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On Saturday, March 23rd, Homestead Gardens was the place to be in the South River watershed. Thank you to Homestead Gardens for hosting “One Shell of a Party” during their Spring Open House, which was appropriately themed Cherish the Chesapeake. Surrounded by a Chesapeake Bay mural, flowers, music, auction items, and great music, 300+ South River Federation supporters had an enjoyable evening bidding on a wide variety of items graciously donated to help us raise funds to continue our work to protect, preserve, restore, and celebrate the South River!

Scott Hymes and Joe Glumsic got the party started by playing great music throughout the night. Thank you to Scott Hymes for not only playing music, but also for being a great auctioneer! The Palate Pleasers served delicious culinary delights to all the guests. Katcef Brothers, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, and Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. provided the beverages for the evening. And in true half shell form, John and Lori Orme of the West River provided and shucked the oysters for the event. We even had some oysters from Harness Creek!

Ron Tate was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedicated service to the Federation as a RiverWatcher, oyster grower, and more. John Flood was presented with the South River Hero Award for his lifetime dedication to the South River Federation. Ron Bowen also received the award for his leadership in helping Anne Arundel County identify its road map to restoration. The Don Riddle Corporate Stewardship award was presented to St. John Properties for their restoration of their site along Broad Creek which includes the cleanup of an old dump site.              

We could not have had a successful event without all the hard work of our Auction Chair, John McElderry, the entire auction planning committee and every single dedicated volunteer.

A huge thank you to everyone who made it happen, especially our 2013 Sponsors!

Rockfish, $2,500: BB&T; Mary & Barry Gossett

Osprey, $1,500: Flood Brothers Marine Consultants

Canvasback, $1,000: Oak Grove Marina; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Sandy Spring Bank; Severn Savings Bank; GreenVest; Lesley & Gary Geisel; Betty & John McElderry; Kent McNew; Victoria and Michael Wallace; Cindy & Westbrook Murphy; Tracey Wroe; Jenn & Ray Wulff

Terrapin $500: Lee Ann & Charlie Candon; Rhonda & Geoff Kaplan; Katherine & Preben Ostberg; Wade Lawn & Landscapes

Blue Crab, $250: Dan Cumberland; Jean & Dale Legal; Frances & John Koontz; Gayle & Dennis Murray; Annapolis Canoe and Kayak; Family Veterinary Clinic, Waterfront Marine

 

A special thank you also goes to:

Homestead Gardens ;  Rice Graphics Layout & Design; Palate Pleasers; Bay Ridge Wine and Spirits; Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company; Saucy Salamander;
Let it Be, Photography by Michael A. Sheehan

 

What do you do with that large grassy area that no one uses and is annoying to mow?  Turn it into a forest!  That’s just what the Segelhorsts of Gambrills did!

John Segelhorst met Lara Mulvaney, a Master Watershed Steward, through their sons’ boy scout troop.  They talked about how he was spending a lot time to maintain an unused portion of his lawn.  Lara suggested that he return the grass to the woods.  Since it was fall and a great time to plant, that’s just what he did!

Lara and John quickly got to work.  Armed with a Watershed Stewards Mini Grant from the South River Federation, the duo were able to extend the project even further selecting over 70 native trees and a selection of ferns.  Additionally, by getting free woodchips from the Naval Academy, the Segelhorsts were able to spend even more funds on the trees.

A project like this may seem daunting, but John had a good team on his side.  He used the expertise of the Master Watershed Stewards to select the plants and called in Severn Grove Landscaping to do the planting and place the mulch.  According to John, “the way we did it was great, got a crew for the whole day for a fixed price. We were able to do whole job at reasonable price with WSA’s connections plus grants.”

Why did the Segelhorst decide to do this?  They had a large, unused, lawn that collected stormwater runoff from a neighbor’s property.  There was lots of ponding and the grass just looked bad, not to mention the runoff was bad for the Bay. In the end, the new wooded area handled the recent rain storms just fine!

By reducing his lawn and converting it woodland, John now has almost a half acre less of grass to mow. Lara added that by not mowing as much, he is also reducing pollution and the amount of money he would spend maintaining it.  Like John said, extending the woods “just looks nice” in an area where it doesn’t make sense to have a lawn.  Plus, his neighbors all thought it looked great!

