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Hello, and thank you for reading the Carrie Murray Nature Center's monthly newsletter! We are excited to use our newsletter to announce fun upcoming events, volunteer programs, and important news that involves the Gwynns Falls Leakin Park community.

Below is our Instagram picture of the month. Click on the image to check out our blossoming account!

Upcoming Events - January 2019


Snowflake Festivus
Sunday, January 13, 2019 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
All Ages, Cost is Free

We love SNOW! Honor the snowflake with snow-inspired artwork. If snow is on the ground, we’ll also search for frozen tracks and animal clues in the snow.

Little Wild Hearts: Winter session
Fridays, starting January 18 through March 8, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Snow dates on March 15 or March 22 (TBA)
Ages: 18 months to 3 years with caregiver, Cost is $150 for the 8-week session

Offered for children ages 18 months - 3 years with caregiver, this is a gentle, seasonal introduction to sharing nature. Songs, art experiences, and nature play abound! One 8-week session is offered every season, year-round. Class meets outdoors, so dress for the weather and bring a water bottle. You will also meet like-minded parents while introducing your tot to local plants and animals. Hands-on activities are always part of our learning!

Volunteer Naturalist Training: Maple Sugaring
Tues. and Thurs., January 22 and 24, 2019 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Ages: Adults, Cost is Free

Do you love children and nature? Become a volunteer naturalist at Carrie Murray Nature Center! This training provides information about wildlife in the park and how to lead spring field trips for Baltimore area school children. Volunteer naturalists generally lead three field trips each season after taking the training. Bring a friend and join us! (Note: Please dress for the weather and bring a water bottle; light refreshments provided.)

Dreaming of Snow (BCPS day off)
Friday, January 25, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ages: 5-10 years old, Cost is $10

Celebrate the snow! Join us for a day snow-inspired art, stories, and outdoor exploration. If there’s fresh snow on the ground, bring your sled. Dress for the weather, bring a non-perishable lunch, and your water canteen. We’ll split into two smaller groups for ages 5-7 and 8-10. (Note: BCPS schools are closed this day!)

Winter Walk
Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Ages: All, Cost is Free

Bundle up and hit the trails! This casual walk is an invigorating way to experience nature in winter and ask questions with a naturalist. Warm hats, coats, boots, and waterproof mittens recommended.

 

Recurring Events


CMNC Feeding Time with Live Animals
Saturdays, January 12, 19, 26 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Ages: All, Cost is Free

Help us prepare and feed delicious salads to live our turtles and lizards. Watch our animal friends gobble up their tasty meals of blueberries, strawberries, and other nutritious foods! Feel free to drop-in; no registration is required.
On the Horizon

Open enrollment begins on February 1st for the Wild Haven Forest Preschool & Childcare.
 
On Saturday, February 9th, the Nature Center will be hosting its 1st Annual Seed Exchange! The event will be from 11am to 2pm. Bring seeds for trading, and let's get excited for Spring! For more information, check out the Facebook Event!

Summer Camp registration for ages 4-13 is coming soon... so keep your eyes peeled.

Highlights from 2018!

Mud Day: Our first annual event for families to celebrate getting dirty and making mud creations of all types!
Wild Haven: We launched our pilot nature preschool program onsite at the Center! We are at full capacity and have plans to expand with a forest childcare option in 2019.
Summer Camp: Another successful summer of our six week outdoor nature camp for ages 5 to 8. The themes of the summer were water, native wildlife, and survival.
Live Animal Feeding Time: Each Saturday, the public was invited to drop in to help us prepare salads for our live, native animals!
Therapeutic Rec Programs: We loved hosting some great sessions last year! The mission is to help all members of our society relax and enjoy the health benefits of the city's recreation centers and parks.
ERAFANS Teacher Training: Over 30 teachers attended the East Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools' early childhood professional development at the Carrie Murray Nature Center for a week in June!

Major Accomplishments in 2018

  • In addition to the over 5,000 Baltimore City Public School students that were served, our partnerships with the National Parks Service and the Baltimore National Heritage Area for the Every Kid In a Park program allowed the Nature Center to serve an additional thousand students.
  • With funding from the National Recreation and Park Association, we installed Nature Play Stations along the trails that surround Carrie Murray.
  • A team of young Conservation Job Corps members from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources joined us to disassemble a shed, restore some heavily used trails, and remove invasive vines from trees.
  • Carver Vocational Technical High School's senior carpentry class built roosting boxes for some of our rescued birds of prey (an American Crow, Black Vulture, and Turkey Vulture).
 

Thank you to our valued partners!


Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park, TreeBaltimore, Blue Water Baltimore, the PAWS program at Community College of Baltimore County, Parks & People Foundation, Conservation Job Corps, St. Peter's Adult Learning Center, St. Elizabeth School, the National Park Service, ROCA, CJC, and the Carver Vocational Technical High School.
A Special Note
 
Our Baltimore City Council Member Kristerfer Burnett wanted to voice his continued support for the Carrie Murray Nature Center and for Gwynns Falls Leakin Park.

"I truly believe that Gwynns Falls Leakin Park is a gem in West Baltimore! Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the hiking trails, scenic views, wildlife, and of course the amazing activities led by the great staff at the Carrie Murray Nature Center that serve hundreds of Baltimore City Youth every year! Check it out!"

Thank you Mr. Council Member!
Volunteer Programs
 
We have three rain gardens that we are preparing for this upcoming Spring. If you have gardening experience with native Maryland plants, please send us an email about helping tend to the gardens!

Carrie Murray is also searching for volunteers to help with the annual Maple Sugaring starting at the end of January.
Seasonal Changes

Winter time is upon us! During the month of January, look out for the Skunk Cabbage Plant! This plant will develop wonderfully vibrant bulbs over the next several weeks. It can usually be found in swampy, wet areas of forest habitats - like near the Ben Cardin Pavilion in Winans Meadow. Skunk Cabbage Plant can also produce its own heat which melts snow and helps it find sunlight before other plants. While boasting amazing shades of yellow and purple depending on the region, it is also known for its rather repelling scent. If you discover a Skunk Cabbage, please make sure to let the Nature Center know and send us a picture!
Wrap Up

Use the buttons below to check out our website, Facebook page, awesome Instagram nature pictures, or to send us an email! And, as always, please come say hi in person - the Carrie Murray Nature Center is located at 1901 Ridgetop Rd. Baltimore, MD 21207.

Nature Center Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm
Saturday: 10am - 3pm
Second Sundays: 10am - 3pm
                                                                  
Thank you!
Copyright © 2019 Carrie Murray Nature Center, All rights reserved.


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