Spring has arrived! The warm breezes and budding trees signal the coming of April. If you are looking for a way to get out of your house and celebrate, here are a bunch of local programs you might want to attend through mid-April.
The Center for Environment & Society at Washington College will kick off April with a photography exhibit by Sam Droege. Droege works with the U.S. Geological Survey inventorying and photographing Maryland’s native bees. This exhibit will be at the SANDBOX gallery in Chestertown on April 1 and is sure to offer an up-close and personal look at some of our native insects. Droege will also speak at Washington College on April 19 about his studies on the 430 native Maryland bee species and how we can help them.
Can’t get enough of those pollinators? Well, April is your month! On April 7, the Chestertown Environmental Committee will show Vanishing of the Bees, which explores the role that bees play as pollinators for a lot of our major crops. Want to plant a pollinator garden? Certified horticulturist Cindy King will speak at Kingstown Farm, Home, and Garden in Chestertown on April 12 to help you select the perfect plants. Maybe you want to explore making your own mead…don’t stray too far! On April 13, the Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association will host Bill Hingst to talk about making mead and will even have some samples to try!
Perhaps you are more interested in native plants and designing your garden. On April 2, the 30th Annual Lahr Symposium features talks on landscape design, native plants, and ecology. Join Dr. Doug Tallamy, Claudia West, Valerie Eccleston, Melissa McCormick, and Jorge Bogantes Montero for a day at the U.S. National Arboretum. Or, if you prefer to stay on the Eastern Shore, the Kent County Public Library in Chestertown will host Barbara Ellis for “Greener Gardens: One Step at a Time” on April 6. Ellis will walk us through some simple steps to creating beautiful and sustainable gardens that benefit humans, wildlife, pets, and the Chesapeake Bay. Once you learn about greener gardens, you can also check out “Inspiration from the Prairies,” a talk by Janet Draper in Chestertown on April 16. This talk begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 at the Chestertown Town Hall.
For those who want to start a class on native plants or botany, the Mt. Cuba Center has you covered. They offer a long list of classes including “Native Plants of Spring” starting April 6 through May 11 or “Botany for Gardeners” running April 8 through April 29.
How about a day for the family? Check out the eARTh Day Art Extravaganza on April 9 in Easton where kids can make art out of recycled materials! The Bethany Beach Nature Center Earth Day on April 16 features lots of activities for the family, and the Philips Wharf Environmental Center Fishmobile will bring lots of critters that call the Chesapeake Bay home.
Maybe you are looking for an evening out? April 16 is your night. Unity Church Hill Nursery will host a Spring Garden Celebration and Wine Tasting. Crow Vineyard and Winery will provide the wine, which can be paired with complimentary appetizer samplings. Enjoy the natural beauty of the nursery grounds and talk with some of the horticulturists about the plants that pair with each wine.
For those who really want to get out and join a restoration effort, stop by the River Friendly Yards day for a lawn fertilizer workshop and native plant sale. Chester River Association and Mid Shore Riverkeeper Conservancy are calling everyone to Sumner Hall in Chestertown on April 9 to talk about how we can all improve water quality in our local rivers starting with our backyard. Or, join Pickering Creek Audubon staff at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on April 16 for a marsh grass planting! Learn about the ecological importance of the marsh and what threatens them over a pizza lunch.
Stay tuned for the next post about upcoming events for the second half of April.
by Kathy Thornton
Adkins Arboretum volunteer