Sharing the joy of birds since 1971

Archive for June, 2024

Audubon grant for new native garden

Future site of native plant garden (Photo by Molly Moore)

We are thrilled to announce that Southern Maryland Audubon has been awarded a generous grant from National Audubon to help create a native plant learning garden at the newly opened Lexington Manor Passive Park Community Gardens in Lexington Park, MD.

This is a community garden—and the Lexington Park community and LMPPCG partners will be integral in building, planting and maintaining the native plant garden. The grant will also support workshops and education events with our partners to demonstrate how you can incorporate natives in your own garden, school or work space.

The native plant garden has another major role: It will attract more pollinators to the adjacent vegetable garden, contributing to healthier, more robust crops.

This Audubon in Action grant will allow the community, Southern Maryland Audubon and our partners to begin building the native garden beds this summer outside the perimeter of the thriving vegetable garden. We will planting seedlings and plugs in the fall, the best time for planting natives.

Southern Maryland Audubon also recently installed three donated Eastern Bluebird nest boxes near the community garden and will be monitoring them for new residents.

We thank St. Mary’s County Recreation & Parks for supporting the community native plant garden and nest boxes, along with the amazingly lush vegetable garden.

We look forward to working with the Lexington Park community and the many partners that have toiled tirelessly for the past several years to make the Lexington Manor Passive Park Community Gardens a reality. Southern Maryland Audubon is proud to join this dedicated community of gardeners!

New Bluebird Trail

John and Shelly Posey (and Molly Moore behind the camera) erected three donated Eastern Bluebird nest boxes near the Lexington Manor Passive Park Community Garden.

A big shout out to Southern Maryland Audubon members John and Shelly Posey for erecting three Eastern Bluebird nest boxes near the Lexington Manor Passive Park Community Garden in Lexington Park, MD. It took muscle to drill  through two feet of hardpan, concrete chucks and other debris at the site of the former Navy housing compound-turned-park. The bird boxes were donated to the garden and John built the predator baffles from stovepipe metal and plywood to keep snakes, raccoons and others out of the nest boxes. Now we are hoping for some Eastern Bluebirds looking to raise their second clutches of the season to move in.

Conservationists of the Year Award

From left: Conservation Chair Bob Lukinic, Rick Posey, Mary Mosher & Raptor and Grassland Birds Conservation Co-Chair Mike Callahan. Photo by Molly Moore

Southern Maryland Audubon has named Rick Posey and Mary Mosher its “Conservationists of the Year” for the couple’s decades-long support of environmental education for Charles County youth.

The couple provides 10 acres of extraordinary wetlands, forests and meadows to the Charles County Public Schools for its Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center (NCEEC) on a lease of $1 per year.

The center provides environmental education to 10,000 Charles County students each year on the property and in its outreach programs. That includes its Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for county fifth graders who participate in day-long field trips to the center to explore their own connections to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

“The Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center is an extraordinary gift to the children of Charles County,” said Molly Moore, president of Southern Maryland Audubon. “There is no more important part of education than connecting children with nature and the natural world they are inheriting. Rick and Mary and their family are truly conservation heroes.” 

Rick Posey’s father, Calvin Posey, founded the education center in southern Charles County with the Charles County Public Schools in 1989. His son and daughter-in-law have continued the support, recently renewing the lease for another 25 years at the $1 annual fee. The couple said their will has established the lease to continue as a gift with the third generation of their family—daughter Irene.

“Rick remembers as a child, his father always had nature and the environment at the center of much of what they did as a family,” Robert Lukinic, Southern Maryland Audubon’s Conservation chair, said in announcing the chapter’s highest award. “Like his father, Rick never misses an opportunity to share natural history and help open the yes of others to the awe of nature.”

The award was presented at Southern Maryland Audubon’s annual meeting and potluck picnic at Maxwell Hall in Hughesville, MD.


