (MSBR) will commemorate this historic legislation with an essay contest for all High School students and an art contest for K-12th graders. We hope these two opportunities will encourage students to learn about Fair Housing and the impact it has had on the community.

(1) Essay Contest: MSBR 2018 Essay Contest is open to all high school students and who reside in Caroline, Dorchester, or Talbot Counties. Students are asked to write an original and analytical essay of a minimum of 750 words and maximum of 1,000 words. Participants are encouraged to review a variety of sources including the Bill of Rights, newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews. The deadline for submission of the essay is Friday, March 16, 2018. There is a cash prize of $500 for the 1st place writer; $200 for the 2nd place and $100 for the 3rd place writer who best responds to the 2018 theme.

The 2018 Essay theme is: On the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act; how has this act changed renting and homeownership in America? What will the next 50 years look like and how will it change our communities?

(2) Fair Housing Art Contest: MSBR is seeking entries from students between kindergarten and 12th grade. Winning illustrations will be chosen for a fair housing-themed publication. This is not limited to schools; after-care groups, churches, and other children centers are encouraged to participate. Winners will be chosen from three grade categories: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Older students are permitted, and encouraged, to utilize computer aided graphic design programs. All art mediums that comply with the contest criteria are acceptable.

The 2018 Art Contest theme, “Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act”

The rules and regulations, plus the entry form is attached or go to the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® web site; www.msbrmd.com or call the board office at 410-822-8767.

 

Habitat Price Points: What $410,000 to $700,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $455,500 at 10922 Cordova Rd.

This is not the first time I have been drawn to houses that have elements of the Dutch colonial style. I can’t resist the gambrel roof shape that evokes barns in rural landscapes such as this house’s country setting. The deep wrap-around porch is a wonderful outdoor room and covers 50% of the house’s perimeter. There is also a pergola with seating below that is the perfect spot for a picnic after a dip in the above ground pool.

I liked how the front door separates the large living room into a seating area on one side with a full width bay window opposite the fireplace, and a TV area with more seating on the other side. A half-wall to the kitchen and eating area continues the open plan.

The master bedroom at the corner of the house has windows on both sides for light and views and has plenty of room for sleeping and sitting areas. The master closet is really a dressing room with its walls of built in storage, a large window and seating.

For more information about this property contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat House of the Week: From B&B to Private Residence

I have several friends who live on Ray’s Point Road in St. Michaels and this residence used to be a popular B&B before the previous owners retired. The four acre property would make a wonderful family compound with its main house, one-bedroom guest house and one bedroom carriage house with views of San Domingo Creek. A one acre paddock with a small barn, a spacious dock, large pool and recreation room on the carriage house ground floor offer a variety of outdoor activities.

The TV room with its large windows and window seat with views to the water, the fireplace and TV above and the comfortable furnishings created a cozy area for relaxing. The second floor master bedroom with its corner fireplace and private deck overlooking the water was a tranquil retreat. The master bath was also very appealing with its lavatory furniture, skylight and seat under the octagonal decorative window, separate tub and large shower.

My favorite space was the charming guest cottage with a front porch and large sunroom. The ground floor was a spacious open plan divided into living, dining and kitchen areas and the cozy bedroom was tucked under the roof eaves above. The carriage house had a large room with bunk beds that would sleep six for great slumber parties after an evening of games in the recreation room below.

 

For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o), 410-924-0082 (c), or mre@goeaston.net.4

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Open Houses to Honor Habitat Choptank’s Outgoing Director

Habitat for Humanity Choptank invites the community to two separate open houses to say thank you and farewell to outgoing executive director Nancy Andrew. The events will take place in existing Habitat homes that are close to completion from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. In Cambridge, guests can drop in at 1104 Mace’s Lane on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The Easton open houses will take place at 233 Port Street, Unit 2 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. To attend, community members are asked to RSVP to 410-476-3204 or info@habitatchoptank.org.

The Habitat Choptank Board recently named JoAnn Hansen of Cambridge as its next staff leader. Hansen follows Nancy Andrew who in October announced her plan to leave the organization in January 2018. This was timed so that an executive search committee could identify her successor and to have a productive transition. Andrew has served with the affiliate for over eight years including six as its executive director.

“Nancy has been a tremendous asset to our mission and its impact on the community,” says Charlie Bohn president of the board of directors. She led Habitat Choptank through the after effects of the economic downturn, growth of the home purchasing program, launch of a neighborhood revitalization program, expansion of the affiliate’s ReStore, and restructuring of the nonprofit’s balance sheet and funding sources.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has partnered with over 215 local households to improve a place they call home. Seventy-five of those are individuals and families who have purchased new or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit. Income-qualifying individuals and families are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed homes from the nonprofit’s project inventory of durable and energy efficient houses.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these buyers will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years.

Currently, 12 local home buyers are working through the home ownership program. Seven homes are under construction at this time with plans to start at least six more over the coming year. While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, it continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one foreclosure over its 25-year history.

The other households served have partnered for weatherization and repair services since Habitat Choptank initiated its neighborhood revitalization program. In 2015, the nonprofit expanded its housing services with the implementation of a Neighborhood Revitalization program. Neighborhood Revitalization focuses on listening to residents’ challenges and aspirations within a target area and then creating partnerships to make changes that are important to those residents. Based on that input and identified gaps in community services, Habitat Choptank’s inaugural neighborhood revitalization program has focused on providing weatherization services and critical home repairs to income-qualifying households, many of them seniors, in and around the neighborhoods where Habitat builds.

To learn more about Habitat Choptank’s programs, to donate or volunteer, call 410-476-3204 or visit habitatchoptank.org.

