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Trips and Tips

Featured Tips This Week


A Note About Our Virtual Trips & Tips

We know there is a lot of uncertainty and upheaval in our world right now. We also know how much the parks in the Chesapeake Bay watershed mean to you and how they can be a place of discovery and comfort and hope for us all. We hope that our updated virtual Trips & Tips newsletters will help bring the parks to you while we all do our part to keep ourselves, our families, and communities healthy and well. Share your favorite virtual visits and follow us at @ChesapeakeNPS, #FindYourChesapeake. Sign up for Trips & Tips.

CBMM Presents Virtual Trivia Nights

Starting May 26, the public is invited to put their knowledge to the test with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in a series of free virtual trivia nights. At 8pm each Tuesday through June 23, CBMM’s education staff will host this casual competition for approximately one hour. No registration is required; to play along, visit Guests are encouraged to team up with members of their household or connect with friends virtually and join the game. Rounds are themed, and questions may cover anything from Chesapeake cuisine to landmarks to knot puns, and everything in between. Make sure to find the event on CBMM’s Facebook page  each Monday for a hint about a round in that week's game.

Puzzles, Popsicles, and Otters

Social distancing got you down? Delmarva Discovery Museum  has the cure: watching otters and doing online otter puzzles. The Tuck, River Otter Puzzle is 49 pieces and a great warm up for the more difficult Mac, North American River Otter Puzzle  Mac, North American River Otter Puzzle  which is 150 pieces!  in between puzzles delight in the video of Tuck and Mac feasting on shrimp popsicles and the pair having a go at peanut butter. 

Featured Learning Video: Tributaries of the James River

Did you know the James River is 340 miles long and boasts 15,000 miles of tributaries? The James River system is so vast it needs to be broken in three sections, which you will learn about when you join James River Association Environmental Educator and Master Captain, Aaron Bouchard, on his solo canoe trip video. Use what you’ve learned from the video to help answer the questions in the Tributary Activity Worksheet.  For a total immersion of the James River, continue on over to the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Virtual River Tour of the James River which covers the entire river in 83 water trail sections.

The Secret (and Important) Lives of Stumps and Fallen Logs

Do you think stumps and fallen logs are just useless dead wood? Maine Project Learning Tree has produced a great video on how to scientifically explore how a rotting log is teeming with life – from insects and moss to chipmunks and woodpeckers. Meanwhile, our friend Nancy Lawson at The Humane Gardener shares her efforts to educate others about the value of stumps in her blog, The Stump Tour. Her advice is to save your stumps and even collect your neighbors' unwanted dead wood. "You just might get a royal visit from a pileated woodpecker.”

First Map of the Chesapeake Bay

According to Chris Cerino of the Sultana Education Foundation, Captain John Smith’s map of the Chesapeake Bay published in 1612, is one of the most incredible documents every produced. The map is, of course, the product of one of the most incredible explorations ever undertaken. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew explored nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay, including almost every major river. The Sultana Foundation’s video, The First Accurate Map of the Chesapeake Bay, explains in detail how to interpret all the details of the map including the location of numerous Native American communities, illustrations of Powhatan and Susquehannock Indians and more, and how the map opened this part of North American to European exploration, settlement, and trade. You can download the map and there is a lesson plan developed to help teachers use Smith's map in their classrooms. More information on how the maps were produced with primitive tools, the significant amount of “local knowledge” provided by Native Americans is provided on the National Park Service’s Captain John Smith Chesapeake website. 

Quiz of the Week

Wow! Where in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is that photo?
Check out the large image at the top of the page of the waterfall. Can you identify what site in the Chesapeake watershed it is? Submit your answer.

Congratulations to last week’s winners, Patricia Paul and Stephan Armstrong who correctly identified the Chesapeake Bay watershed site that is home to three carnivorous plant species and 17 orchid varieties as Black Moshannon State Park. 

Featured Virtual River Tour: The Potomac River

The Potomac River is the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast, running over 383 miles from Fairfax Stone, West Virginia to Point Lookout, Maryland. It flows into the Chesapeake Bay and affects more than 6 million people – in four states and Washington, DC –  who live within the Potomac watershed. The Potomac’s major tributaries include: the Anacostia River, Antietam Creek, the Cacapon River, Catoctin Creek, Conococheague Creek, the Monocacy River, the North Branch, the South Branch, Occoquan River, the Savage River, the Seneca Creek, and the Shenandoah River. Launch your virtual tour of the Potomac River.

Neighborhood Zoofari

Looking for a safe way to entertain the kids, or even yourself, while practicing social distancing? Neighborhoods throughout the watershed are hosting “Zoofari” scavenger hunts. Participants place a stuffed animal in plain sight in their windows or front yards that can be visually found while folks are out on their daily walk. It’s a great way to have some fun while getting your exercise. Inspired by his own neighborhood’s Zoofari, Chesapeake Conservancy Director of Conservation Technology Jeff Allenby built a map where Zoofari participants can log their stuffed animal locations. Check out a sample Zoofari neighborhood map. Create your own neighborhood Zoofari map. 

May 15, 2020

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