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My homes are united by festivals, but oh for an oyster!

     I could use a fried oyster right about now. Or one freshly shucked by Shady Side’s Gross watermen.
Seven additions in AACo makes 56 properties in permanent preservation
     You can’t protect the water if you can’t protect the land.      Light bulb or lightening bolt, that realization led Dick Lahn, of Crofton, to the capstone achievement of a lifetime of environmental campaigns.       Lahn’s personal success is a still bigger deal for environmental protection. He has linked 56 environmentally significant Maryland land parcels on both shores in a network of permanent preservation.

See America the Beautiful for only $10

Sixty-two (and up) is the right age and August the right month to enjoy the best deal the federal government has to offer: the Senior Pass to Federal Lands.             America the Beautiful Passes open the gates to over 2,000 federal recreation sites spanning all 50 states plus many American territories.

In one of its many lives, it was the cool place to be

Millersville resident Joe Campbell and his high school buddies have fond memories of the former Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, touted as the first enclosed mall on the East Coast.     “It was the go-to place on the weekends,” says Campbell, now 66 and the owner of a driving school. “We’d head straight for the soda fountain at G.C. Murphy’s five and dime store for ice cream sodas and 50-cent subs.”

Enjoy smart family fun at Anne Arundel County’s big regional parks

Summer is all about kicking back and enjoying extra time together as vacations begin and the weather warms.     But so many summer activities can mean trouble for the family budget. With some smart planning, a fun-filled summer doesn’t have to break the bank. In Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, I’ve found good, affordable fun for the whole family, even the dogs.

Today’s organic methods were the only options for gardeners in the early 19th century

We had a storm and terrible rain this week … my garden almost washed away; a dozen tulips were washed out of the ground and carried outside the garden fence. No one has seen such a flood in 10 years.

Little Coconut, Pineapple and Twix taught these middle-schoolers a big lesson

With their feet gingerly navigating mud and grasses at the water’s edge as they prepare to release three baby northern diamondback terrapins into the wild, these Severn River Middle School students could be almost anywhere along Chesapeake Bay.     Poplar Island, however, is no ordinary locale. The island, like the careful return of the terrapins to their birthplace, is a unique and successful example of environmental stewardship. Visiting there, students are in position to understand our human impact, both positive and negative, on the world around us.

My first days as a senior Peace Corps Volunteer

I have a view of Mount Ararat from my bedroom near Artashat in Armenia. The peak dominates the landscape, flat land that doesn’t see much rain. The mountain, the national icon of Armenia, is now in territory claimed by Turkey, but people here still consider it their own.     Every day in Shady Side, I was awed by the beauty and size of the Bay. In this landlocked country, I look out upon another wonder of the world: Noah’s mountain, the peak where the Ark is said to have run to ground.

Once a year, Hammond Harwood House opens the gates to the ­capital city’s private gardens — and invites you to look inside
 

They are there, hiding behind impossibly small doors tucked into the crowded summer streets of Annapolis. Or perhaps they appear as unexpected splashes of color coyly winking at strollers past a secluded courtyard.

Calvert protects 100-plus more acres

Calvert County has a plan to get people back to nature. The county comprehensive plan sets 40,000 acres of prime forest and farm as its preservation goal.     More than 28,000 acres is already preserved or protected. That total includes property protected by the county and state as well as land privately owned by American Chestnut Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.     Now the Calvert Nature Society has swelled the roll of land preservation groups, purchasing the 107 acres of forest, field and farm known as Keim Forest.