Southern Maryland Audubon has honored four of its most active volunteers with it’s “President’s Award” for exceptional service to birds and our chapter.

The award recipients are (from left in photo): Barbara Hill, chapter secretary and program chair; Annette Cook, education and scholarship chair; Kaelyn Stewart, nature journaling leader; and Dean Newman, raptor and grassland birds conservation co-chair.

The awards were presented at Southern Maryland Audubon’s annual meeting and potluck picnic at Maxwell Hall in Hughesville, MD on Sunday, June 9.

“These four leaders are helping Southern Maryland Audubon improve and expand our outreach in every one of our bird protection and education outreach missions,” said Molly Moore, president of Southern Maryland Audubon. “They are taking us new places and leading us into the future.”

In addition to maintaining the historical records of the chapter, Barbara Hill coordinates the popular monthly Zoom bird and nature lectures hosted by the chapter. She already has an exciting line-up of guest speakers scheduled for our 2024-25 season that begins in September. She is also a Charles County Master Gardener and brings her broad gardening knowledge to our Audubon flock.

Annette Cook coordinate’s the chapter’s annual competition for three scholarships to National Audubon’s nature camp at Hog Island, Maine. Due to Annette’s outreach, the chapter received more applications for the camps this year than ever—making the selection even more difficult! Annette also organizes the chapter’s many outreach and education events and especially enjoys teaching the love of birds and nature to youngsters.

Kaelyn Stewart, a recent graduate of North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry in Waldorf, launched our very popular nature journaling workshops after returning from the Hog Island camp last summer where she was our teen scholarship winner. Kaelyn will be attending Cornell University on a full scholarship in the fall to study animal science. Congratulations Kaelyn!

Dean Newman heads our program teaching farmers how best to manage their land to support vulnerable grasslands birds including the Eastern Meadowlark and Grasshopper Sparrow. Dean also is one of our most active bird trip leaders and specializes in launching new and first-time birders into the birding world with skill, patience and humor. He is also a professional photographer who travels the world photographing wildlife and recounting hilarious stories about his adventures.

(Photo by Molly Moore)

Annual Picnic & Meeting

Sunday, June 9 from 1-4 p.m.

Join us for our Southern Maryland Audubon Annual Potluck Picnic, Meeting, Native Plant Sale & Bird Walk.

Maxwell Hall

17388 Teagues Point Rd., Hughesville, MD 20637

Members and families/guests as well as prospective members

are all welcome.

We invite you to bring a dish or a dessert to share.

(The food is always GREAT!) We will provide chicken and utensils.

To help us with planning, please sign up here:

The park includes Maxwell Hall, a beautifully preserved 18th century house, and 14 miles of diverse hiking trails through woods, open fields and shoreline.

Picnic, meeting and plant sale at the park pavilion.

Follow signs for SMAS parking. Restroom available. Be sure to set your GPS to the address above for Maxwell Hall, not Maxwell Hall Park as it will take you too far from the pavilion.

We’ll have locally grown native plants and SMAS swag for sale!


1:00-2:15 p.m. Potluck Lunch

2:15-2:30 p.m. Welcome

2:30-3:00 p.m. Business meeting with elections & award presentations

3:00-4 p.m. Bird Walk

The business meeting will include a vote on our slate of officers and board members. The SMAS Nominating Committee proposes:

President, Molly Moore

Vice President, Ben Springer

Secretary, Barbara Hill

Treasurer, Julie Daniel

Directors: Annette Cook, Dean Newman, Phin Rouland

One more item: Have scrap plywood cluttering your shed?

Bring it to the picnic for collection and it will be used to make part of the predator guard/baffles for bluebird and owl boxes we build for public spaces.

Pieces can be as small as 8 inches in diameter, but do have to be at least 5/8 inch thick. (1/2″ is too light)

Also needed: Spray paint colors black, brown and green. We can also use red to mark caution on the poles. 

(Photo by Mathew Malwitz)