Attraction magazine has partnered with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and Chesapeake Conservancy to help readers find their next adventure. Each month, we’ll feature a new place from their helpful website, FindYourChesapeake.com. There, you can also sign up for an e-newsletter, Trips and Tips, that delivers fresh ideas to your inbox each week.
Ready to try something new? At FindYourChesapeake.com, also find expert advice on experiences like birdwatching, fishing, camping, and hiking. Their team also developed content to help people explore the Chesapeake virtually.
This month, the spotlight is on Robinson Neck Preserve, located on Taylors Island in Dorchester County, less than a mile from the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The Preserve, one of the Nature Conservancy’s largest, was identified as a “significant wetland” in the 1974 Smithsonian Institution survey of Chesapeake Bay natural areas. It was chosen for protection of waterfowl and Bald Eagle habitat, as well as its brackish tidal marsh habitat. Visit www.findyourchesapeake.com/places/robinson-neck-preserve.
Robinson Neck is a birder’s delight. It is part of the Audubon Society’s Southern Dorchester County Important Bird Area, one of the largest Important Bird Areas in Maryland. Though it is perhaps best known for its Bald Eagles and wintering waterfowl, in terms of conservation it is the breeding birds of the saltmarsh that are of greatest importance: Black Rail, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, American Black Duck, Least Bittern, Northern Harrier, Common Moorhen and Seaside Sparrow. Visit www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas/southern-dorchester-county.
Hiking on the Preserve provides an opportunity to spot the federally endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and summer brings a proliferation of flowering plants and marsh grasses. The Nature Conservancy’s audio tours are a great way to preview the Preserve before you arrive. Visit www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/frank-m-ewingrobinson-neck-preserve/?tab_q=tab_container-tab_element_74656992.
An historic family cemetery – the Robson family cemetery – dating from the early 19th century is located within Robinson Neck Preserve. Life-long Eastern Shore resident Joe Fehrer has undertaken a survey of the cemetery, in hopes of having it added to the inventory of historic places through the Maryland Historic Trust. Learn more about the cemetery in the video, Robinson Neck: Sinking Cemetery at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eDtnjehd9A.
As most people who live on the Eastern Shore know, Dorchester County is ground zero for vulnerability to sea level rise. According to The Nature Conservancy, current scientific models show that Dorchester, now the fourth largest county in the state of Maryland, will become the 14th largest county by 2100. Much of Robinson Neck Preserve will be inundated well before then, including the Robson family burial plot. All the more reason to visit this fragile, endangered area.