Outdoor fun

Making your yard kid-friendly
Frederick News Post
Kristen Castillo
Kids love playing outdoors, so why not give them a space that suits their interests? Create a backyard that’s all about play, fun and innovation. “Nature play, or unstructured outdoor activity, is being embraced nationwide by educators, psychologists and other child care developmental experts as an effective way to engage your child’s mental and motor skills,” says Val Hunt Beerbower of Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio.

ThorpeWood to nurture at-risk youth, nonprofits

Nature reserve reinventing itself to become destination retreat
Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
The Catoctin Mountain woodlands will be a great adventure getaway for youngsters and their adult mentors, said Kevin Lollar, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Frederick... At ThorpeWood they can hike 155 acres, discover woods, climb hills, wade or fish in trout streams, investigate a chestnut orchard and groom horses. ThorpeWood’s natural wonders await for all the area's nonprofits now, said Sam Castleman, program director at the preserve.ThorpeWood used to offer intensively tailored retreat programs, but those were too labor-intensive, Castleman said.“We’ve been looking at how we might re-emerge,” Castleman said. “We hope this is well-received by local nonprofits.” ThorpeWood’s log lodge will continue to accept reservations for receptions, conferences and weddings, as it has for many years, Castleman said.

Natural Wonder

Frederick News Post
here are 190 certified backyard wildlife habitats in Frederick County. Judging by the testimonials that appeared in FNP reporter Pete McCarthy's Sunday story, "Nature for rent," these habitats are as valuable to those who maintain them as they are to the creatures they were created for.Human beings, including many here in Frederick County, are losing their physical connection and emotional bond to the natural world. Increasingly, daily life is spent in office buildings, cars and malls; TV, cell phones and the Internet are our passions. That's a real shame -- for both us and nature.

Nature for rent

Residents encouraged to create wildlife habitats
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy
Maryland natural resources officials and the National Wildlife Federation are pushing for more residents to slow the loss of wildlife habitats. Following just four simple guidelines is enough to qualify. Residents must look to provide food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young, David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, said. The backyard program has been in existence nearly 40 years, with more than 150,000 certified around the country.

All creatures great and small

Maryland’s amphibians, reptiles need your eyes, ears
Frederick News Post
Karen Gardner
Turtles, snakes, frogs and toads are the poster species for the Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas. But there are others that also need to be recorded. Salamanders and lizards are just as important in the greater ecosystem. Wayne Hildebrand wants to make sure they are all counted.

Game official: Coyote sightings to rise

Frederick News Post
Susan Guynn
This is the time of year when reports of coyote and black bear increase, said Harry Spiker, game mammal section leader with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife & Heritage Service in Oakland. Coyote and black bear populations are increasing, he said, so it's only natural that more people would be catching glimpses of them.
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Author Richard Louv’s vision is ‘nature rich’

Saving our children and ourselves through nature is theme of conference
Katherine Heerbrandt
In author Richard Louv’s world, cities would produce their own energy and most of their own food, people would feel more alive and less stressed, and antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals would be replaced with the healing properties of nature.