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New Logo Unveiled for Chesapeake Country All-American Road

The nine-county effort which culminated in the designation of the Chesapeake Country All-American Road in 2021 now has a new logo! With direction from the consulting firm, Conservation by Design, the Chesapeake Country All-American Road will have a comprehensive interpretative plan.

The route from Cecil County to the Virginia line offers an epic journey in one of the last truly special landscapes in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Byway links together the Eastern Shore’s most unique resources – its working landscapes and waterfronts, historic town centers, recreation sites, and pristine natural areas – and provides travelers with opportunities to enjoy and understand the area’s rich history and culture while gaining appreciation for the traditions and working life of local watermen, farmers, and merchants.

2nd Annual Plein Air Adkins a Memorable Experience for All!

On Sat., Nov. 4, Adkins Arboretum continued its mission to provide an exceptional experience in nature with free admission to its 2nd annual Plein Air Adkins paint out, exhibit, and sale. This event gave both artists and the public a memorable and immersive encounter with the native landscape on a perfect autumn day.

Forty-one artists painted the Arboretum’s wetlands, meadows, and woodlands while observers watched, walked and soaked in the warm fall colors. As blank canvases and panels became works of art, the public could see nature as interpreted through each artist’s eyes. Live music and food trucks complemented the festivities.

Artists painted from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., then framed their works and exhibited them on their easels at the edge of the South Meadow behind the Visitor’s Center. The public browsed and made purchases as judge Alison Barry reviewed the work and chose the award winners.

Barry, the grand prize winner of last year’s inaugural event, said the quality of the work was outstanding, and she could have given even more awards. In her judging, she looked for excellent handling of the artist’s medium and good use of composition, color and values. Barry also sought paintings that were not just journalism dutifully recording the scene but instead revealed the character of the artists and a poetic interpretation of the landscape.

The award winners were Grand Prize: Christine Rapa; Second: Amanda Milliner; Third: Pamela Chase; and Honorable Mention: Nancy Fine, Rhonda Ford, Richard Fritz, Jose Ramirez and Maureen Wheatley. Homer Proctor won Artist’s Choice.

Don’t miss the experience of seeing nature through a painter’s eyes at the 3rd Annual Plein Air Adkins on Saturday, November 2, 2024. There’s none other like it!

Caitlin Gill and Bridgette Guerzon Mills Display M(Other) Nature Mixed Media at Adkins Arboretum

Nature is far from passive in the artwork of Caitlin Gill and Bridgette Guerzon Mills. In their joint show, M(Other) Nature, on view in the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through December 23, dreams, nightmares and reality intertwine as two roosters decorated with dried flowers and intricate cut-outs of leaves attack one another in Gill’s “Cock Fight” and a bare, silhouetted tree sprouts up from the delicate embroidery of a vintage baby’s gown in Mills’s “Baptism.” There will be a reception to meet the artists and learn more about their work on Sat., Nov. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The two Baltimore area artists had never met but when they got together at Mills’s studio to plan the show, they found they have a lot in common.

“We’re drawn to similar materials,” Mills said. “I found it interesting that we both use found natural materials in our work.”

“A big inspiration for us is materiality, texture, and nature,” Gill agreed. “We both seem particularly drawn to found objects, lace, insects and nests, and there’s a lot of exploration with textiles.”

Both artists have always felt a strong connection with nature, particularly its feminine creative power. The title of their show, M(Other) Nature, refers to our culture’s contradictory feelings about nature, that while we celebrate its beauty and creativity, we feel separate from it, as if we are something other than nature, and so have no qualms about exploiting its resources.

Both Gill and Mills explore the life-giving aspects of nature, underscoring their mutual interest in its feminine qualities by using materials associated with women—cloth, lace, doilies, and thread.

Gill said, “Mother Nature as a metaphor is contingent on the feminine ability to create life. I think the need for knowledge as a mode of control and dominance is something nature has endured, similarly to women, so for me, this is an exercise in reclamation and liberation.”

Visitors may remember Mills’s site-specific sculptures in the Arboretum’s forest from several of the Outdoor Sculpture Invitational shows. A Master Naturalist, for last summer’s show, she created a large book with nuts, seedpods, bark and moss stitched onto its cloth pages that explored trees’ role in the health of the forest. Continuing this exploration, her materials for this show include similar found materials as well as cloth, lace, photo transfers of trees, birds and insects, paint, encaustic and actual hand-stitching so that her artworks bridge the real and the imagined. These are gentle works, lovingly made and carrying a sense of mystery and melancholy.

