Spy Moment: Adkins Arboretum Plays in the Meadow

The weather gods were watching out for Adkins Arboretum last Saturday night for its annual Magic in the Meadow gala; an event far more dependent on good weather than most, given it celebrates the 400-acre native garden and preserve.

The gift of a perfect, cool evening was awarded that evening as guests enjoyed the hoop dance performance by Baltimore artist Melissa Newman and the jazz of the Peter Revell Band, while Adkins friends and supporters lined up for hiking trails, tours, plant shopping, and auction bidding all accompanied by a Piazza-sponsored dinner and wine selection.

The Spy was there with a camera to capture this reconnaissance video.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about Adkins Arboretum please go here.


Adkins Arboretum Awarded Funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded funding in the amount of $25,000 to Adkins Arboretum to upgrade and increase the accessibility of its Living Collections Database. These funds were awarded through IMLS’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, in the category of collections stewardship. Adkins Arboretum is considered a living museum due to its living plant and land preservation exhibits and its educational mission.

The Arboretum plans to upgrade its current Living Collections Database into a robust, user-friendly database, geographic information system (GIS) and web mapping platform for broader public access and improved future monitoring and management of its living collections. The desired result is an easy-to-navigate Living Collections Database that may be accessed online by all who are interested in learning more about the Arboretum’s flora. The expanded inventory of mapped plants will make it easier for visitors to locate species of interest.

The project will be undertaken over the next 18 months by Adkins staff, including Executive Director Ginna Tiernan, Land Steward Kathy Thornton, Chesapeake Conservation Corps member Blake Steiner, Arboretum volunteers, and local contractors Sylvan Kaufman of Sylvan Green Earth Consulting, Thayer Young of Cicada Systems GIS Consulting and Leslie Hunter Cario of Chesapeake Horticultural Services.

Originally founded as Maryland’s state arboretum in 1980, Adkins Arboretum has operated as a nonprofit since 1992. The Arboretum serves as a model for land management that strives to engage all people in the conservation, appreciation and enjoyment of the Chesapeake region’s native landscapes through education, recreation, art and community events. Located adjacent to Tuckahoe State Park, it operates and maintains a visitor’s center, 400 acres of meadows, woods and wetlands, and five miles of trails under a 50-year lease with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Arboretum’s diverse collection includes more than 600 species of trees, plants, grasses and wildflowers native to the Eastern Shore and the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS’s grant making, policy development and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit imls.gov or follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Adkins Arboretum’s Summer Nature Camps Begin June 19

Summer belongs to children! For more than a decade, families and children have grown with Adkins Arboretum’s Summer Nature Camps. The camps provide extraordinary ways for children to enjoy summer the old-fashioned way—outdoors. 

Campers ages 2 to 13 will make lifelong memories while exploring the Arboretum’s woodland, meadows, streams and wetland. From grazing on blackberries to splashing in the Blockston Branch, the Arboretum’s Summer Nature Camps provide children with a truly enchanted experience.

Calling our littlest nature lovers! Camp Bumblebee, for preschoolers ages 2 and 3, runs June 19–23. The Arboretum’s littlest campers will search for wiggly caterpillars in the Funshine Garden, blow bubbles under the trees and visit the Arboretum goat herd. From splashing in the stream to hunting for tadpoles in the wetland, Camp Bumblebee is summer at its best. Adults attend this camp with their children and enjoy the experience of discovering nature together.

Children learn through play, and nature is the best playground. Camp Pollywog (June 26–30) campers ages 4 to 6 will float leaf and twig boats down the Blockston Branch, create leafy magic carpets on the forest floor and mix up gooey wetland “sundaes” while listening to a chorus of frogs and red-winged blackbirds. Songs, crafts, stories, games and a healthy snack will round out each morning.

It’s “All About the Birds” in Camp Whippoorwill, a special birding camp for ages 8 to 12 (June 26–30). Campers will look for birds on the grounds with naturalist and educator Jim Wilson and will learn to identify birdsong, dissect owl pellets and meet a real-life falconer. They’ll also learn about nesting, migration, owls and vultures, hike to the Tuckahoe State park aviary, and much more.

In Camp Paw Paw (July 10–14), campers ages 7 to 9 will experience the magic of an outdoor summer. They’ll pick blackberries in the meadow, climb trees, toast marshmallows over a campfire and build forts in the woods. When temperatures rise, campers will cool off with sprinkler time in the Funshine Garden and whip up a batch of icy mint tea. Campers will top off the week with a special hike to the Tuckahoe Tire Park, stopping on the way to wade and search for stream critters.

In Camp Egret (July 17–21), campers ages 10 to 13 will hone their wilderness survival skills. Egret campers will navigate with compasses, build shelters, track wildlife and purify water. They’ll also brush up on first-aid, cook over a campfire, and forage, all while building valuable teamwork and leadership skills.