If you’re considering doing the same thing at your home, here is some advice:  Target the area of your lawn that you do not use first.  If you have an existing wooded area, start there.  It is easiest to extend an existing wooded area.  Start with a few big trees and over time connect trees, extend the area, and add smaller plants. Lara suggested “stacking” – place larger trees in the corner of your lot or next to an existing wooded area. Then, plant smaller trees and work your way down to shrubs.  This softens the area and gives it a natural look.

John warns to be careful with your calculations – it’s easy to under estimate just how much mulch or how many trees you may need.  If you plant in the fall, patience is a virtue.  Your “stick farm” will look much nicer in the spring.  John has lived in his home for 20 years and wishes he would have done this sooner.  Last but not least, don’t do it alone!  Go to www.aawsa.org and contact the Watershed Steward nearest you or contact the South River Federation for guidance. 

 

 

Each season brings something different to the table. Winter is snow, spring brings rain and flowers, summer is all about pool time and surviving the heat, and then there is fall. Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, it’s starting to cool off, there is crispness in the air, my birthday, and of course the change of colors. Now I may be biased, but I think the East Coast has the best fall colors and that was definitely seen and proven this past Saturday for our Fall Federation Celebration Kayak and Picnic.

We had great weather for a morning exploring Beard’s Creek. If you asked anyone who came last year, it was a much different scene. Last fall, it was a bit windy and participants got a workout kayaking back to the beach against the wind. After that epic adventure, David and Katie of Annapolis Landing in Riva asked if they could host the fall kayak trip the following year and we said of course! This fall, we were tucked away from the wind. Beard’s Creek is a great place to go because it is so shallow near the end. This is great for kayaking because we didn’t have to worry about any boat traffic—we had the whole creek to ourselves. The fall foliage radiated along the creek. There was a great contrast of color with the blue sky above and the yellow, orange, red, and even some purple leaves all around us. The trees were really giving us a show. Beard’s Creek has all these little tributaries to explore branching off of the main creek. Participants saw turtles, an immature bald eagle, wood ducks, and mallards. Beard’s Creek is also known for their beaver and river otter sightings—sadly we did not see any of those critters, but they are out there, so keep your eyes peeled.

During the trip, I was paddling in the back of the group and it was great to see so many people out on the river celebrating this amazing resource we have in our backyard. I shared this day with my sister and her husband and their two friends who were all from out of town. I saw multi-generations in a canoe enjoying the day outside. Friends and neighbors chatting about the leaves, fish, and there was even talk about a haunted Halloween kayak trip. I think I could have spent the entire day on the river. For me, these trips are a way to shut off the phone and enjoy being outside and that is exactly what all of us did.

After two hours of kayaking in and around and under (there was a bridge) Beard’s Creek, we headed back to the marina for lunch. A big thank you goes out to our fabulous sponsors: Starbucks of Edgewater, Dunkin Donuts, SeaWatch International, and DoubleTree Hotel for making the picnic awesome and delicious.

Thank you to Katie and David and the Annapolis Landing Homeowners Association for hosting such a great event! Please enjoy the slideshow of photos!

On behalf of the South River Federation, a big thank you goes out to the 5th Graders of St. Andrews United Methodist day school.

On Tuesday, November 13th, they put in a lot of hardwork at Homestead Gardens. All of them deserve a gold star for a job well done! At the end of the day, they helped plant 150 plants around the new Homestead Gardens Wetland Restoration site! We were thrilled with how much they accomplished!

Not only did they plant trees and shrubs, but also they helped provide habitat for the critters that will make this site their home. The plants chosen for this project have high value to the wildlife in the area. The plants used will take up the pollutants from the water and use them as fertilizer.

One of the last activities of the day, was throwing sticks into the water. That's right, we asked kids to throw sticks! The sticks, logs, trees, and stumps provide resting places and habitat for birds, amphibians, and other wildlife. The 5th graders of St. Andrews did important work and we cannot thank you enough for your help!

Please enjoy the slideshow and check out this link provided by Anne Arundel County Week in Review.