Category Archives: Environment

Adkins Arboretum’s Enchanted Fairyfest

Adkins Arboretum
(RIDGELY, MD—September 26, 2017)

Bring your wings and wands for a day of magic at Adkins Arboretum! The Arboretum’s second annual Fairyfest, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 14, 2017 celebrates fancy, fantasy and fun in the forest. Follow a trail of fairy houses along enchanted forest paths, and join in a meadow maypole dance. Search for gnomes in the Funshine Garden, craft magical treasures to take home, and wave to the Billy Goats Gruff from atop a hay wagon.

The event includes live entertainment throughout the day in the woodland theatre, shimmering fairy face painting, rainbow bubbles, archery and fairytale games. Unicorn rides provided by Snapdragon Stables and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Kicking off the fun, Master Naturalist Beth Lawton will offer a special Fairy Makers crafting program for ages 12 and up on Friday October 13, 2017. Crafted of felt, silk flowers, wooden beads and seed pods, the tiny acorn fairies made in the workshop will delight fairy lovers of all age. Each participant will create a one-of-a-kind fairy to take home. The workshop is $10 for members and $15 for non-members; spots are limited, and advance registration is required at

Admission to Fairyfest is $10 for adults and children ages 3 and up. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free.

Contributed Photo: from last year's FairyFest

Contributed Photo: from last year’s FairyFest

Fairyfest is sponsored in part by Garden Treasures of Easton and Soistman Family Dentistry. For more information, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or visit

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

Adkins Arboretum
RIDGELY, MD—September 3, 2015)

This fall, Adkins Arboretum will offer Maryland Master Naturalist training in partnership with Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. The program, geared toward study of the coastal plain, 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 48 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, 2016. The program fee is $250; application deadline is Friday, September 18, 2015. For more information or to apply for the Master Naturalist program, contact Robyn Affron at 410-634-2847, ext. 25 or, or visit

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 or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Photography Walk and Soup Program Offered June 6, 2015 at Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum
(RIDGELY, MD—May 18, 2015)

Capture stunning images of spring and enjoy a tasty and healthy lunch when Adkins Arboretum offers a Photography Walk and Soup program on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Bring your camera and join photographer Josh Taylor for a morning walk along the Arboretum’s woodland and meadow paths. During the walk, Taylor will assist participants and give pointers on capturing landscapes and close-up images.

Following the walk, participants will be treated to the Arboretum’s signature Soup ‘n Walk fare of zucchini apple soup, green bean salad with mango dressing, apple date wheat bread with cherry jam, and berry cobbler. During lunch, Taylor will give a brief talk and share his photographs from a variety of nearby gardens.

Taylor has presented photography workshops at the Smithsonian National Orchid Show, the U.S. National Arboretum, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and for public gardens, preserves and horticultural societies across the region. In addition to teaching in the Smithsonian Studio Arts Program and at the Corcoran School of Art and Design, he exhibits his work regularly and speaks to camera and garden clubs.

Photography Walk and Soup runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program is $55 for members and $60 for non-members. Advance registration is required by May 28, 2015 at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.


Adkins Arboretum’s Summer Nature Camps Begin June 15, 2015

Adkins Arboretum
RIDGELY, MD—April 2015

Summer belongs to children. For the past ten years, 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 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.

Camp Bumblebee, for preschoolers ages 2 and 3, runs June 15–19. Campers will search for caterpillars in the Funshine Garden, gather juicy blackberries along the meadow’s edge, and visit the Arboretum’s 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.

Camp Pollywog (June 22–26) campers ages 4 to 6 will enjoy a golden week in the great outdoors, floating leaf and twig boats down the Blockston Branch, creating leafy magic carpets on the forest floor, and mixing up gooey wetland “parfaits.” Stories, crafts and healthy snacks are combined with games and guided nature exploration.

In Camp Paw Paw (June 29–July 3), campers ages 7 to 9 will enjoy a week of “Arrowhead Adventure” as they walked in the moccasin-clad footsteps of early Native Americans. Campers will craft tools from ironwood, hunt for arrowheads along the streambed, harvest squash from the Three Sisters garden, explore the Arboretum’s wigwams, and much more. Healthy snacks, guided exploration, Native American crafts, and team-building will round out the week.

Ever wonder what it takes to survive in the wildness? In Camp Egret (July 6– 10), campers ages 10 to 12 will learn the basics, from navigating the position of the sun to purifying water over a campfire they build themselves. Along the way, campers will set snares, construct a waterproof shelter, and forage for native plants, all while building valuable teamwork and leadership skills.