“I aim to reveal the fragile imperfection of life,” she explained. “Stitching in my work also references the universal idea that we are all connected.”

Like Mills, Gill explores the contrast between vulnerability and the power of the life force but with an often disquieting focus on the physical experience of exploitation. A pale grub, part painted and part collaged, curls up alone and exposed on the loose-knit fibers of a sheet of handmade paper, while a beautiful golden-red fox, also a fusion of paint and collage, seems at first glance to be running until you read its title, “Fox, roadkill.”

“The history of animal rights follows a nearly parallel trajectory to women’s rights,” Gill said. “All my work is directly or indirectly about the feminine experience and its relationship to nature and western culture.”

Much as women have historically been required to take passive roles, adhering to rules set by a male dominant society, Gill’s birds, insects and animals are isolated from their natural environments, alone and vulnerable to exploitation. It’s uncomfortable subject matter, but there’s an underlying sense that they possess a strength and resilience that will ultimately help them to survive.

Mills explained, “I think that both Caitlin’s and my work attempts to speak to our connection to the earth and to nature. It’s a fragmented relationship often at odds—natural/unnatural, connected/disconnected, beautiful/grotesque, creation/destruction and life/death. The list can go on and on!”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Dec. 23 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 100 or for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum’s Enchanted Fairyfest is Oct. 7

Bring your wands, wings and magical costumes for a day of fantasy at Adkins Arboretum! Celebrating fancy and fun in the forest, Fairyfest returns to the Arboretum on Sat., Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year’s Fairyfest offers more outdoor magic than ever. Mix potions in a cauldron, visit a dragon’s nest and follow a trail of fairy houses along the Arboretum’s enchanted forest paths. Feel the wind in your wings on the Neverland pirate ship and sword fight with a scoundrel in the meadow. Kick up your feet in the maypole dance, try your hand at magical games and take a break for a spellbinding craft. The beloved event also includes live entertainment by Mid Shore Dance Academy, Allegra! and Ampersand.

Unicorn rides with Snapdragon Stables, delicious offerings from Beltway Bistro and Blue Monkey Street Tacos food trucks and treats from Lucky Heart Bakery and Scottish Highland Creamery will be available for sale. Don’t forget your camera for photos with the Fairy Court!

Leading up to this exciting day, all are invited to build their own fairy dwellings for The Great Fairy House Challenge. Entries will be displayed on the forest paths in the week before Fairyfest and will be eligible for awards and prizes in the categories of Golden Fairy, Most Magical, Simply Spellbinding and Enchanted Excellence. An entry form and guidelines are available at

Fairyfest is $10 per person for ages 3 and up and free for children ages 2 and under. Admission is capped at 400, so early registration is highly recommended at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0. In case of rain, Fairyfest will be rescheduled for Sun., Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fairyfest is generously sponsored in part by Chesapeake Blooms and Caroline County Council of Arts. For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 100.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. For more information, visit

Forest Music Returns to Adkins Arboretum June 15

Music will once again lilt through the trees when Adkins Arboretum hosts Forest Music on Thurs., June 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. Presented in partnership with Chestertown’s National Music Festival, Forest Music is a unique performance art event that brings young musicians and their mentors from the Festival to play in the forest for visitors who travel from near and far to hear them.

Since its inception in 2014, Forest Music has become a highly anticipated annual event. Positioned individually or in small groups along a circuit of wooded paths, musicians play their individual selections simultaneously so that their music can be heard up close or at a distance as visitors walk through the forest. Sometimes harmonizing between one group and the next, sometimes creating strangely magical dissonances, they play in concert with birdsong, the rustle of leaves in high branches and, occasionally, a chorus of frogs.

Over the years, participating musicians have come with violins, clarinets, horns, bassoons, double basses and even steel drums to play everything from Bach to the Beatles to original compositions developed specifically for the Arboretum forest. Held during the National Music Festival’s two-week run, Forest Music draws many of its visitors from the Festival itself while also attracting a large local audience from the Arboretum’s members and friends.

