Tourism News

Adkins Arboretum Offers Nature Fun for Preschoolers

Snowflakes, foxes, pollywogs and more! Welcome 2020 and engage your young child with nature with Adkins Arboretum’s Acorn Academy Nature Preschool programs. The series of 10 classes for three- to five-year-olds is offered in either Wednesday or Thursday sessions beginning Feb. 26 and 27.

Programs run from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and include nature walks, stories, songs, snacks and an art project to take home. The fee for the 10-class series is $100 for members and $125 for non-members. Thanks to a generous grant from the PNC Foundation, the fee is waived for residents of Caroline County. Advance registration is required, and early registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Programs include:

Journey of a Snowflake
Feb. 26 and 27
Let’s pretend we’re snowflakes journeying through the winter sky! We’ll make a glittery snowflake craft, look for Jack Frost in the forest and warm up with hot chocolate and the beloved children’s book A Snowy Day.

Mitten Mice
March 4 and 5
Do you have a mouse in your mitten? We’ll read Jan Brett’s classic children’s story The Mitten and sing a song about Mimi Mouse. In the forest, we’ll look for signs of animals and find out how they keep warm when mittens aren’t an option.

Fox Trot
March 11 and 12
Where do foxes go when the cold wind blows? In their cozy dens, of course. Follow a winding trail to an Arboretum fox den, sing and dance to the “Fox Trot” and make pop-up fox finger puppets during this fun-filled class.

Seed Starters
March 18 and 19
It’s time to start thinking about your summer garden! Learn how seeds grow, dissect seeds and plant flowers in a nifty egg carton tray. Then visit the Arboretum greenhouse and enjoy a picnic snack.

Bunny Hop
March 25 and 26
Spring is here, are so are the rabbits! Have a thumpin’ good time exploring the world of the bouncy cottontail. We’ll dance the Bunny Hop, munch on rabbit snacks and meet our friend Hoppity Rabbit.

Which Nest is Best?
April 1 and 2
The birds are busy building nests for their babies! Take a peep inside the Arboretum’s bluebird houses, hold a nest in your hands and learn about the different ways birds build their homes. We’ll sample a bird’s nest snack and try building our own nests with mud and twigs.

Pollywog Adventure
April 8 and 9

No need to feel stuck in a bog—it’s peeper time at the Arboretum! We’ll stomp our feet to the “Pollywog Wiggle,” make a frog craft and use nets to scoop up tadpoles and other critters in the wetland.

Garden of Giants
April 15 and 16

Let’s make some garden magic and grow a giant beanstalk! We’ll learn about plant parts and enjoy a healthy picnic snack at Emily’s Play Garden, with a stop at the goat enclosure to say hello to the Arboretum’s goats.

Spring Beauties
April 22 and 23

April showers bring May flowers…along the Arboretum’s woodland paths! We’ll look for Virginia bluebells, lady slippers and spring beauties in the forest, stopping to play at First Light Village. A crunchy tissue paper flower craft will be perfect for Mother’s Day.

Wiggling Worms
April 29 and 30

Welcome to the wiggly world of worms! Did you know that worms are a gardener’s best friend? Enjoy a walk to Emily’s Play Garden, where we will peek into a composting “worm hotel” and dig for worms in the soil. We’ll also sing a “Wiggle and Waggle” song and snack on garden veggies.

Holiday Events at the Preston Historical Society

Preston Historical Society

Preston Historical Society will celebrate the holiday season with a Christmas Open House Weekend, December 7 and 8, 2019, at the Preston Historical Society Museum, 167 Main Street, Preston.  The event takes place on Saturday, December 7, from 10 AM to 2 PM, and on Sunday, December 8, from 1 PM to 3 PM.  The Museum will be decorated inside and out for the holiday, and a Christmas Train Garden will be on display.  Refreshments will be offered to all guests and children will receive goody bags.  Stock up on holiday baking needs by shopping the bake sale table. There is no admission charge for either day.

Beginning at 3 PM on Sunday, December 8, the Historical Society will be serving free hot chocolate on the front lawn for those attending Preston’s First Annual Christmas Parade, which will travel down Main Street past the Historical Society. Watch for a float entry from Preston Historical Society!

