Honey Harvest Festival, October 1 and 2, 2011
Bee lovers and beekeepers are headed to the Oregon Ridge Nature Center for the celebration of the Honey Harvest Festival. Members of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association will kick off the festivities on Saturday with hive demonstrations, beeswax candle dipping, and mead (honey wine) making. Children can enjoy making their own honey ice cream. Other children's activities include face painting, puppet shows, hayrides, and a petting zoo with chickens and sheep. Food and drink will be sold.
Special features this year include American crafts such as wool spinning and blacksmithing. The Peter Goff Archaeological Museum will be open for tours each day. A Honey of a Basket filled with honey gift items will be raffled off, Sunday afternoon. Tickets will be sold at the Nature Center for $1, six for $5. In addition, the Nature Center Gift Shop will be selling a variety of nature items.
Bring family and friends and enjoy the festivities on Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Maple Sugar Weekends, Feb. 19, 20 & 26, 27, 2011
There is nothing so pleasant as a hint of spring interrupting the heart of winter. Even when that interruption is short-lived and we are again blanketed by another snowfall, the February sun stirs the lifeline of the maples, and shortly it's time again for Oregon Ridge Nature Center's Maple Syrup Weekends.
Bring the family, the neighbors, and friends between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm for a day outdoors — a day that will dispel the effects of winter doldrums and stir your thoughts toward spring. Oregon Ridge Nature Center's Maple Syrup Weekends are followed by our Annual Pancake Breakfast held at Oregon Ridge Lodge, held on the first weekend in March, between 8 am and noon each day.
Pancake Breakfast, March 5 and 6, 2011
Come and enjoy the fruits of our labor and our maple trees on some delicious pancakes! The Annual Pancake Breakfast will be held at Oregon Ridge Lodge from 8 am until noon each day. Tickets can be purchased at the door, $6.00 for adults, and $3.00 for children ages 2 to 8. Pancakes with 100% maple syrup, sausage, orange juice, coffee, tea, or milk are on the menu.
Special handcrafted articles will be raffled. As always, other gift items will be raffled throughout the breakfast and various plants will be on sale. The Nature Center Gift Shop will be open with good quality nature items for sale. Please bring your family and friends for a hot, filling breakfast and lots of fun.
Primitive Technology Weekend, May 7 and 8, 2011
Oregon Ridge Nature Center's Primitive Technology Workshop will be held on Saturday and Sunday – from 10 am to 4 pm on both days. Check out the primitive technology map, available online as an Acrobat PDF.
Music in the Woods, May 14, 2011
Amateurs and professionals who play fiddle, banjo, dulcimer and other traditional instruments are sought and encouraged to voluntarily entertain, demonstrate and educate at Oregon Ridge Nature Center's annual festival of traditional music from 10:00 am — 4:00 pm. Join us for this great outdoors event. Note: rain date Sunday.
ORNC offers a full range of school programs designed to enrich your students' education experience.
Planning Your Group's Visit
- All naturalist-led programs must be scheduled in advance.
- School group size is limited to 55 participants or fewer per program. Weekend group size is limited to 25 or fewer.
- Please be prompt. All programs are approximately two hours in length, except for canoe trips. Programs usually begin at 10 am and end at 12 noon unless otherwise arranged. (Canoe trips begin at 9 am and end at 1 pm.) Programs for pre-K children may be shorter.
- Lunch will be in the outdoor picnic area.
- Teachers must participate in the program with their students.
- Teachers must bring one adult per ten children for supervision and discipline.
- Children should dress appropriately for the weather (shoes that can get wet or boots, long pants, socks, hat, and dress in layers according to the temperature).
- In case of inclement weather, the program can be abbreviated, and children should wear rain gear.
- All park areas are nature preserves. By law, all plants, animals and minerals are protected in their natural state and cannot be removed from the park.
- There is no charge for most programs.
- Bus permits are not required for Nature Center parking. Smoking is prohibited.
- Programs and facilities are designed to accommodate disabled visitors.
- Groups may visit the nature center on a self-guided basis (without a naturalist). Self-guided groups must notify the Nature Center in advance to avoid overcrowding of the Nature Center on any given day. Leaders of self-guided groups are responsible for the orderly conduct of their groups. Leaders are also encouraged to visit the Nature Center in advance of their group's visit to ensure the success of their trip.
Weekend Nature Programs
Naturalists lead nature hikes and other programs for individuals and families on most Saturdays and Sundays from 2-4 pm. See our Calendar for dates and times. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Dress for the weather, including comfortable hiking gear.
Full Moon Hikes
Enjoy nature's "night shift" on our moonlight hikes and learn the unique lore surrounding each month's full moon. These hikes, primarily for adults and older children, some are FREE others are $3 (non-refundable), which is due in advance to cover the cost of materials. See Calendar for dates, times and descriptions.
Half-day trips on some Saturdays and Sundays, exploring local rivers and the bay. $10 per person is due in advance. Children must be 8 years or older. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 410-887-1815 for reservations. See Calendar for dates and times.
Opportunities exist for teens from age 13 to 17 to volunteer one day a week, after school or weekends, at the Nature Center. If you are interested in learning about Maryland's wildlife and plants, caring for orphaned animals, and maintaining nature exhibits, contact the Nature Center for an interview at 410-887-1815 on Tuesday through Friday. Teens committing at least a year of their time to the Ridge Runner program will earn the community service hours required for high school graduation.
Trail Guides are trained in fall and winter to lead visiting school children on nature hikes. If you enjoy children and nature, but missed the training, you can still volunteer. By accompanying and observing seasoned Trail Guides on hikes, you can learn everything you need to know to lead your own hike. In addition to this on-the-job training, you will be given a packet of educational material about the trails. Please call Andi Musser at 410-887-1815 to arrange for some dates to observe hikes.
We schedule scout troops on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10 am to noon. All prior listed programs are open to scout troops as well as custom programs that satisfy badge requirements. It would be helpful to our weekend naturalists if you send in a copy of the badge requirements in advance.
Our Scholarship Committee is offering 2 scholarships this year. We are looking for persons and companies to donate toward the scholarship fund as well as looking for scholarship candidates. The Scholarship Application form is available online as an Acrobat PDF.