The event will also feature the opportunity to bid on a parlor-size acoustic/electric guitar, generously donated by PRS Guitars. Bids will also be accepted through June 30 at

Forest Music is $10 per person. Light refreshments will be served, and wine will be available for purchase. All are welcome; advance registration is strongly encouraged at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 100.

This event is generously sponsored in part by the Caroline County Council of ArtsPRS Guitars and Unity Landscape Design|Build.

Musician Carrie Rose Brings Breathing in Nature to Adkins Arboretum June 17

Carrie Rose intertwines solo flute with recorded owls, grasshoppers and water. As dusk falls on Sat., June 17, these sounds will mingle with breezes, bird and frog calls and stirring turtles and fish when Rose performs Breathing in Nature on the wetland boardwalk at Adkins Arboretum. All are invited to attend.

Featuring compositions by Rose and other contemporary and classical composers, along with friendly introductions to each piece to engage curiosity and intellect, the program will also explore the writings of environmentalist Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and The Sense of Wonder.

Rose is a flutist, composer and teacher in the Washington, D.C., area. As a performer, she unfurls a luscious array of classical chamber music, grooves for folk dances, freelances with regional orchestras, wails out avant-garde music and presents in-person and recorded Breathing in Nature concerts. Her compositions have been featured at numerous venues in the Baltimore-D.C. region, and she has performed in the D.C. area with ensembles that include the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Arlington Philharmonic, Cathedral Choral Society and Washington Concert Opera.

Seating begins at 7 p.m. on the wetland bridge and boardwalk. Music from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. will include Syrinx by Claude Debussy, Owls for Flute and Owl Sounds by Carrie Rose, Sonata Appassionata by Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Canto del Alba by Mario Lavista, Waterweave for flute and water sounds by Carrie Rose, Tango Etude #3 by Astor Piazzola, Prelude in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ave Maria by Charles Gounod and Suvisoitto (Summersounds) flute and grasshoppers by Usko Merilainen.

Wine and treats will be available for purchase before the concert. Attendees should bring chairs. The concert is accessible.

The program fee of $20 for members/$25 for non-members increases by $5 on the day of the event. Advance registration is encouraged at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 100.

Breathing in Nature is sponsored in part by the Caroline County Council of Arts and the Maryland Arts Council.

Pet Extravaganza Coming to Denton

The Caroline County Humane Society is gearing up for their next Blue Jean Festival, celebrating all things animals! It’s going to be a spectacular gathering of pet lovers and merchants. Pet and animal related vendors will be there, along with over 20 artisans. Come to the DIY Tie Dying booth to make your own t-shirt, watch the Jousting demo and the K-9 and Search and Rescue Dog demos. Alpacas and multiple Rescue Organizations will be there. Another big attraction will be a Corn Hole Tournament.

Excited to announce the DogLovers Lure Course. Dogs will have a ball running and jumping around a course chasing a lure. There is a small fee for participating, but well worth the fun of watching the dogs have a blast. Go to, then Blue Jean Festival, to watch the video.

Saturday, May 6, 2-7 p.m. at the 4-H park located at 8230 Detour Road, Denton Maryland. This fundraising event will take place RAIN OR SHINE (indoor area available in case of rain). Admission is $10 per car load.

Listen to live music by The Jones Boys and Blues DeVille! Food, beer, alcoholic beverages, and wine will be available for purchase. Eat from a variety of food trucks: Red Shef, Spanky’s BBQ, Blue Monkey Taco, Country Cupcake, and Bubba Bob’s Country Treats; drink beer from Bull and Goat Brewery from Centreville. Try your luck at the Cake Wheel and Ticket Auction. Silent auction and an online auction will also be going on during the Festival. Online auction starts April 23 and runs through the Festival to May 7, featuring many great items including: Florida Week, Ocean City Week, Fishing Trip, Bartending Lessons, overnight in an Inn with dinner, quilts, packed baskets, and much, much more. Special auction item features dinner for 6-8 at a waterfront home with chef Adam Flood and his wife Nancy from Caroline’s of Denton, bartender Drew, also of Caroline’s, music by Tom Godfrey, and table decorations by Set the Table for Me from Centreville. Visit for link to online auction on April 23.

Animals are welcome on leash.  Plenty of parking is available.

