Upcoming Events

Paid programs:  Online registration ends 24 hours prior to the event.  Tickets may be purchased at the door if available; check homepage to see if program is full. If a program is canceled by the Conservancy, participants will be notified by e-mail or phone and offered a refund or an opportunity to reschedule. All other program fees are non-refundable and support educational programs at the Conservancy.

Free programs:  Register Turn on JavaScript! with the names and number of attendees. Registration closes at 3 p.m. the day prior to the event.  Walk-ins may be accomodated on a space available basis. 

Groups of ten or more may not be able to be accommodated at our free programs. Please contact the Conservancy about scheduling a separate program for your group.

Click on the program below and then ADD TO CART, to register:
Number of Attendees
Attendee Names
M= Mt. Pleasant Programs (in Woodstock, MD)
B= Belmont Programs (in Elkridge, MD)

Click here to view our 2016 bookmark including all of the programs listed below!


M 7- Mother's Day Special: Tea, Scones and Gardens    Enjoy a beautiful, delicious morning with your mother, daughter, grandmother or friends on Mothers Day weekend.  Stroll through the many niche gardens at the Conservancy and learn about their design and plantings from members of the Howard County garden clubs who created and maintain them.  Extend your walk through the Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden, the “Sisters Garden” of herbs and perennials, and the large Community Garden. Refresh yourself with “bottomless cups” of fresh brewed tea and freshly baked Scottish scones in the restored Brown sisters' historic farmhouse parlor.  In the spirit of old fashioned fun, feel free to wear a hat or sun bonnet!   In case of rain, event will be moved indoors.    MAY 7- Saturday 10am $5/person; $10/familyTurn on JavaScript!     9- Transit of Mercury Viewing  AT Alpha Ridge Howard Astronomical League Observatory   Come watch the transit of Mercury (Mercury's shadow crosses in front of the sun) at Alpha Ridge Park through solar telescopes provided by HAL members. This event is free and open to the public.  For further information, check HAL website   MAY 9- Monday 7am-2:45pm  Turn on JavaScript!
M 14- Hike to the Patapsco River with Conservancy Naturalists. The property borders Patapsco State Park. Join Conservancy naturalists on a 2-hour round trip hike across meadows, tree lines and paths through the woods. May presents itself with ephemeral wildflowers, ferns and mosses, migrating birds, and trees and bushes that are leafing out and bursting their buds. Awaken your spirits as we search for Spring’s beauties together. Easy to moderate walking with some hilly and rocky areas of the trail. Wear sturdy shoes/shoes that can get muddy and bring water, perhaps a walking stick. No pets please. Check website if weather is chancy. MAY 14- Saturday 10am-noon Turn on JavaScript!
21- Blue Birding Basics  Eastern Bluebirds have made a real comeback in the last thirty years thanks to volunteers across Howard County who have taken the time to “monitor” nest boxes each spring and summer. If you’ve never seen an Eastern Bluebird, and/or would like to learn about how you can attract bluebirds to your yard and help “boost” their numbers in your neighborhood, please join Sue Probst as she walks along the “bluebird trail” at Belmont. The trail is located in an open field and the 1½ hour program will include a moderate half-mile walk to view adult bluebirds as well as other “cavity nesters” such as Tree Swallows. We will also take a quick look inside a bird box to view bluebird nestlings. Bring binoculars if you have them so you can view some of the other bird species that call Belmont their home each spring. MAY 21- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!
M 26- Wine in the Garden/Beer in the Barn   Enjoy craft beers and delicious foods from a variety of local restaurants and caterers.  While listening to bluegrass, stroll through the Conservancy’s three-acre native plant garden.  Find treasures and bargains as you browse the large silent auction of artwork, getaways, dining and more!  Event will be in our Gudelsky Gallery in the event of rain.   MAY 26- Thursday 5pm-8pm $45/person; $55 AFTER 5/15


M 11- Geocaching: Get Outside for Nature Quest    w/ Ann Strozyk.  Join us for a saunter around the Mt. Pleasant farm through geocaching. With GPS in hand, you'll have an opportunity to visit the animals and the many different habitats and ecosystem the land offers. Upon completion of the Nature Quest, children may select a prize. Pack a lunch and feel free to stay for your very own picnic lunch. JUN 11- Saturday 10am Turn on JavaScript!Turn on JavaScript!18- Father's Day Fun   JUN 18- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!M 23- Fiddlers and Fireflies   One of our most popular family programs returns. Begin your summer with an old fashioned family picnic. Bring your supper and spread your blanket and lawn chairs. As the fireflies begin to flicker under the trees and in the tall grasses around the property at Mt. Pleasant, listen to musician and storyteller Bill Wellington from Stanton Virginia, who electrifies audiences with his storytelling, “roses are red poems,” and family music programs. Little kids and adults, come dance to the fiddles and sing old-timey songs!  Learn interesting facts about fireflies and make a firefly craft. In event of rain, check website.  JUN 23- Thursday 6-9pm $10/carTurn on JavaScript!M 27- Summer Camp Starts     JUN 27-AUG 15 Weekly  $Turn on JavaScript!Turn on JavaScript!