Registration fees vary, and advance registration is required. Register at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Fall Nature Fun for Preschoolers at Adkins Arboretum’s Acorn Academy

Adkins Arboretum
August 26, 2014

Ants, butterflies, pumpkins and more! Celebrate fall with your preschooler at Adkins Arboretum’s Acorn Academy, and enjoy the fun of engaging your young child with nature. Taught by Arboretum Youth Program Coordinator Jenny Houghton, Acorn Academy is a series of eight classes for three- to five-year-olds offered on Tuesday mornings beginning Sept. 23.

Advance registration is required for these popular programs. The fee for the series of eight classes is $40 for members and $55 for non-members. Registration is also available on a per-class basis. Classes run from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and include a craft and a healthy snack. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Programs include:

Meet Lily!
Sept. 23
Visit the Arboretum’s goat herd, led by the lovely Lily, and learn how goats are used to munch troublesome weeds. Children will make goat puppets, sample goat milk and have their pictures taken with Lily and her four-legged friends.

Ants in Your Pants
Sept. 30
Join in a wiggly “Ants in Your Pants” dance and make a fingerprint ant craft. After learning some interesting ant trivia, we’ll go on a bug hunt, try out a bug vacuum and munch “Ants on a Log” snacks.

Milkweed and Monarchs
Oct. 7
Make a wish on a fluffy milkweed seed and learn about the beautiful monarch butterflies that lay their eggs on the milkweed plant. We’ll look for milkweed pods in the meadow, make a butterfly craft and enjoy butterfly books with our snack.

Hearts a’ Bursting
Oct. 14
Follow a magenta trail of hearts a’ bursting berries through the woods as we search for signs of fall. In the classroom, we’ll make berry bracelets and snack on heart-shaped cookies.

Pumpkin Party
Oct. 21
It’s pumpkin season! We’ll get the scoop on pumpkins, visit the Arboretum’s Funshine Garden and make pumpkin shakers. Then we’ll wiggle and twist to the Pumpkin Polka!

Going Batty
Oct. 28
Bats: Terrifying vampires or cuddly Stellalunas? We’ll learn the science behind the world’s only flying mammal, experiment with echolocation and try navigating the meadow bat-style. We’ll also make batty Halloween decorations and celebrate with a holiday-themed snack and story.

Nuts for Squirrels
Nov. 4
Are you nuts for squirrels? We’ll explore the world of these furry cuties on a forest scavenger hunt and return to the classroom for acorn stories and nutty snacks. A squirrel napkin ring craft will round out this fun-filled morning.

Scouts and Maidens
Nov. 11
Who were the first people to live on the Eastern Shore? Let’s visit the Paw Paw Playground wigwams to find out! We’ll play a Native American corn game, collect sticks for a pretend campfire and craft a Native American centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.

Photo: Adkins Arboretum Acorn Academy.

Adkins Arboretum Acorn Academy – Submitted Photo


Surface Treatments, Works by Marian Glebes, on View through May 30, 2014 at Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum
April 3, 2014

If you’ve ever made a wish by blowing the seeds off a fluffy dandelion, you’ll want to see Marian Glebes’s art at Adkins Arboretum. On view through May 30 in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center, her small, intimate works show the evidence of how she rescued dandelion seeds after they’d been wished on and preserved dead butterflies by carefully stitching their torn wings back together.

Glebes sees the natural world with childlike wonder, even as she recognizes the futility of trying to save its plants and animals from death and decay. There will be a reception on Sat., April 19 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet her and learn about the ideas behind these gentle, fragile works of art.

This Baltimore artist began working with dandelions when she was earning her Master of Fine Arts degree at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. At the time, she was considering our paradoxical love of nature and the urge to control it and shape it to fit our plans. Using the suburban environment and the ideal of pristine green lawns, free of weeds, as an example, she began a series of work called “In Defense of Native Soil.” She invited people to come and wish on a dandelion, then she painstakingly glued the seeds onto paper, thus preventing them from growing to become weeds in a lawn.

Glebes explained, “I was really inspired by the performance artists of the ’60s and ’70s and how they could change the way you see the world without lecturing you, without giving you a speech, without being violent. So the performance is me making these things and the labor involved. The object is sort of a relic of thinking about why we try to protect or preserve and what preservation does to objects.”

