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"Spat Dash" benefits environmental education - October 13
Probably only a marine science lab would sponsor a “Spat Dash” race. The marine lab is the Horn Point Laboratory Laboratory, part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge, Maryland and home of the largest oyster hatchery on the East Coast.
While oyster spat--or baby oysters--don’t actually dash and prefer to attach to a stationary hard surface during their early growth period, the race named in their honor will be held for its second year and is expected to draw more than 250 runners on Saturday, October 13 from 8 a.m. to noon. It includes a 5K and a 10K race as well as a “race” for walkers.
Rebecca Fox, Spat Dash coordinator and post-doctoral scientist at the Horn Point Laboratory, said the races will mostly be on Horn Point campus along the Choptank River, though parts of the 10K, may go off campus. The cost of the 5K race is $30, and the 10K race costs $40.
All participants will receive a hooded sweatshirt, with roughly 25 local sponsors listed on its back. The “hoodie” was a big hit last year, according to survey comments.
"You don’t have to run to participate in the races," Fox said. "You can be a “sleepwalker” and by simply making a contribution you receive a sweatshirt.”
The Spat Dash will offer day care as well as medical support. Participants may register for the race on active.com and on the day of the race. Call 410-221-8316 for more information.
Thanks to last year’s Spat Dash that raised more than $8,000, 20 students entering seventh, eighth and ninth grades will participate in a hands-on program entitled “Chesapeake Science Investigator” this summer. The program will take place on August 6-9, 2012 for four days and three nights at Horn Point Laboratory’s Environmental Science Education Center. The purpose, according to Nicole Barth, the director, is simple: “Science is fun, regardless of age.”
A former science teacher at St. Michaels High School with a master’s degree earned at HPL, Ms. Barth has developed a program filled with canoeing, hiking, campfires, experiments, field trips—and an appreciation of the Chesapeake Bay.
One of last year’s race participants said, “This race was just terrific and well-organized. When I learned that the proceeds of the registration fee and sponsorships went toward partial and full scholarships for the Chesapeake Science Investigator program, I felt even better about participating in the race.”
The race will be followed by the Horn Point Laboratory's annual community Open House from 10 am. to 3 p.m.