For more information on PHS and its events visit, Facebook at “Preston Historical Society,” or call 410-924-9080.

Adkins Arboretum to Hold Holiday Wreath Sale and Open House

Ring in the season with local greenery for a beautiful Eastern Shore holiday! Adkins Arboretum will hold its annual Holiday Wreath Sale and Open House on Sat., Dec. 7 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center in Ridgely. Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shop for handmade evergreen wreaths crafted from the bounty of the Arboretum’s forest and gardens. Handmade greenery sprays will also be for sale.

The Arboretum gift shop will be open during sale hours and will feature a pop-up art and pottery shop with the work of Irene and Paul Aspell. Shoppers are invited to peruse nature-inspired gifts and enjoy a guided walk in the woods at 10 a.m. Members receive a 10% discount on gift and book purchases.

For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Created in Caroline Arts Tour 2019

Find unique, handmade gifts for your holiday giving and support local small businesses while you enjoy a pleasant self-guided driving tour of Caroline County’s amazing and unique artists and artisans. From fine arts to one-of-a-kind crafts – experience the best of Caroline’s own on Friday, November 29th & Saturday, November 30th from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.

Download the tour brochure featuring artists, studios and more here!

When Canning Was King: A Documentary by the Preston Historical Society

The Preston Historical Society will host a premier showing of their latest video production, the documentary “When Canning Was King,” at its membership meeting on Monday, October 21, at 7 PM. The story of the canning industry in Preston and the surrounding areas is told by way of interviews with locals Dick Christopher, Gene Harris, James Hubbard, Lorenzo Hubbard, and Virginia Sharp, and with photographs and published accounts.

The industry grew up at the turn of the 20th century, reaching its peak in 1920, when 41 canning houses could be found in and around Preston. While the canning business faded away due to changes in farming and technology, another industry it helped create, truck brokerages, which were instrumental in helping move the canned goods out of Preston and into markets around the country, still thrives in the region today.

The creation of this documentary was funded in part by Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area. Gail Karge served as Project Manager and provided narration, Producer and Script Writer for the documentary was Angela Rieck, Linda Fletcher provided a character voice, theme music was provided by Robert Karge Sr., videography, editing and a character voice was provided by Warren Brey of In Focus Video Production.

Preston Historical Society is located at 167 Main Street in Preston, and is open Saturdays from April to December, 10 AM to 2 PM, except for some holiday weekends, and by appointment. More information can be found at its website,, or on its Facebook Page, “Preston Historical Society.”

Eco Fest Coming to Preston on September 28th, 2019

Eco Fest debuts on Saturday, September 28, 10am-2pm, at the Preston Town Park, 105 Back Landing Road, Preston. The idea for Eco Fest originated with a couple members of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Preston. Concerned about the trash on the side of the roads and wanting to help improve their community, they decided to launch an effort to raise awareness of what each person can do to help make the world a better (and cleaner) place. Event chair Suzy Staehlin explains, “There are so many easy little things each and every one of us can do to make the world a better place. Our motto is ‘I refuse to do nothing.’ Just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something. Eco Fest is all about easy and practical steps we can each take to protect and improve the world around us.”

Kids and adults will find plenty to do. The Fish Mobile from Phillips Wharf Environmental Center will be on hand. The Fish Mobile is a bus-size portable aquarium featuring fish and aquatic species native to local waterways. Adkins Arboretum will have activities for children. Other activities for children include face painting, interactive displays, games, and Smokey Bear! Exhibitors will have information for homeowners on how they can help protect water quality and enhance wildlife habitat.   

Free hotdogs, live music, and giveaways make it a day for the whole family to enjoy, rain or shine. Eco Fest is sponsored by Bethesda United Methodist Church, Preston, MD. For more information, go to, or email, or call 410-673-7538.

Governor Larry Hogan Proclaims September as International Underground Railroad Month

Governor Larry Hogan today proclaimed September as International Underground Railroad Month, which recognizes Maryland as the most powerful destination for authentic Underground Railroad history. It also commemorates all those involved in the Underground Railroad, including Maryland’s courageous Harriet Tubman, the brilliant orator Frederick Douglass, and thousands of freedom seekers.

