Recreation Notes

September 26, 2004

Coast Guard to offer certification classes on boating safety

The Carroll County Bureau of Recreation will offer boating classes taught by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 9 at Westminster West Middle School.

Another class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and 23 at Northwest Middle School.

State law requires that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, have a boating safety education certificate to operate a registered or documented pleasure boat in Maryland. This class fills state requirements. Both classes must be attended for certification.

Topics will include boat handling, trailering, marine engines, navigation rules, weather, piloting and chart reading, ropes and knots, basic sailing, marine radio/telephone use, and buoys and markers.

The cost is $20 for books and supplies. Boaters 12 and older may take the class.

Information: Recreation, 410-386-2103; or Coast Guard, 410-750-1960.

Bear Branch center plans canoe trip, teen bike trip

Bear Branch Nature Center at Hashawha Environmental Center offers informative programs for all ages.

An overnight canoe trip will be taken from 10 a.m. Saturday to 3 p.m. Oct. 3. The group will canoe Saturday afternoon, then fish, hike or relax. Supper will be cooked near the river. Tents will be provided. After breakfast Sunday, there will be more canoeing and a picnic lunch. Participants should bring a lunch for Saturday. People age 8 to adult are welcome (younger than 15 must have an adult). Cost is $70 for single paddlers, $120 for two paddlers and $35 for child passengers. A pre-trip meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday must be attended.

A landfill hike for all ages will be taken from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the 88-acre John Owings Landfill near the nature center. Participants will hike to the top of the closed landfill and learn the four critical elements of a secure landfill: biodegradables, recycling, hazardous waste and erosion. Cost is $2 for members and $3 for nonmembers.

Teen Bike Trip and C&O Canal Tour from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15 for ages 12 to 17. The group will meet at the nature center and drive to Brunswick to pedal seven miles along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath to Harpers Ferry. After lunch and ice cream in Harpers Ferry, the group will bike back along the Potomac River to Brunswick. Teens should provide their own bike, helmet, bell, water, spending money and bag lunch. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Cost is $14 for members and $22 for nonmembers.

Registration is required for programs.

The center is at 300 John Owings Road, Westminster.

Information: 410-848-2517.

Piney Run Nature Center to hold hike, Scout day

Piney Run Nature Center is offering wildlife and environmental programs for all ages.

Naturalist hikes are offered at 4 p.m. Tuesdays for all ages. The informal hikes have no set agenda, but will include looking for various aspects of park wildlife. Participants can bring guidebooks and binoculars. No registration required.

Animal feeding time will be at 4 p.m. Thursdays. Participants can watch the center's captive snakes, birds of prey, fish, turtles, toads and frogs get their dinner and learn how to adopt a critter. Registration requested. The center asks that no large groups attend to distract the animals.

Scout day will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17 for Girl Scouts and Brownies, and Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to earn badges. Programs will include "Beavers and Piney Run," "Forest Trees and Plants" and "Cats, Canines and the Chesapeake Bay." Scouts will rotate through all three programs and earn a patch. Scout leaders must register their troops in advance. Forms are available from the nature center. Cost is $5 per Scout. Park entrance fees will be waived for participating Scouts. Deadline for registration is Oct. 13.

Park entrance fees of $4 per car for county residents apply.

The park is at 30 Martz Road, near Eldersburg.

Information: 410-795-6043.

Family YMCA open house includes tour, classes

The Carroll County Family YMCA will hold an open house featuring activities and events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 3 at the center, 1719 Sykesville Road, Westminster.

Visitors can see how the YMCA has expanded its space and equipment, and added a new aerobic studio. Tours will be given and exercise and aerobics classes will be offered.

Classes run throughout the day. Anyone who joins the YMCA during the open house weekend will save the $99 fee, or get 50 percent off the fee through the rest of next month.

Information: 410-848-3660, ext. 229.

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