Oregon Ridge Nature Center & Park

Council Meetings

Council Meetings are are open to the public and are held at 7:30 PM on the third Monday of each month except February, July and August.

These meetings are the forum for the Oregon Ridge Nature Center Speaker Series. Our speakers give presentations on a wide range of nature related subjects.

Speaker Series

Below are speakers for some of our upcoming meetings. For detailed descriptions of these lectures see our newsletter.

Monday, September 19 at 7:30 PM


Carol Warner, one of Marylandís leading iris experts, begins our 2011-2012 Speaker Series with an iris extravaganza. Carol will talk and answer questions about the different varieties and show slides of different types of bearded and beardless irises to produce a long season of bloom for the garden. She will also have handouts and talk about the culture and garden placement of hybrid and species irises. Most of her slides are taken in her own garden and feature a large collection of companion plants. Listeners will have the opportunity to buy some of her irises after the presentation. Take a preview peek of her presentation by visiting http://www.draycott-gardens.com/.

Monday, October 17 at 7:30 PM


If there was a contest for Spice of the World, vanilla would be a top contender, easily winning accolades for flavor, aroma, function and beauty. In its native habitat of Mexico, or in Madagascar, now the largest vanilla producing country, vanilla begins as a tree or pole climbing vine showcasing exquisitely delicate white to yellowish colored orchids that live only for a day. If a bee or hummingbird pollinates the flowers during their brief lifespan, or if the flowers are hand pollinated by cultivators, each flower will produce the vanilla bean pods from which the familiar aroma and flavoring are derived and processed for culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses. It is a spice worthy of winning a crown. During her presentation, Sally Riley will tell you why she would cast her vote for vanilla. Sally, a retiree from McCormick & Company, Inc., will explain how those long, brown, shriveled bean pods become the extract you use in your cakes and cookies, and she will talk about other uses in perfumes and for medicinal purposes. Sally Riley graduated from Mount Saint Agnes College with a B.A. in Biology and worked for 21 years in the Technical Information Center at McCormick, doing research on food chemistry and technology, flavor chemistry, sensory technology, product development, and competitive and general business intelligence. Now retired, Sally volunteers at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Historical Society of Baltimore County, and with her college alumnae association.

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