By Jill Mulford
If you haven’t been there, the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is another great place to visit and take a walk. It encompasses 315 acres of land purchased in 1981 by the Wildfowl Trust of North America. In 1998, 195 acres were added. Now named the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, 510 acres of land are preserved for conservation. The Center’s mission is “to promote stewardship and sustainability through environmental education and habitat restoration.” Read their history, it’s amazing and right here under our feet and paddles. A gorgeous recreational and educational center, with multiple opportunities for us, is simply there for the taking. And what a beautiful, quiet place it is for a walk! The drive into the center prepares you for the sights you will see – water, trees, meadows, birds and saltmarsh.
Once you’ve parked your car, you may go to the visitor center if it’s open or you may walk any of the 4 miles of hiking trails. There are hiking maps available even if the center is closed. You’ll go out to a beach, around a lake and through the woods, but you won’t find grandmother. You will find a perfect place for bird watching, picnicking and marveling at nature. The center boasts 200 species of birds and has blinds to observe them, so bring binoculars. There is also an outdoor raptor exhibit with owls and hawks who are there for both rehabilitation and education.
This pristine habitat is open to the public every day from 9 to 5. You are free to explore on your own but simply visit their website to see the myriad of educational programs open to you and your child. And even your dog! All dogs, who are registered members, may walk with their owners. Kayaking is also available. Through a class or a rental, you can explore the clear water environment by following your water trail map. You may even bring your own kayak if you are a member www.bayrestoration.org tells you all you need to know.
But, instead of going to the website, just drive down there to find out what there is to do. Go down Route 18 (Main Street) into the middle of Grasonville, pass the Fire Department, turn right on Perry’s Corner Rd. to Discovery Lane and you’ll be right there. You might not even need GPS! Even if you only have an hour, it’s a delightful walk on the quiet side or a mind-bending educational adventure, whichever you prefer. You will not believe all that you can discover: one more beauty right here in Queen Anne’s County! For more info about CBEC: www.bayrestoration.org