With rows of seeds delicately marching across pure white paper, four of her dandelion works are included in this show, along with works that preserve butterflies, cicadas, rose petals and garlic skins. Glebes finds remarkable ways of drawing attention to the beauty of their shapes and textures, but most particularly, she conveys an aching sense of their preciousness and fragility.

Glebes began working with insects when she was on an artist’s residency in Ohio. Frustrated that the project she was pursuing in water research wasn’t going well, she noticed a butterfly that had died on the windowsill of her studio. Using a needle and thread, she began to mend its torn wings.

“It was like, I’ll fix this butterfly because I can’t save the world,” she explained. “And this has now been my meditation work when I can’t be working on something else. I keep coming back to it.”

Because insects are so fragile, Glebes often has to make many “attempts” at preserving them before she is successful. The titles of her works reflect this. “Untitled (stitched, fourth attempt)” displays a moth whose wings were finally mended after three failed attempts.

Meditative and inventive, Glebes’s work is very much about our familiar everyday world. We see insects and dandelions all the time, but Glebes inspires a fresh look at how they live and change and die. In so doing, she makes us think about our human place in nature and about our impulses both to love it and to control it.

“In the context of landscape, we’re trying to do good but we might also be a force of evil,” she said. “We need a road, but we’re still cutting into the landscape. It’s like mending cloth. Every time you put a stitch in it, you’re mending it, but you’re still putting a hole in it. I think it’s something we need to be more mindful of.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through May 30 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Adkins Arboretum’s 2014 Art Competition Show, on View through March 29, 2014

Adkins Arboretum
February 4, 2014

No two artists look at the landscape in the same way, as Discovering the Native Landscapes of the Coastal Plain, Adkins Arboretum’s annual Art Competition exhibit, plainly shows. On view in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center through March 29, it includes a wide variety of paintings, photos, prints and sculptures by artists from the Mid-Atlantic region.

From the wildly flapping snow geese in George Drake’s photograph, to “Cloud Curtain,” an oil painting of a gentle waterscape by Anne Griffith, to two different “Green Man” wall sculptures in which Marita Lupo and Timothy Hoover each depict the ancient god of vegetation, this exhibit is energetic and diverse.

The show was juried by John Ruppert, Full Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park, and currently a Distinguished Visitor at Washington College in conjunction with its multi-disciplinary environmental Sandbox initiative. There will be a reception on Sat., Feb. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet the artists and the juror.

Now in its fifteenth year, the show’s highlight is the annual Leon Andrus Awards, named for the Arboretum’s first benefactor. Ruppert chose “Samothracae,” by Jack Elliott of Ithaca, N.Y., to receive the First Place Award.

“It interests me because it relates to the human form,” he explained. “It’s very classical, and he made clear choices about what to leave natural and what to refine.”

An Associate Professor at Cornell University College of Human Ecology, Elliott studies environmental ethics and aesthetics. His massive abstract wooden sculpture stands five feet high and resembles the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” a well-known Greek statue of the goddess of victory, long missing its arms and head. Elliott fashioned it from a section of a weeping willow that had grown in the F. R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell. One half of the segment was broken and severely weathered. Angled sharply outwards, it recalls the open wing of the famous statue, while the other half, cleanly sawed off, stands in for the statue’s body and severed neck.

The Second Place Award went to two impressionistic photographs by Baltimore artist Cathy Leaycraft that Ruppert chose for their strong color and dreamlike quality. A photographer for over 30 years, Leaycraft creates her work on location, photographing through reflective or refractive objects, such as a glass sphere. She works intuitively, allowing elements of the landscape to shift and distort into vividly colored abstract forms. Full of light and rainbow hues, they also retain glimpses of trees, leaves and a beautifully ruffled fungus.

The quiet beauty of the Eastern Shore is found in several works in the show, including Margery Caggiano’s oil painting, “Marshlight,” with its glowing green marsh grasses and purple-blue water, and photographer Ann Rohlfing’s luminous tree, “Beech in Soft Light.” The reflections of trees become a lively pattern of line work in Geo McElroy’s painting, “Ayres Creek,” while contemplation is the subject of Sharon Jones’s simple photo of an empty bench facing the water. There’s even a glimpse of the area’s agricultural history in a lively primitive painting of an abandoned tractor by Carlin McLamb called “But Not Forgotten.”

