Saturday, May 25, 2013

Maryland Outdoors Days

In 2013, Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days events will provide families with opportunities to get outside amd enjoy the outdoors.

During the period, Maryland is encouraging organizations to post and promote their nature-inspired events.

The two-week statewide collection of activities kicks off in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day on June 8 and culminates with the Great American Backyard Campout on June 22.

Visitors can choose from a wide variety of activities which support the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. These two weeks in June will highlight opportunities for bird-watching, archery, kayaking, fishing, gardening, camping, hiking and more.

The Great American Backyard Campout on June 22 encourages families to experience their natural world through camping.

Maryland State Parks with campgrounds are offering special campfire and s’mores programs. In addition, select parks are offering unique programs including Scales and Tales, guided hikes, campfire cooking, owl prowls and kayaking.

More information on Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days is available at

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Anacostia River - Watt's Branch Restoration

The Anacostia watershed is one of the most urbanized watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin. Because of its cultural importance, the watershed has been identified as a priority area for interagency cooperation in both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

In 2010, a group of federal agencies, local organizations, and others formed a partnership to restore a section of Watts Branch, a tributary of the Anacostia.

Completed in 2011, the restoration project was funded largely by the District of Columbia's Department of Environment and also carried out by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the National Park Service, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Water and Sewer and several local organizations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners restored eroded stream channel while nearby sewer lines were relocated and improved.

After the restoration, a local nonprofit, Washington Parks and People, has begun using Watts Branch as an outdoor classroom to prepare an emerging workforce for jobs in urban and community forestry.

A follow-up analysis of the Watts Branch restoration by the U.S. Geological Survey found that the effort has had a substantial impact on the local economy, directly or indirectly. The study estimates that the project added 45 jobs, $2.6 million in local labor income and $3.4 million in value to the local D.C. metropolitan area in 2011. 

source: U.S. Geological Survey