Participation in the fourth annual Harford Streams Summer Adventure exceeded 500 citizens in 2019, raising awareness and support for protecting Harford County’s streams and waterways. Developed three years ago by Harford County Government’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Office, this award-winning program encourages citizens of all ages to take selfies at various stream locations, write a brief comment about their experiences and enter to win T-shirts and other prizes. A free app allowed participants to easily upload photos, enter locations using GIS, and submit their comments. Once again, the adventure included a cellphone game using the GPS known as “geocaching” for participants to find small trinkets and other hidden treasures.
Two hundred and thirty adventurers qualified for a free T-shirt by visiting at least seven Harford stream locations. Those who visited at least 11 locations qualified for a drawing to win a pontoon boat trip for 15 people in and around the Bush River and Otter Point Creek. The boat trip was donated by the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center. This year’s winner was the Ross family of Bel Air.
A canoe trip for 16 people at Eden Mill Nature Center was the prize in a drawing for participants who visited at least 15 locations. The Bridges family of Fallston was this year’s winner. The canoe trip was donated by the Eden Mill Nature Center.
A highlight of the program was the “poker run” event, held this year on July 20, beginning at the Eden Mill Nature Center in Pylesville. More than 50 participants collected playing cards at Hidden Valley Nature Area, Concord Baptist Church Retreat, and the Izaak Walton League Sportsman Chapter property. The poker run concluded back at the nature center where participants turned in their poker hands and enjoyed snacks, shaved ice from Kona Ice, and received T-shirts and other prizes. Partner organizations included Visit Harford, Myrtle the Recycling Turtle, Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, Harford Soil Conservation District, Harford Land Trust, Susquehannock Wildlife Society and the Harford County Watershed Stewards Academy. Marshy Point Nature Center wowed everyone with an “animal talk” with a live owl.
Prizes for the poker run were a Yeti Roadie 20 Cooler donated by MK Consulting Engineers of Baltimore, a family camping tent, and a Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo fishing rod. All participants received T-shirts donated by Visit Harford. The Eden Mill Nature Center and Harford County Parks & Recreation provided the venue.