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.
With the landscape stripped of most leaves, now is a great time to look for a wide range of birds at Dyke Marsh, including both resident and overwintering species. Sparrows, woodpeckers, raptors, waterfowl, and more will get our attention; aimed at beginning to mid-level bird enthusiasts. The outing will be on mostly level natural surface trails which may be uneven, muddy, and/or slippery. Jan. 15, 8:30 am to 11:00 am; Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Alexandria, VA. Members $30; nonmembers $42. More information and registration.
The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will be hosting a free virtual workshop for an introduction to waterfowl identification. Get to know many of the species that winter in the open waters of our region. You’ll learn how to tell a bufflehead from a merganser; strategies will include identification by shape and color pattern. This workshop will include an outdoor field trip and bird walk on Jan. 29, and after the workshop and field trip, you’ll be ready for ASNV’s 13th Annual Waterfowl Count, Feb. 5 and 6. The virtual workshop is Jan. 27, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Registration and information about the workshop and bird counts.
Every year, in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rock Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service and Montgomery Parks, celebrates MLK Day with the MLK Weekend of Service. This is a great opportunity to connect with others in the Rock Creek community around shared values and a vision for the future. Choose from eighteen different events – either invasive plant removal or litter clean up – on January 15, 16, 17, or 19 at different locations within the Rock Creek watershed. More information and registration (required).
Join Ranger Julia for a free introduction to the sport of snowshoeing, and learn about the history, equipment, beginner's skills, and joy of experiencing winter in deep snow. After the indoor presentation, if conditions allow, skills will be practiced on a guided hike. Rental fees will be waived, but equipment is limited. To reserve snowshoes for the program, email Julia by January 14. All ages are welcome. Workshop is Jan. 15, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Then on Jan. 17 join Ranger Noah on a two-mile hike on the Turnpike Trail and Hemlock Loop, and learn about New Germany's native trees, such as the eastern hemlock and eastern white pine. Jan. 17, 9:00 am to 10:00 am; New Germany State Park, Grantsville, MD. Call 301-895-5453 for additional information or to register. 
Come see what our avian friends are doing this season at Potomac Overlook Park. Join the park’s naturalists as they show you what birds are currently around. $7 per participant; for ages 7+. Jan. 29, 8:00 am to 10:00 am; Potomac Overlook Park, Arlington, VA. More info and registration.
If you are interested in trying some birding in Pennsylvania, Little Buffalo State Park is offering a guided birding hike where you can practice bird ID skills and tally what you see into eBird, a free citizen science project that keeps track of bird populations all across the country. Then after the walk, stop by the park office at 2:00 pm for the Birding Workshop (registration requested). Jan. 16, 10:00 am to 11:30 am; Little Buffalo State Park, Newport, PA. More information and workshop registration.
Join the Baltimore Bird Club ISO ducks, geese, swans, sparrows, bald eagles, and brown-headed nuthatches. Paths are unpaved and level. Trip will be canceled in snow, rain, or slippery conditions. Jan. 22, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Grasonville, MD. More information.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture is presenting a free online presentation on the last five years in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Living history interpreter John W. McCaskill will share stories of King’s life and of the individuals who fought to end racial segregation and discrimination in the United States. The presentation will first air on Jan. 17, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and again on Jan. 24. Free, no tickets or registration required. More information and link to join in.
Feature of the Week
Featured Tips
Dealing with Snowstorm Damage to Trees
Our January 3 snowstorm transformed landscapes into beautiful winter wonderlands, but many property owners have experienced the downside. Typical of Mid-Atlantic snowstorms, the snow was deep, wet and heavy, and then turned to ice, causing damage to trees and shrubs. Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia has put together an article to help you to both assess the damage and suggest interventions when needed. There are suggestions for how and when to remove the snow, how to prune broken branches, and how to repair torn strips of tree bark. Read Assessing and Dealing with Snowstorm Damage on Trees.

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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