Many thanks to our sponsors (as of the printing): Moore’s Funeral Home, Sparkle Pools, Tuckahoe Treasures Alpaca Farm, Caroline County Council of Arts, Attraction Magazine, Caroline Review, Platinum Property Group, Veterinary Medical Center of Easton, Ustream, Agency Insurance Co. of MD, H&M Bay Inc, Hobbs Construction, Impressive Printing, Kevertin Pet Resort, Sue and Jon Simmons, Towers Concrete Products, Bay Capital Mortgage, Bloughs Seafood, Chesapeake Hydrowash, Jerry and Helen Hadley, Mona Oakes. More sponsors are needed. If you are interested please contact Bonnie Johnson at or 410-310-0777.

All proceeds support the Caroline County Humane Society to help them save lives and find homes for over 1,500 animals each year.

Adkins Arboretum Audio Essay Podcast Explores Nature and the Underground Railroad

Adkins Arboretum is pleased to announce the release of the Rooted Wisdom Audio Essay, the latest addition to the Rooted Wisdom initiative. Recorded at the Arboretum and featuring filmmaker Mecca Lewis and historian Anthony Cohen, the production explores the Underground Railroad and reveals how sometimes whats before us is the past.

Rooted Wisdom examines how self-liberators used their knowledge of the natural world as they forged a path to freedom on the Underground Railroad. It comprises a guided experience, the heart of which is a beautifully filmed and narrated documentary, Rooted Wisdom: Nature’s Role in the Underground Railroad, in which Cohen guides viewers through the Adkins Arboretum landscape and reveals freedom seekers’ methods for navigation, concealment, evasion and nourishment. The guided experience also includes a companion website,, that presents the film in five chapters and invites a deeper understanding of the relationship between self-liberation and nature through detailed accounts, related historical sites and resources relating to the landscape both then and now. The film and virtual companion premiered in 2022.

In the new audio essay, Lewis and Cohen discuss the Underground Railroad, the unending process of pursuing and interpreting history and how a cultural knowledge of nature factored into the planning and process of self-liberation, all while walking the Arboretum grounds. The guided experience and audio essay are available at To ensure ongoing community engagement, the Arboretum has partnered with Beech Works, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to broadening public discourse and advancing public education on social issues through thought-provoking documentary and narrative films, to advance the web presence, offer a 26-minute version of the film for community screenings and develop additional programming for audiences beyond the Arboretum. Additional resources at the Arboretum, including information about school field trips and docent-led guided walks, can be found at

Mecca Lewis is a Baltimore-based documentary filmmaker and a lover of experiential research and play. Her works include Florence’s Flowers, an expeditious search for the echoes of once-resonant voices in the formerly vibrant radical abolitionist utopian society of Florence, Mass., and Perspectives from “Nowhere,” collage excerpts of visual and auditory landscapes of West Baltimore with community voices both past and present to detail the ongoing stories of history about the people of the Westside and the Highway to Nowhere.

Anthony Cohen is a historian, author and explorer of the American past. In 1996, he traveled 1,200 miles of Underground Railroad history from Maryland to Ohio, tracing the steps of freedom seekers along wilderness trails and waterways and stopping in towns along the way to chronicle their stories through artifacts, documents and oral accounts. He embarked on a second trip, from Alabama to Ontario, in 1998 and in 2015 followed the route of a great-great-granduncle who fled slavery in Savannah, Ga., in 1849 for freedom in Canada. He is founder and president of The Menare Foundation, Inc., a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the Underground Railroad, and operates the Button Farm Living History Center, a 40-acre farm that depicts 1850s plantation life in Maryland. He has served as a consultant to the National Parks Conservation Association, Maryland Public Television and NASA, among others.

The audio essay is a co-production of Adkins Arboretum and Schoolhouse Farmhouse. It was written by Mecca Lewis, Lauren Giordano and George Burroughs and was produced, recorded, edited and mixed by Giordano and Burroughs. It is based on work made possible by a grant from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, funded by the 400 Years of African American History Commission, and was financed in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

Forest Fun at Adkins Arboretum’s New Earth Day Celebration

 A full day of forest fun is planned for Adkins Arboretum’s inaugural Earth Day Adkins event, a celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day, on Sat., April 22.

Participants can expect a bevy of Earth-friendly activities, including mixing up gooey seed balls, painting with natural dyes, drumming, stitching a tree tapestry and dip netting in the stream. A forest scavenger hunt, nature bingo, guided walks and citizen science demos will also be part of the fun.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Legendary ecologist and conservationist Nick Carter will be dip netting on the wetland boardwalk between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and there will be a tree giveaway with a Department of Natural Resources forester, made possible through the Backyard Buffer program. Yoga instructor Suzann Zdnowski will lead a Yoga in the Woods class at 2:30 p.m. that is free with event admission.