M 9- Perspectives on Nature Photography for Hobbyists   It’s easy to point a camera and take a picture.  But did you ever wonder how the pros get such great shots?  What do you look for?  How do you decide how to place the most interesting angle on the image in the view finder before you click?  There are some really good principles to remember that will get you photos you will love to look at.  Bring your digital camera and walk with photographer Natalie Brewer Zacharin to capture beautiful images of landscapes, plants, and animals. Mist or shine (but if raining, check website).    JUL 9- Saturday 10am Turn on JavaScript!

16- Flit and Flutter- Butterfly Wonders   with Dick Smith   JUL 16- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!

M 23- Building Woodland Fairy Houses       with Van Wensil and Audrey Suhr:  In the spirit of "Build It and They Will Come,” bring your children and join other families to build beautiful dwellings for the fairies in the Conservancy's woodlands and stream edges.  We will have bark, twigs, cones and nuts as “natural construction materials.”  Before you come, feel free to grab a basket and take a walk with your children to hunt for other natural building materials near your home – and bringing them with you.  The magic of our woods will surely bring the fairies to appreciate your constructions!  We will photograph your creative “country homes” and tree-side “villages”, and add these images of your ephemeral master-constructions to our Fairy House Memory Book on the Conservancy's classroom display table – where you can re-visit them whenever you wish.    Appropriate for families with children ages 10 and under.  JUL 23- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!

M 28- Mt. Pleasant's Diversity Through a Naturalist's Eyes    Join Bonnie Ott to learn about the amazing natural diversity of the Howard County Conservancy. Bonnie has been an avid naturalist in Howard County for three decades. The fields and woodlands of the property are home to an amazing array of creatures. Caterpillars made of spun glass, Ruby colored salamanders, Witches Butter fungus, Tiger Spiketail Dragonflies, Emerald colored Juniper Hairstreak Butterflies along with the very rare Bolas Spider. A long time member of the Howard County Bird Club, Bonnie spends much of her time studying the birds along with the insects and flora on the property while documenting their behavior. Over a hundred species of birds have been recorded. Learn the how and where to find them among the amazing array of smaller subjects that many people pass by.   JUL 28- Thursday 7pm  Turn on JavaScript!


M 12- Perseid Meteor Shower   The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to experience, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak!  It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862.  The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright, luminous meteors.  The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24.  It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13.  The waxing gibbous moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies.  Best viewing is after midnight.  Meteors radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky. Drs Alex Storrs and Joel Goodman will have meteorite fragments and high power viewing telescopes to look at planets and moon and will explain the meteor shower phenomenon.  Bring reclining lawn chair or blanket, water, snack, possibly insect deterrent.  Dress for evening temperatures.  Please dim headlights if driving in after 10pm.    AUG 12- Friday 10pm-1:30am Turn on JavaScript!

M 13- Traditions and Cultural Diversity: Growing Unusual Foods  with Conservancy community gardeners and Master Gardeners.  It’s not just mac’n’cheese, hotdogs, peas and carrots for dinner anymore!  The gardeners of the Conservancy’s Community Garden grow a huge variety of vegetables — and love to show them off and share notes on how to prepare them.  What are the vegetables of your culture? How do you prepare them? This program is a wonderful opportunity to share and to learn more about culturally favorite foods, the recipes to highlight them, and why they are such an important part of the diet for people from many nations.  Isn’t it amazing that when kids know the stories about foods, they are more likely to be open minded about trying them!   Enjoy a beautiful food discussion and show-n-tell this morning!  Rain or shine.  AUG 13- Saturday 10am Turn on JavaScript!

20- Tree Trek- What's That Tree?   with Gwen Morrison  AUG 20- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!

M 25- Bugs & Brews   Special evening for the over-21 crowd. Enjoy a summer night-off with friends! We're serving a variety of great beers at twilight to open up good conversations. And there's a fabulous program too: back by popular demand are Mike Raupp and Paula Shrewsbury to delight you with amazing stories about the their favorite fabulous bugs (and butterflies) which abound in our rolling meadows. Wear comfortable walking shoes; bring bug deterrent if you wish.   Rain or shine!  This event fills up quickly; please register early to assure your spot.  AUG 25- Thursday 7pm FREE ($ for drinks)


M 10- Games in the Meadows   Looking for something active, fun, and new to get the whole family outside? Join the Howard County Conservancy and Medomak Family Camp communities in a day of fun and light fall lunch at the Conservancy!  SCAGSoccer, Croquette And Golf is a game played with a soccer ball, kicked through croquet style-hoops, and scored like golf. Also sometimes called Foot Golf, it is easy to learn, and fun for all ages. We provide a map of the course, instructions, score cards and everything you need to play. (If you’ve got your own soccer ball, bring it along.)  Be the first to start your own league and keep the fun going outside throughout the year!  And, on the classic games side, how about some egg and spoon races, water balloon tosses, and possibly kite flying?  Cider and subs for all will be served! Bring your own drinking cup (BYODC). Please call and make a reservation so we can best plan for food and equipment:  301 854 9100Check website if weather is inclement.  SEP 10- Saturday 10am $5/person; $10/car

17- Hike to the Patapsco River   with Ranger Ed Johnson  SEP 17- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!

