Baltimore Cares: Carrie Murray Nature Center
By Karen Ackerman and Claire McGinnity
Carrie Murray Nature Center features an insect zoo, a large inside and outside classroom area, a bird of prey rehabilitation area, hiking/ biking trails, and a rainforest room. The ultimate goal for this center is to teach kids how to care for the animals and the environment, and to inform kids if the animal is native to Maryland. This is what makes the Carrie Murray Nature Center different from other nature centers like Oregon Ridge and Marshy Point.
Over the years, Carrie Murray’s staff has rescued and taken in countless animals, including lizards, snakes, and birds of prey. Most of these animals were bought by people who didn’t know how to care for them. Fortunately, these animals are surviving because of the help of Carrie Murray.
We had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Corrine Parks, the director of the nature center. In the hour we talked to her, we could tell that she was devoted to the center and the animals in her care. She told us all about the new programs, including the rainforest rooms and the green houses. Upcoming daylong programs includes horseback riding, The Great Bug Hunt, and May Day. They also have a summer camp where kids can learn about edible plants and other survival lessons and celebrate pirate day. And, they’ll even be offering a spa day for the ladies.
After the interview, Mrs. Parks gave us a tour of the center. We saw the indoor classroom where classes on tortoises and first aid were taking place. Next, we got to meet all sorts of lizards and snakes before heading to our final stop, the rainforest room. It was filled with tropical and exotic animals, like frogs and spiders. After the tour, we explored a bit on our own and saw the outdoor classroom, visited the birds of prey exhibit, and hiked one of their many trails. In all, it was a very fun trip.
Mrs. Parks and Carrie Murray Nature Center have changed the way many people look at nature and has educated many kids with facts they normally wouldn’t have gotten if they didn’t go to the center. Mrs. Parks told us about a group of kids that were too scared to go into the woods. Finally, she convinced them to go into the woods. “Once they were in the woods, I couldn’t get them to come out,” Mrs. Parks told us.
Carrie Murray Nature Center is a beautiful place for both animals and humans. It is a place that deserves more recognition. It is a place that cares for animals and educates kids on many cool things and gives them new opportunities. It is definitely a place to consider donating money to! Carrie Murray Nature Center is saving wildlife. Don’t you want to be a part of it!?
To learn more about the center, including upcoming events, please visit Carrie Murray Nature Center’s website, http://www.carriemurraynaturecenter.org/.
Seventh graders Karen Ackerman and Claire McGinnity attend Ridgely Middle School in Baltimore County. Karen and Claire are MY-Say’s Green Reporters.