Spring Dandelions


If you’re looking for something creative and fun to do while safe at home this spring check this out…

yellow-dandelionDid you know that dandelions are not native to the Americans? They were brought here by Europeans during the seventeenth century. During that time, they were thought to possess medicinal properties.

John Gerards Herbal, published in 1597, wrote of dandelions “upon every stalk standeth a flower greater than that of Succory, but double, and thick set together, of colour yellow, and sweet in smell, which is turned into a round downy blowball, that is carried away with the wind.”
The supposed medicinal properties? “Boiled, it strengthens the weak stomach, and eaten raw it stops the belly, and helps the dysentery, especially being boiled with lentils; the juice drunk is good against the involuntary effusion of seed; boiled in vinegar, it is good against the pain that troubles some in making of water. A decoction made of the whole plant helps the yellow jaundice.”
We do not endorse plant medicinals in 2020.
But guess what? We do have another craft for one of those toilet paper rolls.


Toilet paper roll (empty)
Paint (be creative, this can be any color)


Take an empty t.p. roll

Cut slits about one inch up from the bottom and all the way around. These will be creating your “puffs” so make them around 3 cm. apart

Once finished, separate the slits

Put the paint onto a paper plate, or something that you can really spread it around on

Dip the tp roll into the paint (slit side) then make quick little marks on your paper

Historical Skills

Brought to you by Historic St. Mary’s City, Southern Maryland

growing plants and vegtables, historic st marys city

With HSMC staff teleworking, some have found time to use their skills at home. Education Director Peter built a raised garden bed (planned prior to the pandemic).

As a former supervisor of the Godiah Spray plantation, Peter has plenty of experience. Raised garden beds are what make up the plantation kitchen garden area, and was a popular method of planting in England during the 17th century. These were raised rectangular gardens, being narrow allowing for access from either side. The “kitchen” garden would have had a variety of plants and herbs used for medicine, seasoning food, and consumption.

historical gardening historic st marys city

Peter, much as the colonists would have, had his children assisting with the planting. He and his family started with pots and took the opportunity to measure the growth daily as a STEM activity (pun intended). Here’s a simple seed germinating idea for families


  • a glass jar
  • paper towels
  • water
  • seeds

Put sheets of paper towel, one at a time, into the glass jar. Once it is full, add water to wet it, but try not to oversoak. Make sure the paper towel is packed so the seeds will stay in place once you put them there, and also be easily visible. Take the seeds, and place them down the side of the glass jar, supporting them with the wet paper towel. Somehow label the seed on the outside in order to make observations and comparisons. Keep checking back on your little seeds. Perhaps mark their growth on a calendar or in a notebook. If you have a few different varieties, what grew better? Once they start germinating, plant them in soil.

Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss in Southern MD

Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss in Southern MD

Learn Maryland HistorySummer vacation presents an opportunity for students in Southern MD to enjoy an extended break from the classroom. While this respite from routine may be a welcome change to youngsters, teachers frequently lament that valuable educational lessons seem to be forgotten each summer. Educators then face tougher hurdles when students return to school in the fall.  Learn below about resources that can help from Historic St. Mary’s City.

Such a phenomenon is dubbed “summer learning loss,” but it can occur during any extended break from school. Scholars have realized for some time that students’ rate of academic development declines during summer vacation. Oxford Learning, a tutoring and education training group, offers these eye-opening statistics.

  • Over the summer, students tend to lose 2.6 months of math skills and two months of reading skills.
  • Summer learning loss can be seen in students as young as six.
  • It can take up to two months from the first day of school to get students’ brain development back on course.

Summer learning loss, sometimes called “brain drain,” can be prevented. Proponents of year-round schooling at The National Association for Year-Round Education recommend a more balanced school year, where summer vacation lasts only 30 days and other school breaks are lengthened. In this scenario, the school year would still last about 180 days, but without the lengthy breaks.

Parents may prefer the status quo, and those who do can take several steps to prevent summer learning loss from affecting their children.

  • Encourage more reading. Schools recommend summer reading lists, but students should also learn to read for pleasure. Research from the National Literary Trust indicates reading for pleasure can improve reading attainment and writing, as well as one’s general knowledge. Historic St. Mary’s offers a fun reading list for children and adults alike.
  • Enjoy family game nights. Games can be customized to highlight certain skills that require reinforcement. For example, math-centered games that require counting or addition can strengthen generalized math skills. Problem-solving board games may help children become better critical thinkers. Just for fun check out this fun game offered from Historic St. Mary’s City: Build a Colonial House to  Be one of the twelve early colonists and build a house to suit you. But beware, you may run into trouble.
  • Make vacations educational. Add travel to historical sites or other places of interest to help history come alive. Historic St. Mary’s City offers education, history, fun and beauty all in the same trip. There’s something for everyone. When visiting new towns and cities, read the placards that explain important moments in history that took place in each town or city, making sure to include some thought-provoking areas of interest on your itinerary.

Here are a few activities that allow you to explore Maryland Roots.

