Chesapeake Roving Ranger
Our mobile visitor center, the Chesapeake Roving Ranger, is a traveling visitor contact and information center staffed by the Chesapeake Conservancy and National Park Service. The Ranger travels throughout the watershed and takes up shop at parks, events, and festivals. Visitors to the Roving Ranger can collect a National Park passport stamp, pick up special junior ranger program books related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and participate in interpretive programs.
For any questions or to schedule the Roving Ranger at your event, contact Michael Bowman.
2021 - 2022 Season Recap
This year’s Chesapeake Roving Ranger team will be staffed by Christopher Orozco-Fletcher and Devin Valcich, Chesapeake Conservation Corps members for the NPS Chesapeake Gateways Office. Rather than a seasonal position, the pair will work for 14-months with the program to provide interpretive programming and outreach.
2020 Season Recap
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we altered our 2020 Roving Ranger season to encompass an array of virtual activities. Our two seasonal Interpretive Outreach Assistants, Carly Sniffen and Yazan Hasan, created a variety of educational programs, Find Your Chesapeake content, and videos for their season. The two were aided in their efforts by the Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistants, Isabel Layton and Julian Segovia.
Find Your Chesapeake content produced includes 7 Chesapeake Insiders and 3 Trip Idea blogs which have totaled a reach of more than 119,000 people.
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Pictured left to right: Carly Sniffen (Interpretive Outreach Assistant), Isabel Layton (Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistant), Julian Segovia (Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistant), Yazan Hasan (Interpretive Outreach Assistant)
Several lesson plans were also written and shared with the NPS Chesapeake Bay, which include topics on pollinators, native plants, and pollution.
Many videos were also produced by Yazan Hasan that discuss a variety of Chesapeake Bay topics and themes, including wildlife, documenting landscapes, and traveling to parks across the region. These videos are currently under review by the National Park Service and will be published on the NPS Chesapeake Bay YouTube page.
2019 Season Recap
Our seasonal Roving Ranger team had another busy summer and fall with Emily Sperling and Will Grinnell piloting the Roving Ranger. Bilingual Interpretive Outreach Assistants, Julian Segovia and Daniel Salomon also assisted with the Roving Ranger at several Latinx outreach events at MD State Parks (Es Mi Parques), and set-up at Sandy Point State Park with the Roving Ranger when possible. The two were joined by full-time staff members Michael Bowman (Partnership Commucations Coordinator) and Kelsey Everett (Digital Partnership Associate) when needed.
Over the span of several months, the Roving Ranger attended 31 events at 21 different sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The Roving Ranger staff interacted with 4,859 visitors over the span of their season.
April: General outreach at Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, C&O Canal National Historical Park , Great Falls Tavern, Potomac, MD; Junior Ranger Day event at Zimmerman Center for Heritage, York, PA
May: Go Wild! event at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge – Hutchinson Unit, Tappahannock, VA; Clean Breed & Cheese Creek event, Stansbury Park, Dundalk, MD; Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Youth Summit, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD
June: Mallows Bay Day camp event, Nanjemoy, MD; Es Mi Parque, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD; Es Mi Parque, Greenbrier State Park, Boonsboro, MD; Sunday Funday Event, Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, Columbia, PA
July: Three general outreach days at Sandy Point State Park (MD), Nanticoke Riverfest in Seaford (DE), Kids in Kayaks camp event, Richmond, VA; Es Mi Parque, Rocky Gap State Park, Flintstone, MD
August: City of Annapolis Nature Camp, Annapolis, MD; Lotus Blossom Festival at Mount Harmon Plantation, Earleville, MD; Watermen’s Appreciation Day at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michael’s, MD; Es Mi Parque, Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, MD; General outreach day at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD
September: Maryland Coastal Bays Program Bay Day, Ocean Pines, MD
October: Two Canoemobile school events, Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, PA; Blessing of the Fleet, St. Clement’s Island Museum, St. Clement’s, MD; Festival Del Rio, Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Bladensburg, MD; Hispanic Heritage Month event, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD; U.S. Oysterfest, St. Mary’s County, MD
November: Sultana Downrigging Festival, Chestertown, MD; Mallows Bay – Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Commemoration, Nanjemoy, MD
2018 Season Recap
In 2018, the Roving Ranger attended 32 different events at 18 different sites across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and its staff interacted with 3,409 visitors. This was the first year the Roving Ranger was staffed by dedicated staff members, with Stephanie Gorham and Michael Bowman piloting the truck for the season.
In early spring 2018, the vehicle underwent a refit and now features a brand new popup window, solar panels, and additional graphics that include a brand new hands-on Bay watershed map. The Ranger is hard to miss, it’s the size of a delivery truck and features large, beautiful scenes of the Chesapeake Bay on all sides.
June: 2 general outreach days at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD
July: 4 general outreach days at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD; event at Todd’s Inheritance Historic Site, Edgemere, MD; 2 camp visits to Westmoreland State Park, Montross, VA; Pork, Peanut, and Pine Festival, Chippokes State Park, Surry, VA; general outreach day at Lake Anna State Park, Spotsylvania, VA
August: Kids in Kayaks camp event, Fort Monroe National Monument, VA; Lotus Blossom Festival at Mount Harmon Plantation, Earleville, MD; general outreach day at Smallwood State Park, Marbury, MD; Watermen’s Festival, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michael’s, MD; 2 general outreach days at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD; Children’s Day event, St. Clement’s Island Museum, St. Clement’s, MD; Estuaries Day at York River State Park, Willaimsburg, VA
September: National Folk Life Festival, Salisbury, MD
October: Canoemobile school event, Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, Columbia, PA; Maryland Fleet Week, Baltimore, MD; Seaford Oyster House commemoration event, Seaford, DE; US Oysterfestival, Leonardtown, MD
November: Sultana Downrigging Festival, Chestertown, MD
2017 Season Recap
2017 was the pilot season for the Roving Ranger, and was staffed by National Park Service Chesapeake Bay employees for the events it attended. In its inaugural year, the Roving Ranger attended 20 events at 18 different sites across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and its staff interacted with 2,635 visitors.
April: Daffodil Festival, Gloucester, VA; Mallows Bay WWI Commemoration, Nanjemoy, MD
May: Kids to Parks event, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD; Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Youth Summit, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD
June: National Trails Day event, Middle Branch Park, Baltimore, MD; Back to the Bay event, Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, VA
July: Nanticoke Riverfest, Seaford, DE; Flatwater Challenge, Marietta, PA; Native American Heritage Day, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Colonial Beach, VA
August: Lotus Blossom Festival at Mount Harmon Plantation, Earleville, MD; C&O Canal Days, Williamsport, MD
September: Fish, Fowl, and Folk Festival, Havre de Grace, MD; Indian Head 100, Thomas Stone National Historic Site, Port Tobacco, MD; East Coast River Relay, Jonas Green Park, Annapolis, MD
October: American Indian Festival, Patuxent River Park, Upper Marlboro, MD; Sultana Downrigging Festival, Chestertown, MD
November: STEM Festival, Glen Burnie, MD; Waterfowl Festival, Easton, MD