Habitat Price Points: What $100,000 to $400,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $324,827 at 29823 Peirce Way in Easton Club East, an adult development conveniently located off Dutchman’s Lane.

I am sports challenged but I was impressed by the outdoor and indoor amenities available to residents including tennis, golf, a pool, clubhouse, fitness room and recreation room. The houses are built on a slab so their curb appeal is different from a house with a conventionally built crawl space; however, the advantage of a slab on grade foundation is accessibility so a homeowner can age-in place.  

This “Wittman” model has a welcoming central entrance hall with French doors leading to a living room on one side that is currently used as a home office.  On the opposite side of the entrance hall, the wall opens up to the dining room. I liked how the flow from the dining room, kitchen/breakfast area to the family room and rear sunroom was through wide cased openings instead of single doors. The family room’s corner fireplace opened up the side walls for vistas to the sunroom’s windows to the lawn beyond and to the large double windows of the breakfast area.


For more information about this property, contact Christie Bishop with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-770-9255 (o), 410-829-2781 (c) or info@cbishoprealtor.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

 

Habitat Choptank Hosting Volunteer Recruitment Event

Community members in Dorchester and Talbot counties who are looking for ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others are invited to get acquainted with Habitat for Humanity Choptank. The nonprofit is hosting a volunteer recruitment event on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at its ReStore located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton.

“When people think about getting involved with Habitat, they generally think about our construction program,” says Nora Skiver, Habitat Choptank’s Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. Skiver, herself a volunteer, is completing a year of AmeriCorps service with the goal of engaging more volunteers in Habitat’s local mission.

“While home building is the most visible way people participate, there are a variety of ways that you can invest your time and talent into Habitat Choptank’s life changing work.” From volunteering in construction, helping at the ReStore, serving on a program committee, or lending a hand at the Habitat office, it all helps to make the dream of home ownership possible for more hardworking families.

“Habitat volunteers have a special place in my heart,” adds Skiver. She purchased her home from Habitat Choptank in 2014. “If you resolved to make a difference in this year, here’s your opportunity to get started.”

Information sessions will run on the hour starting at 10am to 2pm. Community members are invited to drop in during that timeframe. For folks who would like to learn more but cannot attend that Saturday, Habitat Choptank hosts monthly orientation sessions at its office in Trappe on a rotating schedule with both morning and afternoon sessions. That schedule is available on the organization’s website www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Habitat volunteers are men and women who come from all walks of life. Some bring with them existing skills to contribute in construction or helping with specific activities of the mission such as acquiring future properties for redevelopment or coaching home buyers through the home purchasing program. “For others, Habitat is a great way to develop new skills both on our build sites and assisting with the program,” Skiver notes.

This also applies to young people. Starting at age 15, students can volunteer at the ReStore, and at 16, they can join in on construction. “With signed permission from a parent or guardian, we can connect them with a hands-on way to build new skills and add something to their future resume.”

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 75 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.  While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 25 year history. Currently, 12 buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.  For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Karl Gercens III to present Garden Design Inspiration from around the Globe

Please join the Talbot County Garden Club on January 23rd at 1:30 PM as conservatory horticulturist, Karl Gercens III, whisks us through a few of the 2,500 gardens he has visited in 28 countries since his full-time employment at Longwood Gardens 20 years ago.   Highlights include ideas on using native plants versus exotic ornamentals as well as what to do in the tiny spaces we call gardens these days!  You’ll get tips on pathway design and garden art as well as a few lessons on ‘thinking outside the box’.  This is a presentation you’ll not want to miss!!

Karl Gercens joins us from Longwood Gardens, where he oversees many of the changing displays in the Longwood conservatories. His notoriety for using a pallet of colored foliage trees, shrubs, and perennials continues to funnel the exciting content of his professional lectures given nationwide and his horticultural classes offered at Longwood Gardens. When Karl is not gardening, lecturing, or consulting his horticultural passion extends worldwide with frequent visits to public and private gardens in all 50 states and more than 20 countries! While at those locations, he often takes vibrant and vivid digital photography which he catalogues to share his experiences with others.

This event will be held at the Talbot County Free Library and is free and open to the public.

Habitat House of the Week: Arts & Crafts Gem in Diamond Hall Subdivision

Our irregular shoreline along the Bay and its inlets creates many building lots that are promontories into the water like this house’s site. I liked how the house nestled into its wooded setting and responded to the shoreline with its angled form and wings that reach out to take advantage of the panoramic water views. Several decks, a terrace and the screened porch on the three water oriented exterior elevations extend the living space. The screened porch was my favorite outdoor room with its high pitched ceiling that sprang from the angled walls along the perimeter.

I liked the Arts & Crafts detailing beginning at the entrance hall. A partial vestibule defined by two decorative columns led to the entrance hall and to the main rooms. It was refreshing to see a strong color, here a warm caramel, on the walls with crisp white trim, picture molding, crown molding and the wall color continued into the living and dining rooms.

I loved the spacious living room with its wall of windows, fireplace flanked by millwork and especially the coffered ceiling with the caramel color on the ceiling plane. The slate blue trim in the dining room was a pleasant surprise and the generous room size could easily accommodate large family gatherings.

The long galley kitchen with bar stools along one side separated the cooking area from the informal dining area surrounded by windows. At the other end of the kitchen was an inglenook with a fireplace and comfortable seating for a wonderful family space.

The spacious master suite on the ground floor was very appealing but I loved the second floor bedrooms more. Both bedrooms had deep wall colors that accentuated the interior architecture created by the sloped roof and created cozy areas for sweet dreams.

For more information about this property contact Janet Larson with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-6665 (o), 410-310-1797 (c) or jlarson@bensonandmangold.com, Equal Housing Opportunity.”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.