You can:

-visit a Woodland Indian Village

-Go on an Archaeological Dig

-Solve the Mystery of the three lead coffins

-Create your own museum

  • Look for science moments. Trips to the seaside, parks and much more present myriad opportunities to learn about science. Children can stage their own experiments with items they find in nature, such as learning about tides, wind and water flow by sailing homemade boats.

Children need not fall victim to summer learning loss when their days are filled with educational but fun activities at Historic St. Mary’s City Maryland.

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Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss

Tips to travel without busting the budget

Tips to travel without busting the budget

Brought to you by Historic St. Mary’s City, where Maryland History, Learning & Entertainment  come together.

Travel TipsIf people waited to get rich to see the world, they may never travel to destinations near and far. Even though many people view travel as a luxury, there are plenty of ways to take trips even when money is tight.

In a 2018 survey of 1,000 people ages 18 and older, Bankrate found that nearly half of respondents planned to skip travel that year. Among the 49 percent of respondents who weren’t planning a vacation, 50 percent said they just couldn’t afford it. By prioritizing travel as a goal, cuts can be made elsewhere so there’s money in the budget for vacations.

Proper planning, research and a go-with-the-flow attitude can make budget-friendly traveling a realistic possibility. Here’s how to get started.

  • Maximize your card rewards. If you’re excellent about paying for credit card bills in full each month, shop around for cards that offer the most travel bang for your buck. Hefty sign-on bonus points enable you to rack up travel dollars after a set amount of spending. Those “miles” or “points” can be turned into hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars, and more.
  • Be flexible on travel dates. Set up alerts for when fares drop and be able to leave when rates are the lowest. Various apps, such as Yapta or Hopper, will send price notifications on flights being tracked. Keep your bags packed and be ready to go when you find your budgeted price.
  • Cut lodging costs when possible. Travel to destinations where you know someone and you can enjoy a few nights of free accommodations. Even two or three nights in someone’s guest room or on their sofa can save a few hundred dollars in overall costs. Airbnb and Vacation Rentals By Owner are some additional services that can pair travelers with price-savvy spots to stay. Hostels are dorm-style rooms that also make for cheap accommodations if you don’t need much space or luxury.
  • Travel a little to travel a lot. The nearest airport may not offer the best deals for your budget. Consider increasing your travel radius several miles and fly out of a different airport and even a smaller one. Also, when booking hotels, look beyond city centers or tourist areas. Rates decrease the further out you go.
  • Travel together to split the costs. Get a group together and maximize the savings, advises Credit Karma. You may be able to score group rates to events, or you can split the cost of a larger condo or home among all travelers.

Budgeting for travel and learning how to vacation for less can help anyone get away when they desire.

Plan your next visit to Historic St. Mary’s City Maryland 

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Vacation Activities That Won’t Make A Huge Impact On The Environment

Family Traveling and reduce Carbon FootprintEco-friendliness at home can also happen when you’re on vacation. Sure, there are some activities that you can’t really do if you want to reduce the carbon footprint you leave behind, but there is still so much you can enjoy. Now, you may be wondering what kind of vacation activities you can do when you’re being earth-conscious and eco-friendly.

Beachy Eco-Friendly Activities

Every year, millions of people go to the beach. They have to escape the fast-paced life they have back home and get a break from the winter cold. However, if you’re eco-friendly, you may think that beach activities bring harm to the planet. Actually, there is plenty you can do at the beach that won’t bring much, if any, damage to the environment.

For example, you can enjoy your time in the sand. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 22 or 52, there is something to be said about digging in the sand and having a good time. If you want to spend some time building a sandcastle or something else, purchase eco-friendly sand toys for the venture.

Be mindful though of other things:

Avoid walking where you’re not allowed. For instance, if there are “Keep Off The Dunes” signs posted, make sure to follow them. These things are there to protect the various species of the area. You may also see signs for “Don’t Feed The Ducks.” This is pretty self-explanatory.

When you’re using an outside shower to rinse the sand off your feet and body, be sure not to use any soap. Why? It’s likely the drain goes into the ocean. Using soap means the soap residue goes into the water.

Eco-Friendly Water Activities

You may think that enjoying the water means having fun on jet skis and a fast boat, but there are tons of other activities you can enjoy on the water that doesn’t leave a huge carbon footprint behind. What are some of these activities?

Kayaking – While many people consider going on boats to enjoy the water, a recent study discovered that boats can boost algae growth and take up the ocean or river floor. Both of these can lead to environmental damage. Kayaking, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy the water and get in some exercise too. No gas or oil can get into the water as well as no fast speeds that can disturb the environment.

Swimming – Another watery environment you can enjoy on vacation is swimming. However, you need to be mindful of what sunscreen you use. Many of them contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoaxate. When going swimming, use products that don’t contain these chemicals that can get into the water and destroy marine life.

Eco-Friendly Land Activities

There are many enjoyable land activities you can do that won’t leave much of a carbon footprint, especially if you pay careful mind to what you’re doing. What kinds of activities?

