MIDDLE RIVER — Marshy Point Nature Center’s 12th Annual Fall Festival was full of families, furry friends, fowl and funky fun!
Originally created to celebrate the season, Marshy Point Nature Center also hosts the festival to inform Middle River residents of the “amazing natural resources they have in their own backyard.”
“Free family fun is what we like to call it,” said Marshy Point Nature Center manager Benjamin Porter.
“We bring in various groups to do bird and animal demonstrations, search dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, hay wagon rides, boat trips and canoe trips.”
Marshy Point Nature Center is now in its 19th year, and is operated by Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks.
The center is located on land acquired by the County in 1982 from the Weiskittel and Zelinski families, according to County offiicals. “The area around Marshy Point has a rich tradition of waterfowl hunting,” the center’s website proclaims. “President Benjamin Harrison, Babe Ruth and Annie Oakley all hunted here.”
The facility also says that the development of Maryland’s state dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, took place at the Marshy Point Ducking Club.
“Winter still brings rafts of ducks, geese and tundra swans to area creeks,” their website says. “Fishermen have long explored the waters around Marshy Point in search of rockfish, chain pickerel, perch, catfish, and blue crabs.”
The Marshy Point Nature Center Council is a volunteer organization that works with the Department of Recreation and Parks to support the work of the Center and its mission of environmental education. The Nature Council hosts monthly audiovisual presentations by natural resource professionals and noted naturalists.
The Council is responsible for the seasonal festivals, including the one last weekend.
Middle River resident Christina Hudgins has been attending the fall festival for the last six years.
“I think it’s better this year because there is more stuff to do,” she said while enjoying the sights and sounds of the festival.
And it’s not just nature that families can learn about. Franklin Square’s RN stroke coordinator Ashley Phipps set up a stroke awareness stand once again. She has worked at the booth for several years.
“Every minute counts with stroke, so we want people to recognize the signs and the symptoms so they seek help immediately,” she said. “We get people of all ages at the booth and this is the area where most of the residents go to Franklin Square.”
Marshy Point Nature Center provides a variety of enjoyable and educational programs for visitors of all ages. School and group programs are available during the week, and a quarterly calendar includes nature programming on a variety of topics.
“We always try to add something new each year,” Porter said.