M 22- Fall Equinox Twilight Hike and Campfire: S'mores and More!     Walk through the meadow and along the stream to the woodland campfire ring. Listen to the birds singing at dusk. Gather around the crackling fire and hear legend-stories about the Equinox, sing old-time songs, roast marshmallows, and enjoy s'mores. Hike back in time to watch the sun set over horizon –exactly due west – and hear other interesting astronomical facts about the Fall Equinox.
SEP 22- Thursday 5-7pm  $10/car


M 2- Fall Festival   It's harvest time:  ideal for the annual, old fashioned Fall Festival at the Conservancy!  Watch blacksmiths hammering iron in their shop, listen to blue grass music, join the square dance, and explore the historic three-century-old farm.  Visit our pygmy goats, the chickens, Onyx the snake, and Ranger the barred owl.  There are children's crafts, pumpkin decorating, and hay rides.  Browse the craftsmen's stations to admire chair caning, basket weaving, woodturning, gourd decorating and more. Admire the alpaca family and the gorgeous knit and woven products made from their soft, super-warm wool.  Leap the hay bales.  Stock up on grass-fed beef and pork and the finest fall vegetables and fruit at the farm stand.  Food and beverages available to purchase.  Check website if weather is uncertain.    OCT 2- Sunday 11am-3pm   $10/car

M 8- Family Hike     with Conservancy Naturalists.  OCT 8- Saturday 10am Turn on JavaScript!15- Belmont Ghost Hike     OCT 15- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!

M 27- Fantastic Vultures & Other Raptors  Mike Kerwin, a local Howard county birder with a deep love for all things that fly, will try to answer the question “How do I identify the 10216 species of birds in the world and more importantly the 15 species of Diurnal Raptors and Vultures found in Howard County”.  Mike has seen almost every one of the Raptors on the grounds of the Conservancy.  He will share some of the fantastic photos he has taken in this lecture-style presentation.  OCT 27- Thursday 7pm   $5/person; $10/fam

M 30- Flashlight Night Hike: What Are Those Sounds?  Bring your flashlights, curiosity, and a sense of discovery for this adventure hike.   We'll be listening and searching for nocturnal wildlife in our meadows and woods.  Why do animals get active at night when we are sleeping?  What adaptations do they need to successfully  “make their living?”  What do those cries in the night mean?  What are the likely places for you to look for them at home?   Join Devon Kosisky in the quest!  Check website if weather is uncertain.   OCT 30- Sunday 7pm Turn on JavaScript!

November                                                                                                                                 Turn on JavaScript!     5- Farming in Howard County: Special Talk and Tour  AT Sharps at Waterford Farm   NOV 5- Saturday 10am  $

M 10- Animal Stories: From Heroic Pups to Imperiled Pandas    with National Geographic author Jennifer Holland.  Jennifer will share some new favorite stories of friendships and heroes in the canine/dog world—from her upcoming UNLIKELY book focused on dogs—and, as a special treat, she will talk about her recent reporting in China on the giant panda (with photos, of course!).  After her presentation, Jennifer will be available to sign books.  A limited number of copies of each volume from the Unlikely series will be available for sale.   NOV 10- Thursday 5pm   $10/person; $20/fam

19- Hike Belmont and Nearby Patapsco Trails     with Mountain Club of Maryland  NOV 19- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!
20- Colonial Holiday Celebration     with Mountain Club of Maryland  NOV 20- Sunday 3-6pm  Turn on JavaScript!


M 3- Natural Holiday Sale  Relax and browse unique and locally crafted items for sale – all with a connection to nature. Sip a cup of tea, enjoy cookies, listen to live harp and piano music – while the children create whimsical critters from cones, pods and seed heads with the help of naturalists. Local pottery, hand-crafted soaps and bees wax candles, hand-crafted jewelry and accessories, nature and gardening books, greenery from local garden clubs, nature photography items, kids books, finger puppets and much more!  Proceeds benefit the Conservancy’s environmental educational programs. Families are welcome!  DEC 3- Saturday 10am-3pm Turn on JavaScript!

     10- Marvelous Nature Books, Crafts & Artifacts  AT Miller Branch Library   DEC 10- Saturday 10:30am  FREE

M 13- Geminid Meteor Shower     with Drs. Joel Goodman and Alex Storrs. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers, considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak!  It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982.  Meteors radiate from the constellation Gemini, but can appear anywhere in the sky.  The shower runs annually from roughly December 7-17.  It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and the morning of the 14th. The nearly full moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show. Best viewing will be after midnight.  Dr. Joel Goodman and Dr. Alex Storrs – both back by popular demand, will bring meteor pieces to examine and high power viewing telescopes to look at planets and moon; they will explain the meteor shower phenomenon.  Bring reclining lawn chair or blanket, water, snack. Dress for cold evening temperatures.    DEC 13- Tuesday 10pm-2am Turn on JavaScript!
17- Winter Solstice Hike     with Carole Veihmeyer  DEC 17- Saturday 10am  Turn on JavaScript!