Registration fees vary, and advance registration is required. A special camp T-shirt is included. Register at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Call for Artists: Adkins Arboretum to Sponsor 2017 Juried Art Show

Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Md., will sponsor its eighteenth annual Juried Art Show, to exhibit in February and March 2017. The theme of the show—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore—celebrates the Arboretum’s mission of conservation. The Leon Andrus Award, in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, will be presented to the first-place entry. A second-place award also will be given.


“Place of Passage,” a work on paper by Glyndon, Md., artist Pamela Phillips, was awarded first prize in Adkins Arboretum’s seventeenth annual Juried Art Show, Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The juried show is open to original two- and three-dimensional fine arts in all mediums, including outdoor sculpture and installations. It will be juried by Katherine Markoski, Director of the Kohl Gallery and a lecturer in art history at Washington College. A recipient of the Dedalus Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and a Smithsonian American Art postdoctoral fellow, Markoski has worked as a curatorial assistant at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and has taught courses on modern and contemporary art at American University, George Washington University, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Oberlin College. She holds a PhD in the history of art from Johns Hopkins.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 30, 2016. Digital images of up to three pieces of art by each artist should be sent to art@adkinsarboretum.org. Submissions should include title, medium, dimensions (maximum of 6 feet in any direction, excluding outdoor sculpture), and artist’s name, address and phone number. Works should reflect or interpret broadly the show’s theme of wild nature and landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain region.

Artists whose work is selected will be contacted by Jan. 13 to submit the original work ready to hang by Jan. 28. The exhibit will run from Jan. 31 to March 31, 2017, with a reception on Sat., Feb. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. There is no entry fee, but artists are responsible for all shipping expenses. Selected artists may be considered for future exhibits at the Arboretum.

For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or send e-mail to info@adkinsarboretum.org.

The 2017 Juried Art Show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists.

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.

Adkins Arboretum Hosts Author Andrea Wulf for “The Invention of Nature”

Though nearly forgotten today, the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was immensely popular in his time. An intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age, Humboldt perceived nature as an interconnected global force. He turned scientific observation into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth and Goethe and politicians such as Thomas Jefferson.


Photo credit: Antonina Gern

In her newest book, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, Andrea Wulf explores Humboldt’s extraordinary life and work. On Sat., Nov. 5, join the New York Times bestselling author for a discussion of how Humboldt created the way we understand nature today. Sponsored by Adkins Arboretum, the program begins at 4 p.m. at the Academy Art Museum in Easton.

Described as “an absolutely stupendous biography” and “scholarly but extremely good fun,” The Invention of Nature details Humboldt’s restless life, packed with the adventure and discovery of climbing the world’s highest volcanoes, paddling the Orinoco and racing through anthrax-infested Siberia. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he shaped in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature, and brings this lost hero of science and the father of environmentalism back to life. The Invention of Nature is the recipient of rave reviews and numerous book awards and was listed on the New York Times’ “10 Best Books of 2015.”

Author of The Brother Gardeners, Founding Gardeners and Chasing Venus, and co-author of This Other Eden, Wulf has lectured around the world, from the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Society in London to Monticello and the New York Public Library in the US. She is a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013. She has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian and many others.

The program is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members. A reception with light refreshments and a book signing will follow. Advance registration is requested at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Tom Horton and Dave Harp Present Choptank Odyssey Oct. 27

From its beginnings at upstream springs and farm ditches to its broad estuary below Cambridge, the Choptank River is the Delmarva Peninsula’s largest river. It has been called the “noblest watercourse on the Eastern Shore.” On Thurs., Oct. 27, join longtime collaborators Tom Horton and David W. Harp for a presentation of their new book, Choptank Odyssey: Stories from a Great Chesapeake River, and learn about the Choptank’s natural history, human history, science and culture. The program begins at 4 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center, 114 S. Washington St., Easton.



Photographer Dave Harp (left) and author Tom Horton (right). Photo by Bill Thompson.

Horton, the book’s author, will read excerpts from the seven essays that comprise its narrative, while photographer Dave Harp will share some of the book’s more than 150 photographs. Discover the Choptank’s inhabitants and learn about the impact of human activity on the natural environment. You’ll become acquainted with generations of watermen and farmers, oystermen and oyster shuckers, crabbers and crab pickers, commercial fishermen, and a turkler, just to name a few. Water quality scientist Tom Fisher, oyster boat captain Wade Murphy and retired biologist and aquatic scientist W.R. Nick Carter III, to whom the book is dedicated, also offer tales of wonder and sacrifice while warning of the consequences of overpopulation and wasteful habits. Join this special program to learn how we can restore the river, reduce pollution, conserve food and fuel, and protect this special place for all time.

Harp is the staff photographer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal. With Horton, he co-produces “Voices from the Edge,” a continuing video series about the fecundity and variety of life along the edge of land and water. Horton reported on the Chesapeake Bay for the Baltimore Sun for 15 years before becoming a freelancer in 1987. His first book, Bay Country, won the John Burroughs Medal for the nation’s best natural history book of the year.

