Discovering Nature in Bowie and Beyond

geese.jpgNestled among the neighborhoods in Bowie are bike trails, playgrounds, ball fields, passive meadows, and several large and small parks with a variety of amenities. You will find that they also offer all sorts of opportunities for fun, exercise and communing with nature.

It's not unusual to find deer and a host of small creatures in the woods at Whitemarsh Park, ducks and Canada geese swimming at Allen Pond Park, or a Great Blue Heron taking off from the pond behind City Hall.

We believe that it's possible to live in harmony with nature and it is our practice to keep as much area in its natural state as possible, by protecting wetlands and maintaining passive parks and natural habitats. Some Bowie residents also work to encourage and protect wildlife by making their properties Wildlife Habitats to attract birds and other creatures.

The Bayscapes Garden, located behind the Kenhill Center (2614 Kenhill Drive) is a demonstration garden full of flowers, plants and small trees that are native to Maryland and grow easily in our climate. At Buckingham Park, in addition to the playground, ballfields, and walking paths, one will find a host of different types of trees. They were planted as part of BGE's Right Tree Right Place Program to show the variety of trees that look attractive, will grow in our area, but that will not grow tall enough to interfere with overhead power lines.

On occasion, park rangers will host programs to introduce children to the wonders of nature all around them. Watch this website and local papers for announcements about these events.

Area Nature Centers

checkerboard butterfly.jpgIn addition to being centrally located between the historical and cultural centers of Washington, DC, Annapolis, and Baltimore, Bowie is also fortunate to be located near the Chesapeake Bay and within a short drive of several outstanding nature and wildlife centers.

The closest of these is the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center, just north of Bowie. It is run by the National Park Service, which also runs the North Tract of the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel. The Watkins Nature Center and Old Maryland Farm are located in Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, just a few miles drive from the southern part of our City. The farm offers agricultural exhibits, livestock, and display gardens provide a farming experience to visitors and the nature center provides close up wildlife investigation with its resident live animals, hands on exhibits, interpretive programs, and special events.

Besides the nature centers mentioned above, other local favorites include the Butterfly Exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Quiet Waters Park on the South River in Annapolis, and the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Don't stop there. Maryland has more than 50 nature centers! View Wikipedia's list of Maryland Nature Centers and a link to Prince George's County Nature Centers, Natural Area Parks & Conservation Centers.

There are also numerous Nature Centers within the Washington, D.C. region such as:
1. Meadowside Nature Center, Rock Creek Regional Park- Rockville, MD
2. Locust Grove Nature Center, Cabin John Regional Park- Bethesda, MD
3. Black Hill Nature Center- Boyds, MD
4. Croydon Creek Nature Center- run by City of Rockville, MD
5. Clearwater Nature Center- Clinton, MD
6. Mt. Rainier Nature Center- Mt. Rainier, MD
7. Gulf Branch Nature Center- Arlington, VA
8. Hidden Oaks Nature Center, within Annandale Community Park- Annandale, VA
9. Huntley Meadows Nature Center- Alexandria, VA
10. Long Branch Nature Center- Arlington, VA
11. Riverbend Nature Center- Great Falls,VA
12. Potomac Overlook Nature Center-Arlington, VA
13. Marshy Point Nature Center- Baltimore County, MD on the Bay
14. Oregon Ridge Nature Center- Baltimore County, MD
15. Eden Mill Nature Center- Pylesville, MD (Hartford County)
16. Carrie Murray Nature Center- Baltimore City, MD
17. James & Anne Robinson Nature Center- Columbia, MD, (Howard County)
18. Bear Branch Nature Center Hashawa Environmental Center- Westminster, MD

Every effort is make to keep this information current, but websites do change. If you encounter a broken link when trying to reach one of the sites listed above, please let us know by emailing