On August 14, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) staff and other kayak enthusiasts launched the new Kings Creek Water Trail. Christine Burns, MRC’s 2014-2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteer, developed and implemented the trail. The CCC program helps young professionals in the environmental science field gain work experience and professional development after college.
As part of the program, each CCC volunteer must complete a final capstone project. For her final project, Burns created the water trail, along with a program allowing MRC members to borrow free explorer packs to enrich the experience.
The water trail is on Kings Creek, a small tributary of the Choptank River. It is a beautiful meandering creek with plenty to offer paddlers if they know what to look for. Fellow kayaker Lisa Arrasmith said, “We saw herons and two bald eagles. It was a great kayak outing for people of all skill levels. The scenery was beautiful and it was hard to believe that you can get this much into nature, when cities like Cambridge or Baltimore are still close.”
As part of the project, Burns produced an interpretive map that points out interesting features of Kings Creek while educating paddlers on what they are seeing and why it is significant. Matt Pluta, Choptank Riverkeeper, said, “The water trail is a great compliment to the variety of wildlife seen in and around Kings Creek.” The trail begins at Kingston Landing in Easton, Maryland. There is a sign in the parking lot of the landing directing paddlers to the start of the trail.
To complement the interpretive map, Burns put together a River Explorer Pack program. Explorer packs are available for MRC members to check out for free to with pickup at MRC’s office in Easton. Each pack will contain tools for river explorers, including binoculars, bird guides, and water test kits, all packaged up in a kayak deck bag or backpack.
Burns said, “During my year with MRC, I have come to appreciate the value of getting people out on the water as a great way to advance the mission of protecting our rivers and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. I am hoping that this project will help connect people to our rivers and ultimately inspire them to help protect these special places.”
Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For more information, visit www.midshoreriverkeeper.org, email email@example.com, or phone 443.385.0511.