Live entertainment includes music by Ampersand and hula hoop dancing by Baltimore performance artist Mina Bear. Food and drink will be available from local vendors: Ten Eyck and Bull & Goat breweries, Blue Monkey Street Tacos, Yo Java Bowl, Lucky Heart Bakery and Night Craft Bakery. Earth Day Adkins is a single-use plastic-free event; participants are invited to bring their own cup or water bottle.

Thanks to the generosity of the Arboretum’s sponsors, Earth Day Adkins admission is just $5 per person when purchased in advance at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 100. Children ages 3 and under are admitted free of charge. Only 400 admissions will be sold, so early registration is advised. Admission increases to $10 on the day of the event. Earth Day Adkins is sponsored in part by Babikow Greenhouses of Baltimore. For more details, visit

Celebrate Black History Month in Caroline County

This Black History Month, we honor and celebrate Caroline County’s African American heritage. Here are a few ways to discover the stories of the remarkable individuals who have shaped our nation.


Experience the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

Discover the stories of Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers who risked their lives to escape slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is a self-guided driving tour in Caroline and Dorchester counties that takes you to the places where Tubman lived, fled, and returned to repeatedly to free her family and friends.

You can download the byway map and guide or order a hardcopy here. There is also a free audio guide that brings to life the powerful stories of slavery and escape. Listen to the audio guide as you visit the more than 40 sites along the way. Soundtracks include dramatizations, storytelling, and commentary by experts, historians, and local community members.


Learn About Anna Murray Douglass

Born in Caroline County, Anna Murray Douglass was an entrepreneur of means who helped Frederick Douglass escape to freedom. She was born free in Tuckahoe Neck, and he was born enslaved in Talbot County. They would meet for the first time at the city wharves in Baltimore. Following Frederick’s escape, they would later marry in New York, raise a family, and work 40 years together for civil rights and social justice.

Read the story by Don Barker here.

There will also be a special presentation on Anna Murray Douglass at the Museum of Rural Life on April 6th by Celeste-Marie Bernier, author of the forthcoming “Douglass Family Lives: The Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass Family Collected Works and Biography: Book 1-6” and “The Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass Family Selected Writings: A Reader. Find out more here. 


Discover the Historic Black Schools of Caroline County

Through 90 years of racial segregation and funding disparity, black schools in Caroline County were sacred ground in the fight for equal education, democracy, and civil rights. Eight are still standing.

Learn more about these eight schools and follow our Driving Tour of Historic Black Schools in Caroline County here. 

Find a mobile-friendly version of the Driving Tour of Historic Black Schools in Caroline County here. 

This driving tour has been made possible through a partnership with the Caroline County Historical Society and the generous contributions of Don Barker.


Learn about the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Sites

The National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program commemorates the places and people who shaped the journey to freedom. These sites are documented places where the enslaved escaped from bondage, routes they took, places where they stayed or found assistance, and places where their freedom was tried and tested.

Caroline County is home to numerous Network to Freedom sites, including the William Still Interpretive Centerthe Caroline County Courthouse, and the Jacob and Hannah Leverton Home. Learn more about about the sites here. Please note that not all Network to Freedom sites are open to the public.


Discover the story of Bishop A.W. Wayman from Tuckahoe Neck

Alexander Walker Wayman, the seventh Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, was born in Tuckahoe Neck, Caroline County, Maryland. Young Alexander united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in Denton at age 16. Three years later, he left home for Baltimore and joined the new A.M.E. Church. Wayman served the church in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. before he was elected Bishop in 1864. Read more of the account of Bishop Wayman’s Long Way Home at the Caroline Digital History Project here. 

*Pictured at the top of the page is the James H. Webb Cabin on Grove Road, Preston. James H. Webb, a free African-American farmer, built this hand-hewn log home around 1852 and lived here with his enslaved wife, their four children, and Webb’s father. The family were members of nearby Mount Pleasant Church. The one-room home, with its “potato hole,” open fireplace, and loft accessed by a crude ladder, was built of materials found nearby. It sits on its original ballast-stone foundation from ships that plied the Chesapeake Bay.