“Maryland has the most documented successful escapes, and was heavily active in the Underground Railroad,” said Governor Hogan. “Recognizing International Underground Railroad month in Maryland honors the heroism of many brave men, women, and children who took a dangerous journey along the Underground Railroad and those who fought for their freedom.”

Visitors can explore the powerful history and stories of courage through interpretive materials, tours, attractions, and guides as they visit Maryland’s Network to Freedom sites. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway provides visitors with the opportunity to walk in Tubman’s footsteps, while the “Following in His Footsteps: Maryland’s Frederick Douglass Driving Tour” traces Douglass’s story around the state.

Maryland, as a true epicenter of the Underground Railroad, was home to many of the Underground Railroad’s leaders. Throughout the state, partners have come together to tell the stories of Tubman and Douglass, as well as Henry Highland Garnet, Josiah Henson, the William Still Family, and J.W.C. Pennington.

“As the nation’s first ethnic commission, we are pleased to join Governor Hogan in recognizing the authentic history of the Underground Railroad whereby countless brave men, women, and children enslaved here in Maryland were able to escape to their freedom,” said Rev. Dr. Tamara England Wilson, chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. “Their stories which reveal cooperation across racial lines will inspire each of us today to do our part in ensuring that all people enjoy the freedoms that this nation affords.”

Today marks the 181st anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s self-liberation from Baltimore’s President Street Station. September 17, 2019 will mark the 170th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s self-liberation from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

For more information and to plan the journey along the Underground Railroad, visit

Adkins Arboretum’s Beer Garden Returns September 28

Local beer, fresh seafood, ice cream and music by The High & Wides are all on tap when Adkins Arboretum hosts its second annual Beer Garden on Sat., Sept. 28.

Like the large-haul trains for which the band is named, The High & Wides project a big, driving sound—mountain music reimagined for a new century. Regional favorites hailing from Chestertown, the group released its debut album, Lifted, to widespread acclaim in 2018. Dubbed the “apostles of hillbilly boogie” by The Washington Post, the group draws from its members’ extensive bluegrass backgrounds to take the music to a place all their own, recalling an era when old-time, rockabilly and proto-rock ‘n’ roll coexisted in a murky soup of hillbilly string band music.

Centreville’s Bull & Goat Brewery will be pulling premium craft beer and homemade root beer, complemented by fresh seafood from Centreville’s family-owned Bay Shore Steam Pot and small-batch “cow to cup” ice cream served by American Corner’s Nice Farms Creamery.

The Beer Garden runs from 4 to 6 p.m. As the day cools down, guests can dance to the band, take a woodland walk or join in games. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 18 and free for children ages 2 and under. Beer and food are an additional fee. Seating is limited; please bring chairs or blankets to enjoy the event.

Advance registration is appreciated. To register, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

July Pollinator Programs at Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum will host a trio of programs this month aimed at educating about pollinators, their needs and ways to increase their vital habitat. All programs will be led by Melinda Fegler and Lindsay Hollister of Pollinators Prospering People (PX3), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable pollinator habitat. Programs include:

Befriending Bumblebees, 1–4 p.m. on Sun., July 14. Learn about the bumble’s importance for wildlife and for humans’ edible gardens. Participants will learn Maryland bumble ID and how to design a garden to attract bumblebees, as well as build a bumblebee hive box.

Solitary Bee Beginnings, 1–4 p.m. on Sun., July 21. What is a solitary bee? Learn about the ecology, life cycles and groupings of these lone workers. Participants will also learn about garden additions for solitary bees, build a solitary bee condo and practice identification.

Caterpillars to Butterflies, 1–4 p.m. on Sun., July 28. Learn about the mysteries of and threats to these beautiful pollinators and the important role they play in the natural world. Participants will build a chrysalis tree, learn to use identification resources and practice skills during a NABA butterfly count.

Each program is $35 for Arboretum members and $40 for non-members. All three sessions count as continuing education for Master Gardeners and for Maryland Master Naturalists. Advance registration is required at or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.