The Horn Point Laboratory is a recipient of Waterfowl Chesapeake’s 2021 “Community in Conservation” grants. Dr. Judy O’Neil, associate research professor, submitted the grant and will see the project through completion. The $5,000.00 grant, “Enhancing the Horn Point Cove Trail experience: Connecting Students to Nature, Research and Conservation” will provide enhanced wildlife/bird ecology resources of the Choptank River for over 3,000 students, visitors, partner organizations and conservation groups who annually visit HPL's Environmental Education Center. The grant is an excellent fit with the Community in Conservation program’s unique “three-pronged approach” recognizing the importance and interconnected roles that science, education and restoration play in the effort to restore waterfowl populations and landscapes. The project will be completed in the coming calendar year, 2022.
Set along the shore of the Cove Trail, the Wildlife/Bird Blind is part of a network of trails branching out from the Horn Point Laboratory's (HPL) Environmental Education Center. Trails weave through forests and along shorelines of Horn Point Cove and the Choptank River. These local natural areas provide essential habitat for wildlife, birds and marine life and an opportunity for thousands of visitors, school age to adults, to observe and learn about their local environment. The trails are part of the 800+ acres comprising the Horn Point campus. Restoration and expansion of the Wildlife/Bird Blind and Horn Point Cove Trail will include:
- Establishing an osprey platform and songbird boxes
- Refurbishing the Wildlife/Bird Blind by installing
- a local bird and wildlife identification wall
- an animal track identification
- investigation table and an environmental issues investigation table.
ShoreRivers is the other grant recipient, Judy O'Neil and Matt Plutta walked the red carpet together at the Waterfowl Festival's opening gala. Waterfowl Chesapeake is the conservation effort of the Waterfowl Festival and is supported by funds raised through proceeds from the Waterfowl Festival. The Cove Trail enhancement at the Horn Point Lab will help thousands of students and visitors of all ages appreciate the interconnectedness of science, education and restoration for waterfowl populations and natural landscapes.