Today we had a pre-planned visit to the Nature Center, which is open to the public and was scheduled with Katharine Seguin, the NSA Annapolis Natural Resources Manager. The Greenbury Point Nature Center, adjacent to and at the entrance of the gated Chesapeake Bay-front Greenbury Point Conservation Area, is an important resource that supports the conservation area and the natural resource mission for the entire Greenbury Point peninsula. The purpose of the center is to document and display Greenbury Point’s wild plant and animal habitat, educate young and old about environmental management and provide a space for visitors to learn about the present-day natural landscape and cultural history of the peninsula. It is essential that this center remain open and accessible. Below are photos of the center, taken with permission from Seguin.
From the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan – Naval Support Activity Annapolis:
“The Greenbury Point Nature Center is a 2,400 square-foot structure housing 16 exhibits on cultural and natural resources. Since opening in 2000, the nature center has offered programs for scouts, school children, and volunteer organizations. Over two miles of walking trails and a bird-watching platform located near the nature center are two of the key features of outdoor recreation and environmental awareness at NSAA North Severn.”
As of at least May this year, the Naval Academy Golf Association wants to turn Greenbury Point Conservation Area into a 2nd private Navy members-only golf course, wiping out the wild habitat that Naval Support Activity Annapolis and the Nature Center have been nurturing for over 20 years.
Conservation Area Closed in June
The gated conservation area, which features miles of access road, forest, wildlife, wetlands, trails, bench areas, fishing spots, and the famous communication towers, has been closed for maintenance Monday to Friday during the month of June.
Center Trails are Open
The Nature Center trails, behind and nearby the building, have been open. One very special feature of the trail system is the “Poet’s trail” behind the Nature Center, with several loops and two observation buildings along Carr Creek. This can be seen in the photos below, and one of the loops opens next to the main Navy Rugby field before continuing along the creek. These peaceful trails have been populated with signage, displaying quotes by well-known poets and naturalists who thoughtfully wrote about the natural world and our place in it. A contemplative walk here is open from dawn to dusk (times are posted) for those who want to escape the noise and hassle of everyday life.
A Central Hub
The center itself may be visited by appointment with the Natural Resources Manager. As seen in the photos and info below, the Nature Center has been the central hub for Naval Support Activity Annapolis’ environmental stewardship for the entire Greenbury Point peninsula. Here, midshipmen, Navy families, and the public can learn about the local ecosystem and how to protect and maintain it.
Natural Resources Management
From the Naval Support Activity Annapolis Environmental Management Guide (in photos below) available at the Nature Center:
“Implemented in 1960, the Sikes Act Requires each Military Department to manage their natural resources in a way that does not negatively impact the military mission. In the case of NSA Annapolis, preservation of natural resources actually plays an important role in the base’s mission by providing a healing environment for our injured service members.”
“What Natural Resources are found at NSA Annapolis? Over 300 acres of forests and streams occur on the Installation. These forests are all different ecosystems including coastal pine woods, edge forests, wetlands, streams, and others. Greenbury Point also contains a network of trails, providing recreational opportunities for personnel and visitors on base.”
The photos below are from inside the Nature Center and then behind it on the Poet’s Trail, June 23, 2022:
“Greenbury Point Peace”
Artwork celebrating Greenbury Point Conservation Area