Home Ground Allegany County Maryland

Sustaining Our Resources, Enriching Our Community

First Day Hike

Posted on December 21st, 2015

Welcome the New Year with an informal hike along the C&O Canal co-sponsored by Home Ground and the Allegany Center of Lifelong Learning.

When: January 1,  2016 at 1:00pm

Meeting Place: Gather at the mule statue in front of the Western Maryland Railroad Station in Cumberland (click here for directions)

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for all ages

Length of Trail: Approximately 3 miles

Things to bring: Wear clothes and sturdy hiking shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Camera and binoculars optional.

RSVP: Reservations are not needed but appreciated — email marybrd22@gmail.com or call 301-876-7545


Additional Information: Recent bird sightings in this area have included a bald eagle, a red-breasted merganser, a flock of buffleheads, mallards, Canada geese, Great Blue Heron, and American Kestrel.  Participants are also invited to join us afterwards for hot chocolate at McDonald’s. Click here for more information on the Allegany Center of Livelong Learning.

There is also a first day hike at Dan’s Mountain State Park.

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4th Annual Membership Banquet

Posted on October 14th, 2015

Please join us for Home Ground’s 4th annual membership banquet!

The evening includes dinner (and dessert) provided by the Flintstone Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, a silent auction, and a keynote speech.

Dan Feller-membership banquet 2015

When:  Thursday, October 22nd 2014,  5:30 – 8:30 pm

Where:  Flintstone Fire Hall, Flintstone MD

Reservations Required — register online here

Reservations requested by October 7th- To make a reservation by mail (payment by check), please download and print this form. For more information or if you need to make a reservation by phone, please email info@homegroundallco.org or call 301-707-3475.


Silent Auction.  Items to be auctioned include guided fishing trips, original artwork and nature photograph, homemade and local food stuffs. Proceeds support Home Ground’s nature and outdoor recreation programs.

Keynote Speech.  “The Natural Heritage Program: Preserving Biological Diversity through Conservation of Natural Areas.”
Home Ground members and guests will hear an engaging and information speech delivered by ecologist Dan Feller. Join us for an enlightening tour of Maryland’s Natural Areas and unique species through the eyes of an ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service.

Hawk Watch Weekend in Allegany County

Posted on October 4th, 2015

Grab your binoculars and gear up for an enjoyable weekend hawk watch! Join Home Ground, in association with the Allegany and Garrett County Bird Club, as we look for hawks, eagles, and other birds migrating through the area during the Autumn season! We will visit the Town Hill Overlook on Saturday, October 10th and Banner’s Overlook in Green Ridge State Forest on Sunday, October 11th. Both locations are beautiful sites for spotting hawk diversity and other birds in migration. On Saturday, Ray Kiddy will be on hand to help identify various birds migrating through the area this time of year.
      Mary Huebner will lead participants in an exciting and engaging hawk watch weekend across the hills of Allegany County. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather and bring binoculars, if possible.  A lunch or snack are recommended along with a drink.
No RSVP required; the event will be cancelled for inclement weather. For more information contact Mary Huebner by calling 301-876-7545 or at marybrd22@gmail.com.

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5th Annual Discover Allegany Outdoors

Posted on September 16th, 2015

Another summer is coming to a close and what better way to welcome fall than to bring family and friends out for the 5th annual Discover Allegany Outdoors!DAO promo-prelim

Find the hidden natural treasures in Allegany County at Home Ground’s 5th Annual Nature and Outdoor Recreation Festival on September 26th from 12-4:30p.m. Spend an afternoon hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and fishing around Rocky Gap State Park.

Discover animals, land forms, and stories that make our area rich in beauty and history. Identify edible plants, learn to fish, sample delicious farm to table foods, fly kites, learn “traditional” games, and win prizes. Enjoy a enjoy an entertaining Scales and Tales presentation and so much more. All events are free and family friendly. So save the date and join Home Ground and others for another educational, enjoyable September day discovering the natural treasures in our own “backyard.”


For more information please contact Natalia Buta at nbuta@frostburg.edu.

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Evitt’s Creek Stream Safari

Posted on July 28th, 2015

It’s time for another summertime stream safari! Come out and help us discover and identify aquatic life in Evitt’s Creek.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Crawford

Photo courtesy of Michelle Crawford

Join Tom and Carolyn Mathews, as well as other Home Ground members, as they explore a section of the creek that flows past Allegany College of Maryland. They will be looking for minnows, crayfish, and insect larva, as well as learning about the values of stream-side forests for soil conservation, water quality, and wildlife habitats. Family members should wear clothes and shoes suitable for wading in water approximately 12” deep and should be aware that the stream bank access to the creek may be muddy. Conditions in the creek may include a slow current and slippery rocks. This is an introductory learning experience for all ages. Children must be accompanied on the entire adventure by an adult.

