Park Service has exciting plans for Captain John Smith Trail and wants to hear from you

Blue Heron on the James River. Photo by JillianChilsonThe National Park Service has completed a creative and innovative plan for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail that will bring economic and conservation opportunities to the Chesapeake region, and they want your comments on it. The plan will expand recreation on the Bay and its great rivers and offer visitors and residents alike an opportunity to experience the region's cultures and relive its history.

The theme for the trail's development and interpretation is the "Chesapeake Region in the 17th Century." That approach will present the history of the region's Indians, showcase landscapes that are reminiscent of the period, and be organized around the spots where Captain Smith and his crew visited. An article in the October Bay Journal provides an overview of the Park Service plan.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been a supporter of the trail from the beginning. Will Baker, President of CBF, along with Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geographic Society, and Patrick Noonan, Chairman Emeritus of the Conservation Fund, formed the Friends of the John Smith Trail to build support for the trail's creation.

The plan will be open for comment until November 5th and your support is needed. For information visit Chesapeake Conservancy's website:

The full draft of the plan is available for download at the trail's planning website: The preferred method of comment is online at Comments may also be e-mailed to or by letter sent to the attention of Superintendent, CAJO, at 410 Severn Avenue, Suite 314, Annapolis, MD   21403.

Shallop Race this Weekend

Dsc01422_2 Watch history in action as three boats, each a unique modern interpretation of the vessel Captain John Smith used to explore the Chesapeake Bay 400 years ago, race around Annapolis Harbor on Saturday, May 3 at high noon. Who got it right? The boat built by the Reedville Fishermen's Museum, Deltaville Maritime Museum, or Sultana Projects in Chestertown?

The race is part of the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival and celebrates Bay sailing history and the creation of the new Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Admission is free. For more information, visit the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival website

Photo by Raynell Smith, Deltaville Maritime Museum Director, last August when the Shallops met in Deltaville.

60 miles of riparian land along the Rappahannock and Rapidan to be protected

Fredericksburgland618frame1_2The Nature Conservancy announced that the City of Fredericksburg completed a conservation easement preserving approximately 4,232 acres of city-owned land along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers.  The conservation easement is co-held by The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).

Germannabridgeframe328_maryThese riparian forests, which stretch upstream through five counties, provide natural protection of Fredericksburg’s water supply. But with more than a million people living within 30 miles of the property—and with two surrounding counties ranked among the nation’s fastest growing—these river lands face unprecedented development pressures. In addition to protecting more than 32 miles of riverfront along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers, and 26 miles of land along their tributaries, this 4,232-acre conservation easement abuts the 4,539-acre C.F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area, originally purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1975 and transferred to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in 1976.