For years, the only thing I knew about the Patuxent Research Refuge was that its location made it harder to get from Odenton to visit my friends in Greenbelt. It's a big open place—more than 12,000 acres—located in the middle of a heavily-trafficked area.
But I recently came to realize that it's a very special place to have nearby. The refuge, run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is just a stone's throw from Odenton but offers some great programs and events for residents to check out.
I took my son to their open house last year and enjoyed a tram ride and learned quite a bit about the wildlife as well as the history of the area. (Did you know, for instance, that the park has the original telegraph poles used to transmit messages when Abraham Lincoln was president?)
This time of year, there's a lot going on at the refuge. Here's a look at some key events:
- March 9, Birthday Bash. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., see live animals, enjoy live music and take a tram ride.
- March 23 and 24, Wildlife Art Show and Sale. See some of the best wildlife art and photography from around the country.
- June 8, Kids fishing day. From 8:30 a.m. to noon, get some free demonstrations. (Catch and release only.)
Check out the Patuxent Research Refuge website for a full calendar of events and also go to FriendsofPatuxent.org to learn how you can support the refuge.