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Summer Activities Schedule

Catoctin Mountain Park

National Park News

May 12, 2006 For Immediate Release Debra Mills

Catoctin Mountain Park Announces Summer Activities Schedule

The following interpretive programs are scheduled during June, July and August, at Catoctin Mountain Park.

Catoctin’s Youth Programs, YCC and Job Corps – Saturday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center

Join a ranger for this adult-level program outlining the history of youth programs in Catoctin Mountain Park. Learn how these programs have blended technical job training with environmental education and the teaching of basic life skills. This program is one of the park’s 70th anniversary events.

Campfire Programs – Saturday evenings during June and July at 9:00 p.m., Saturday evenings in August at 8:30 p.m. at the Owens Creek Amphitheater

A Ranger’s Choice Campfire Program will be held at the Owen’s Creek Campground Amphitheater each Saturday evening at 9:00 p.m. in June and July and at 8:30 p.m. Saturday evenings in August. Topics will focus on the National Park Service and the natural and cultural history of Catoctin Mountain Park.

Whiskey Still Talks – Sundays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Blue Blazes Still

Alcohol played an important role in the early settler’s lives, not as a beverage but as a form of currency, an efficient way to get crops to market and for medicine and fuel. Meet a ranger at the site of the original Blue Blazes Still for an informal talk that explains how an excise tax took whiskey stills from the family farm to moonshine operations tucked in mountain coves and hollows. Trailhead for the ¼ mile trail to the Blue Blazes Still begins near the Visitor Center.

Camping and Backpacking Expo – Saturday, June 10 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Owens Creek Amphitheater

Have you always wanted to go camping or backpacking but don’t know what kind of equipment is needed? Is your tent showing signs of age? If so, come to the Owens Creek Campground Amphitheater from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. Clyde Hicks from the Trail House in Frederick, MD, will exhibit a variety of the latest trends in camping and backpacking equipment as well as some time-proven standards. Experienced personnel will be on hand to offer equipment suggestions and answer specific tent camping and backpacking questions. Trails Forever Volunteer Work Days - Saturdays, June 17, and July 15 at 9:00am at Camp Round Meadow. Have you hiked on our park trails in the past? Wear and tear from lots of visitor use combined with recent storms have left our trails in need of your help. If outdoor fun and hard work that contributes to the preservation of Catoctin Mountain Park sounds enticing, then please join our volunteer trail crew in a workday on Saturday, June 17, 2006. We’ll teach you everything you need to know! For more information please call Ranger Don Stanley at (301) 663-9388. No reservations are needed. Join us at Camp Round Meadow at 9:00am with boots, water, lunch, and gloves. The fun doesn’t end on June 17, an additional Trail Work Day is scheduled for July 15. The group will meet at Camp Round Meadow at 9:00 a.m. on this date as well. FDR – New Deal at Catoctin - Sunday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center

In the 1930’s, a declining economy and 3 consecutive years of drought forced the residents of north-central Maryland to seek Federal Relief. Join a ranger at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 to learn how President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs provided jobs for local workers and created the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area. Discover how this project reclaimed land that was once considered unsuitable for agriculture and became Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park.

Deer Discovery for Kids – Saturday, July 8 at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m.

What happens to the forest when one of the forest’s largest animals skyrockets in population? Kids of all ages are invited to meet a ranger at the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitor Center on Saturday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m. to find the answer while participating in the Deer Discovery program. This interactive computer program is designed to teach the effect of deer populations on forest ecology. The program will utilize Catoctin’s recently installed computer projection system and touch screen technology.

Stream Ecology – Sunday, July 16 at 11:00 a.m. at the Visitor Center

Did you know that some of the world’s clearest water is so polluted that it cannot sustain life? Join a ranger at the Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m. on July 16 to learn a simple way to gauge the overall health of a stream. Find out why water that is “good” to support life may not be considered “good” to drink. The program will be hands-on so wear shoes appropriate for walking on the edge of streams.

Blacksmith Shop Demonstrations – Saturday, July 22, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., at the Blacksmith Shop in Camp Round Meadow

Before the days of mass production, every community needed a skilled blacksmith. The smithy forged nails and hardware, sweated wagon rims, shod horses and repaired broken metals implements. The Blacksmith Shop played a vital role in the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area. Hardware and tools needed to build the cabin camps were manufactured on this forge, actively used by the National Park Service for over 40 years. Now the forge is fired to show visitors this vanishing art. Our volunteer blacksmith will demonstrate and explain how metal is heated and shaped into useful and decorative objects. The Blacksmith Shop is located in Camp Round Meadow on Manahan Road. Please call the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388 for further information and specific directions.

Catoctin’s Partnerships, Schools and Environmental Education – Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center

Thousands of Frederick and Washington County students cherish their time at Camp Greentop or Misty Mount as one or their fondest school memories. Join a ranger at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 to explore the history of environmental education at Catoctin Mountain Park. Learn how a series of partnerships with individuals and the education and business community have enhanced educational experiences for local children while assuring the preservation of Catoctin Mountain Park. National Park Links to the Chesapeake Bay for Kids – Saturday, July 30 at the Visitor Center at 11:00 a.m.

Over 16 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, an area of 64, 000 square miles in 6 states. Everyday actions of each of these millions of people influence water quality in local streams and rivers and ultimately in the Chesapeake Bay. The interactive computer program, National Park Links to the Chesapeake Bay addresses major water quality issues in local National Park Service units. A ranger will facilitate the group as they follow a drop of water as it makes its way to the Bay.

Craft Center Era and Catoctin’s Volunteers – 1:00 p.m., Saturday, August 5 at the Visitor Center In 1970, the opening of the Catoctin Folk Craft Center began a new era of interpretation in Catoctin Mountain Park as thousands of visitors witnessed the skills and crafts practiced by their ancestors. Join a ranger at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 to learn how events at the Craft Center evolved into the Catoctin Colorfest and led to the development of the volunteer program at Catoctin Mountain Park.

Alien Species – Catoctin’s 10 Least Wanted – Saturday, August 12, at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center

Early settlers found comfort in familiar plants transplanted from their native homeland. These plants healed the sick, spiced food, and sometimes just made this foreign land feel more like home. Unfortunately, one of every ten alien plants purposely or inadvertently brought to this country becomes invasive. The Catoctin forest is under invasion. Alien plants are replacing native species at an alarming rate. Join a ranger at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 12 to learn about Catoctin’s 10 Least Wanted, the 1nvasive plants that are causing the most immediate and damaging changes to the forest ecosystem.

History of Catoctin – Saturday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m.

Human occupation has dramatically affected Catoctin Mountain. Come to the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 26 to learn how a series of Federal programs revitalized the forest after the exploitation of natural resources changed the area from a thriving ecosystem to an unproductive wasteland.

Owens Creek Campground – Open for family camping through November 19

Owens Creek Campground is open on a first-come, first-served basis though November 19. Each site is limited to one camping unit (tent or trailer) and a maximum of 5 people. Maximum tent size is 9’x12’. Trailers up to 22’ in length are accepted but there are no hookups. The fee is $20.00 per night.

Camp Misty Mount – Cabin rentals available through October 31

Cabins may be rented in historic Camp Misty Mount through the end of October. Rustic chestnut cabins constructed by the Works Progress Administration are available to individuals, families and groups. Please call the Misty Mount office at (301) 271-3140 to make your reservation or for further information.

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 390 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.

-NPS-

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