Camping – This is a favorite pastime for many people for all kinds of reasons – warm campfire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, S’mores, scary stories, sleeping under the stars, etc. There is so much to love about camping, and it’s a way for you to enjoy

Hiking – This is another activity that people love to do, but if you’re trying to save the environment, you need to remember this golden rule: “pack out what you pack in. What does that mean? It means you leave with what you brought in with you. Therefore, use a reusable water bottle and take any trash out with you.

Special Note About Hiking: If you’re hiking in a well-known area where paths are marked, be sure to stay on that path for two reasons – you won’t cause soil erosion, and you stay safe.

Now, when you’re out and about with the bugs, you may want to use a bug repellant to keep them off you. The problem with this is that many of them using a chemical called DEET in them. DEET can kill bioluminescent organisms and lead to neurological damage. Therefore, when enjoying these activities, use only repellants that have no DEET in them.

Leave The Electronics Behind…

And, it doesn’t matter if you’re headed to the beach, camping or out on the water, the biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint is not to take your smartphone or laptop with you. Anything electronic should be left behind when you can. The fewer things your car battery needs to “charge up,” the better off the environment will be. Are you going to bring an air mattress with you? Don’t forget the “foot” air pump.

Other Fun Eco-Friendly Activities You Can Enjoy On Vacation

There are all kinds of other activities you can enjoy such as:

• Walking or biking tours – These help you to learn about the area you are visiting, give you some exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
• Museums
• Wildlife conservatories
• Birdwatching
• Local parks
• Local farmer’s markets

3 Helpful Tips To Stay Environmentally-Friendly On Vacation

• Visit stores that work to reduce their carbon footprint.
• When you see trash while hiking, pick it up so you can throw it away later.
• Use reusable containers for your food and drinks.
• Again, any trash you make, you take.

When you go on vacation, you can still have fun and be eco-friendly. For you, that means doing your homework about the different activities available that promote eco-friendliness. And, if you decide that a staycation is the way to go, all the better!

If spring break or summer is right around the corner, consider checking out the Historic St. Mary’s City to book your next kayaking venture or other eco-friendly vacation activity. Despite what people may think, an eco-friendly vacation can still include a lot of fun.

Learn about Eco Friendly Vacations.

Eco-Friendly Vacation Activities in Southern MD

Eco-Friendly Vacation Activities in Southern MD

Inside this article you’ll find: Travel information, Activities to do, Enjoying Nature, Eco-Friendly Activities, Kayaking in Southern MD

eco friendly kayaking in southern mdWhen traveling and trying to reduce your carbon footprint while away from home, there are activities you’ll want to avoid and activities that are a must-do. Mostly you need to get out and just enjoy nature. Here are some eco-friendly activities you might want to give a try while on your next green vacation.

Eco-Friendly Activities at the Beach or Places to Kayak 

If you’re headed to the beach for your vacation, then there are some things you will want to keep in mind to make sure you don’t destroy the earth and the environment while you’re away from home and soaking up the rays.

  • Get eco-friendly sand toys for digging in the
  • When using the outside showers, avoid any kind of soap. The drain likely goes right back into the ocean. Use them to just rinse the sand off your feet and
  • Follow the rules. Signs like “Keep off the dunes” are important to follow. These are habitats for many different species, so be respectful. “Don’t feed the ducks” is another important sign to follow.Eco-Friendly Activities while Camping and Kayaking

Are you going camping? If so, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. Yes, even while camping you have to take special steps to ensure you’re being as eco- friendly as possible.

  • Ditch the gadgets. It goes without saying that you probably don’t want your laptop and/or cell phone on your camping trip, but really the fewer things you need to run off your car battery, the better. So if you have to blow up an air mattress, use a foot pump.

Are you going hiking?

  • When you go hiking, stay on the path. If there are markers, follow these. Not only is this important for safety, but it also prevents things like soil erosion from happening.

Eco-Friendly Activities

When vacationing, no matter where you go, you should be able to find activities which make every effort possible to reduce the carbon footprint. Find the eco-friendly shops and museums which are located in the city you’re staying in. Check out local parks and wildlife conservatories. Look for sporting venues that might have taken extra efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

Take a hike or find a walking tour you can take of the city you are visiting. Bike tours are a great way to learn your way around the area, while getting exercise and learning the history as well. Visiting local farmer’s markets and birdwatching are all perfect things you can do that have minimal to no impact on the environment. See a concert in the park while on vacation.

When you take your trip, no matter where you go or what you do, always make the place cleaner than when you got there. If you see trash on your hike, pick it up and take it with you. Pack food in reusable containers. If that’s not an option, then make sure you carry out any trash you brought in.

Going on vacation doesn’t mean the environment has to suffer. If you can stay closer to home for your getaway that’s great, but if not, then doing your due diligence prior to your trip to see what kind of eco-friendly activities are offered in and around the area you’re staying in will help you maintain your green lifestyle even while vacationing.

We hope you’ll join us at Historic St. Mary’s City when you want to kayak on your next eco-friendly vacation.

Contact HISTORIC ST. MARY’S CITY for more information.