Choptank Odyssey is free and open to the public. The program is presented by Adkins Arboretum in partnership with Midshore Riverkeepers Association and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. A book signing and reception with light refreshments and a cash wine and beer bar will follow the reading. Books will be available for sale. Advance registration is requested at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Author and Environmental Scientist Joan Maloof to Speak at Adkins Arboretum

joan-maloof-1How can we save the earth? More specifically, how can we stop the downward spiral of the earth’s forests? Author and environmental scientist Joan Maloof has considered this question from the view of an author, an activist and, most recently, a nonprofit director and founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network. She has probably visited more US old-growth forests than anyone alive today. Join a discussion of special forests and how they might be saved for the next generation when Maloof presents Nature’s Temples: Biodiversity and Old-Growth on Wed., Oct. 26 at Adkins Arboretum. The program begins at 2 p.m.

In this gathering for tree lovers, Maloof will discuss remains of these never-logged forests and what makes them so special—including the latest scientific findings. She will also discuss the successful expansion of the Old-Growth Forest Network, an organization formed to ensure that each county in the US capable of supporting forest growth will preserve at least one forest open to the public.

Maloof is the author of two previously released forest-related books: Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest (2005) and Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests (2011). Her latest book, Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests, will be released later this year. She is a Professor Emeritus at Salisbury University, where she founded the environmental studies program. She has experienced many of the nation’s old-growth forests firsthand.

Nature’s Temples is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members. Advance registration is appreciated at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum’s Fairyfest is Oct. 22


Magic is in the works for Adkins Arboretum’s Fairyfest on Sat., Oct. 22. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

Bring your wings and wands for a day of magic at Adkins Arboretum! The Arboretum’s first Fairyfest, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 22, celebrates fancy, fantasy and fun in the forest. Follow a trail of artisan fairy houses along enchanted forest paths, hunt for dragon tracks leading to a golden treasure trove, and join in a meadow maypole dance. Summon the courage of knights of yore while practicing archery with wooden bows and arrows, and bring your camera for photos with the Fairy Queen. Natural materials will be on hand for crafting wands, fairy houses, gnome houses and toadstools.

The event includes live entertainment throughout the day in the woodland theatre, shimmering fairy face painting, bubbles and magical games. Children ages 12 and up (or younger children with an adult) can create one-of-a-kind acorn fairies inspired by nature in Master Naturalist Beth Lawton’s Fairy Makers workshop. The workshop is $10 for members, $15 for non-members; advance registration is required.

Admission is $5 for ages 3 and up and free for children 2 and under. Pay your entry fee in advance at adkinsarboretum.org and receive a pass good for free Arboretum admission for two. Inspired refreshments will be for sale.

Fairyfest is sponsored in part by Garden Treasures of Easton and Dr. Ramirez’s Pediatrics. For more information, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or visit adkinsarboretum.org

Adkins Arboretum Partners with Pickering Creek and Phillips Wharf to Offer Maryland Master Natural Training

photo courtesy of Kellen McCluskey

Photo Courtesy of Kellen McCluskey

This fall, Adkins Arboretum will offer Maryland Master Naturalist training in partnership with Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. Geared toward study of the coastal plain, the program provides training for volunteers to learn and share knowledge of the natural world in Maryland and engages citizens as stewards of Maryland’s natural ecosystems and resources through science-based education and volunteer service in their communities.

Individuals accepted into Master Naturalist training receive 60 hours of instruction, including hands-on outdoors experience. All classes are taught by experts in the subject. The curriculum includes sessions on Maryland’s natural history, flora and fauna, principles of ecology, human interaction with the landscape, and teaching and interpretation. Following training, participants serve in their communities as University of Maryland Extension volunteers.

Training sessions will be held the third Wednesday of the month from October to July. The program fee is $250. For more information or to apply for the Master Naturalist program, contact Robyn Affron at 410-634-2847, ext. 25 or raffron@adkinsarboretum.org, or visit extension.umd.edu/masternaturalist.

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 about Arboretum programs, visit www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Offers Oct. 4 Trip to Duke Farms

duke-farms-2Through the beauty of its natural setting, the diversity of its wildlife and the scope and quality of its education programs, Duke Farms inspires people to transform their approach to conservation and start building a more sustainable future. Join Adkins Arboretum on Tues., Oct 4 for a day trip to Duke Farms in Hillsborough, N.J., one of the largest privately owned parcels of undeveloped land in the state.

Participants will take a guided tram tour through the 2,740-acre property rich in rolling hills, streams, waterfalls, ponds, forests, meadow and historic stone structures, and enjoy a tour of the Native Plant Propagation Nursery. Lunch will follow in the Café located in the 1905 Farm Barn, a 22,000-square-foot former horse and dairy barn renovated to LEED Platinum standards to an orientation center. There will be time for participants to explore on their own via tram, bike rentals or walking.

The fee of $95 for members and $120 for non-members includes transportation, driver gratuity, lunch and the guided tram tour. The bus departs from Aurora Park Drive in Easton at 8 a.m., from the Route 50/404 park and ride at 8:20 a.m. and from the Route 301/291 park and ride at 8:40 a.m. Participants may choose their pick-up location and lunch preference when registering.

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

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