The event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland. Participants should meet at the pavilion next to the walking track near the ponds. Participants will walk as a group from there to the creek. For directions click here and enter this address: 12401 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, MD 21502

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Moonlight Walk on the Great Allegheny Passage

Posted on May 22nd, 2015

It’s time to join Home Ground for another enjoyable moonlight walk! On Tuesday, June 2nd, Margie Hartman and Mary Huebner will lead Home Ground members and others on a moonlight walk along a portion of the Great Allegheny Passage. Do not miss this opportunity to view a beautiful night sky!

When: Tuesday, June 2nd, at 7:45 p.m.C&O walk

Where: Meet at the  GAP trail parking lot on Cash Valley Rd.

For more information contact Margie Hartman at mhartman7175@atlanticbb.net or call 301-777-7175.

Participants are encouraged to wear durable footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, and to bring a flashlight. The walk will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather.

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Welcome the Wildflowers

Posted on April 26th, 2015

As the old adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. How true it is!

Join Jim Howell, professor of biology at ACM, as he leads a refreshing spring wildflower walk. The event will be held Saturday, May 2nd at Allegany College of Maryland from 10am-12pm.

Virginia Bluebells courtesy of Mark Eanes

Virginia Bluebells courtesy of Mark Eanes

Jim will lead participants on a guided tour of the Arboretum and surrounding area to see beautiful wildflowers and native wildlife, as well as their habitats. Home Ground encourages participants to dress accordingly for outdoor activities. This includes appropriate footwear, rain gear, insect repellent, and bottled water. Please meet at the Allegany College of Maryland pavilion area. For further information please contact Jim Howell at 301-724-4485.


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Campground Sing-Along

Posted on March 20th, 2015

 It has been a long winter but spring is finally upon us! Come out and join other Home Ground folks as we enjoy a relaxing, campfire-lit spring evening along the Potomac River. If we are lucky, we may be entertained by the spring sounds of nature like singing woodcocks, barred owls, spring peepers, and more.


Spring Gap camping area. Photo courtesy of Tom Mathews

The event is free and will include live guitar music and story-telling. Home Ground will be providing hot dogs, marshmallows, and s’mores.  Please bring your own beverages and chairs.  Come out and welcome spring with friends and family!

Parking is limited, so please carpool as much as possible. RSVP no later than March 26th by contacting Tom Mathews via phone at 301-707-3475 or by email at tommathews@atlanticbb.net.

Date:  Saturday March 28, 2015

Time:  6:30 PM till 8:30 PM

Location:  C & O Canal National Historic Park, Spring Gap Camping Area


Follow Route 51 south from Cumberland for approximately 5 miles. Entrance to the camping area will be on your right.  If you get to the Spring Gap Post Office you have gone too far.  As soon as you enter the National Park Service property take the first left into the camping area.  We will be located at the “Group Site” at the very end of the camping loop.

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Listening to Nature: Bird Sounds

Posted on February 21st, 2015

Listening is KEY in our natural world and it is a skill that we often overlook when we go outdoors. As Irish author Robert Lynd said, “In order to see birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” Join Home Ground members Mary Huebner and Margie Hartman as they lead an evening of fun and learning for the entire family.


The evening will include poetry reading, singing, and playing a Native American drum. Join us as we learn about the art of listening to nature!

  • Date:  Wednesday, February 25thwhite owl
  • Time:  6:00 pm
  • Where:  LaVale library





The event will be cancelled if the library is closed. For more information, contact 301-876-7545 or visit us on Facebook

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Moonlight Walk on the C&O

Posted on January 31st, 2015

Join Home Ground for a Moonlight Walk!  On Tuesday evening, Feb. 3, join your fellow Home Ground members and supporters for an evening Moonlight Walk!  There is no reason to stay home, when there is so much beauty right here in our back yards!   Home Ground’s Margie Hartman will offer an informal guided hike on the C & O Canal.C&O walk

WHEN: Tuesday, February 3rd, 6:30pm

WHERE: Meet at the Mule Statute in front of the Western Maryland Train Station in Cumberland

WHO: The walk will be led by Home Ground members Margie Hartman & Mary Huebner

MORE INFO: Call 301-777-7175

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