Gesturing from McLamb’s painting across the gallery to Elliott’s sculpture, Ruppert said, “There’s a whole spectrum between those two pieces. I tried to pick strong works from the different genres, so the art is kind of a cross-section, but what’s consistent is there’s so much of a landscape element to it all. There’s almost a horizon line that runs through the show.”

The 2014 Art Competition is made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Fessler Foundation of the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund. The show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through March 29 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Submitted Photo: “Samothracae,” an abstract wooden sculpture by Jack Elliott of Ithaca, N.Y., was awarded first prize in Adkins Arboretum’s fifteenth annual Art Competition—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Competition show is on view in the Arboretum Gallery through March 29

“Samothracae,” an abstract wooden sculpture by Jack Elliott of Ithaca, N.Y., was awarded first prize in Adkins Arboretum’s fifteenth annual Art Competition—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Competition show is on view in the Arboretum Gallery through March 29. Submitted Photo

Adkins Arboretum Offers Waterfront Landscape Design Program November 9, 2013

Adkins Arboretum
October 31, 2013

Waterfront properties present homeowners with a slew of both daunting challenges and precious opportunities. Learn to address the challenges and embrace the opportunities on Sat., Nov. 9, when landscape designer and native plant enthusiast Chris Pax presents Designing for Waterfront Landscapes at Adkins Arboretum.

Chris Pax Adkins Arboretum Waterfront Landscape Design. Submitted Photo

Chris Pax – Adkins Arboretum Waterfront Landscape Design. Submitted Photo

A graduate of the George Washington University sustainable landscape design master’s program, Pax will discuss ideal plants for waterfront landscape conditions and will review some of the special rules and regulations that apply to waterfront properties. Participants may bring plat diagrams and photos and will have the opportunity after the program to ask questions about their property.

Designing for Waterfront Landscapes runs from 10 a.m. to noon. The program fee is $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Advance registration is required at or by calling 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Twilight Walk at Adkins Arboretum on October 17, 2013

Adkins Arboretum
October 13, 2013

Editor’s Note: This was originally published with an October 16th date. The event is scheduled for October 17, 2013.

The Chesapeake Bay region is sustained by native plants that provide food and shelter to wildlife and enhance the rich biodiversity of the Bay watershed. Join naturalist Nick Carter on October 17 for a walk along the paths that bisect the rich and unique native plant habitat of Adkins Arboretum, all outstanding specimens of plants native to the Delmarva Peninsula. The walk begins at 6 p.m. and is free for members, free with admission for non-members.

A longtime environmental educator, Carter retired as fisheries biologist and ecologist with Maryland Department of Natural Resources after 35 years. He has received the Izaak Walton League’s award for habitat conservation in the Chesapeake Bay region and a Governor’s citation for excellence.

Advance registration is requested at or by calling 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Award-winning Author David George Haskell to Speak at Adkins Arboretum’s Third Annual Tent Symposium

Adkins Arboretum
September 16, 2013

Experience a full day of education and inspiration when Adkins Arboretum hosts its third annual fall symposium—the Tent Symposium—on Sun., Sept. 29.

Stroll along woodland, meadow and garden paths, visit the Native Plant Nursery and nature exhibits, and enjoy an insightful presentation by David George Haskell about his year’s observation of one square meter of forest. Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature, has been instrumental in galvanizing a renewed interest in observing and documenting nature among citizen scientists and nature lovers.

Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of the natural world. His research and teaching examine the evolution and conservation of animals, especially forest-dwelling birds and invertebrates. The Forest Unseen was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, the 2013 “Best Book Award” from the National Academies, and the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature. A profile in The New York Times says of Haskell, “[he] thinks like a biologist, writes like a poet, and gives the natural world the kind of open-minded attention one expects from a Zen monk rather than a hypothesis-driven scientist.”

Haskell is a professor of biology at the University of the South, where he has served both as department chair and as an Environmental Fellow with the Associated Colleges of the South. His classes have received national attention for the innovative ways in which they combine scientific exploration, contemplative practice and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.” The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the American South’s most creative teachers, and his teaching has been profiled in USA Today, The Tennesseean and other newspapers.

The third annual Tent Symposium is Sun., Sept. 29 from noon to 3 p.m. Guided walks will be offered from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and the Arboretum’s native plant sale, gift shop and exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A catered lunch is included in the registration fee of $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

Advance registration is required at or by calling 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. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, it will build the W. Flaccus and Ruth B. Stifel Center at Adkins Arboretum and a “green” entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.