A Note About COVID-19 and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.
In celebration of Black History Month, the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center is hosting “Songs of the Underground Railroad” with David Cole and Linda Harris. Plus, there will be a visit from Harriet Tubman! Suggested donation of $20. Feb. 27, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Harriet Tubman Museum, Cambridge, MD. More information and tickets.
The Mid-Atlantic is poised to burst into a colorful spectacle of spring flora and fauna. Join photographer and Virginia Master Naturalist Barbara Saffir, for a Smithsonian Education Research Center webinar to learn when and where to find some of the region’s most jaw-dropping plant and animal life. More than half of this "virtual safari" will focus on birds, with award-winning photographs of migratory and resident birds that capture their cool behaviors, but other animals and wildflowers will also make an appearance. This webinar will be recorded; by signing up on Zoom, you'll be able to watch the live event and receive a link to the recording a few days after it airs. Closed captioning will be available at the live webinar and on the recording. March 15, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Registration and more info.
When it came to methods of escape from slavery, escape by water had many advantages. It was faster than walking, accommodated children and those who could not walk long distances, kept dogs from following a scent, and many fugitives were experienced watermen. Some 70% of published escape narratives mention maritime escapes. Both Frederick Douglass’ and Harriet Tubman’s escapes involved the use of the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Center for History and Culture has recorded its fascinating program based on the book Sailing to Freedom: A Maritime History of Maryland’s Underground Railroad, and have made the discussion available for viewing on YouTube.
Bald and golden eagles will be the focus of an online presentation by Jeff Cooper, a Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources wildlife biologist. Cooper will explore eagle biology, recent research, the bald eagle’s recovery, and the importance of the Chesapeake Bay region to bald eagles. The sponsors of this program are the Friends of Dyke Marsh, the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, the Friends of Mason Neck Park, the Northern Virginia Bird Club and the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia. March 2, 7:00 pm. Registration and more information.
Learn first-hand how oyster restoration is accomplished in the Chesapeake Bay from the experts, the Oyster Recovery Program. The free webinar will be presented by Coastal Research Scientists Jen Aus and Sara Coleman. You’ll learn everything from how restoration areas are identified to what monitoring takes place when the reefs are completed. March 2, 6:30 pm. More information and registration.
We all know that Black History Month is celebrated every February, but few of us know whose idea it was and why the month of February was chosen. Carter G. Woodson was a pioneer in the study of African-American history and is credited with creating Black History Month. Woodson was born to parents who had been enslaved and grew up in central Virginia during the Reconstruction era. The National Park Service’s Carter G. Woodson site chronicles his journey from being a coal miner to earning a PhD from Harvard University, co-founding the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., and recognition as being the father of Black History. Woodson chose February because it marks the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Photo courtesy Scurlock Studio Records Archives Center NMAH, Smithsonian Institution
The Northern bobwhite used to be common in the eastern US, but experienced a sharp decline in population in the second half of the 20th century. Above, a northern bobwhite is seen at Chino Farms in Queen Anne's County, Md. Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program.
Join the staff at Pickering Creek Audubon for the first Installment of their Delmarva Bird Conservation Series. The first event will feature a demonstration on how to use the bird observation application eBird, and lessons on the habitat restoration projects that support bird conservation on the Delmarva Peninsula. Free. March 2, 3:30 to 6:30 pm; Pickering Creek Audubon, Easton, MD. More info.
Feature of the Week
Winter Solitude On a Popular Trail
The C&O Canal’s Billy Goat Trail, especially the A portion, is one of the most popular trails in the region due in part to its proximity to Washington, DC. But with extensive views of the wild Potomac roaring through narrow chutes, and the opportunity to do some very exciting rock scrambling, it has an untamed beauty unique to our region. Which is why hiker/blogger Saki chooses to hike the Billy Goat in winter to beat the crowds and the heat. As usual, Saki has all the details of where best to park, where to take a spur that offers views of white water kayakers or spot a beaver dam, distance options, and more. Read Winter Hiking the Billy Goat Trail.

Featured Tips
Camping Season Opening!
Virginia Camping Season Opens March 4!
Some of Virginia’s state parks offer year-round camping, but most are seasonal. Reservations for all campsites are now available, and remember – Virginia’s campsites are site-specific. On the Virginia state park’s Camping and Campgrounds page you can locate a state park in Virginia that has camping on a map, get details about each park’s campground amenities, and reserve your campsite, camping cabin, yurt, or camping lodge (bunkhouse).

Note: Maryland State Park campground seasons vary from park to park and information about dates and fees are available here. 

Head out on the water and learn firsthand the experiences of Captain John Smith's Voyage on NOAA's Chesapeake Bay interpretive Buoy System. CBIBS provides real time weather and environmental information, as well as a glimpse into living Chesapeake Bay History. You can also download the app for your Android or iPhone from the website. Note: some buoys may be offline with no data currently available.

Take a virtual tour of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail from your computer or mobile device! To help you plan your trip before you go, the Chesapeake Conservancy partnered with Terrain360 to bring you virtual tours of the trail’s great rivers. Sit back and virtually explore the Elk, James (sponsored by the James River Association), Nanticoke, Northeast, Patapsco, Patuxent, Potomac, Rappahannock, Sassafras, Susquehanna, and York rivers. Check out some of the Chesapeake’s special places like Werowocomoco, Fones Cliffs, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Mallows Bay. We hope to eventually bring you a virtual tour of the entire Chesapeake Trail! Explore the Chesapeake's great rivers on our website.

Chesapeake Trips and Tips is a partnership publication of National Park Service Chesapeake Gateways and Chesapeake Conservancy.
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