Map directs boaters to attractions on land

On the Water

August 27, 2006|By Annie Linskey

In an effort to direct out-of-town boaters off the water and onto land, an Anne Arundel County heritage nonprofit has turned to a time-tested idea: a map.

The map isn't a yachting navigational device in the strictest sense - there aren't any buoys or depths marked. Instead the glossy, full-color map tells boaters what historic sites and landmarks they can easily access from docks and moorings.

"The boating community knows our shoreline - they visit Annapolis and visit the marinas, but they don't really know how to access the historic aspects," said Carol Benson, a programs coordinator with the Four Rivers Heritage area, which produced the map as part of a 16-page brochure called Landings. "They don't realize that they can tie up and go to a historic site or [take a] dinghy in to a historic site."

The map - which was financed in part by state funds - lists 32 different historic areas or sites near Annapolis, including Herring Bay and the West, Rhode, South and Severn rivers. Twelve of the spots have public piers or boat launches.

The information is geared toward people who don't know Church Circle from State Circle, but it does include places that might be a surprise to the old salts. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater - listed as No. 11 - is now allowing boaters to bring dinghies into their pier and picnic or hike trails. No pets are allowed, though.

Also, the scope of the project goes beyond the usual Annapolis buildings and museums. "In Galesville, there are a lot of lovely places that are close to the public dock. That is a way for people to get off their boats and do something," Benson said.

The rest of the brochure includes short essays about each bay and waterway by WYPR reporter Joel McCord, a former Sun reporter and editor, and color photos taken from the water.

McCord said it was easy to come up with places for boaters to go in Annapolis - 12 destinations are listed under the City Dock heading. But it was more difficult to come up with places to see in Herring Bay (only two are listed) or the Rhode River (two are listed). "There were things in Herring Bay, but they are all gone," McCord said.

Benson said the brochure and map have been in the works for over a year. The organization printed 20,000 copies of the brochure and is considering a second printing run. "This has been the most successful product we've introduced," she said.

The target audience for it - out-of-town boaters - is a difficult group to pin down. "We don't have a mailing list for them," Benson said. "It is a sophisticated community that has a lot of dollars to spend."

To get the word out, she said, bundles of the brochures were dropped off at places such as Fawcett's Boat Supply and various marinas.

And Benson said her office has been getting complimentary calls about it.

For information or to request a brochure and map, contact 410-222-1805 or go to www.four riversheritage.org

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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