A second chance to count those white tails in deer survey

While it's bustling with activity every weekend, the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center in Abingdon is going to be particularly busy on Jan. 12, with three major programs that will offer something for all ages throughout the day.

The white-tailed deer survey kicks off the day at 9 a.m. and continues until 11.

Harford County seems to be experiencing explosive population growth - and not just with humans. So, estuary center managers need help from anyone 16 or older to determine if the deer population of Leight Park is a healthy size. Join them and get the scoop on poop as they conduct pellet (deer scat) counts out on the trails to determine how many deer call the center home. This is the second of three surveys. The final one is Saturday, Feb. 9.

Visitors will be able to take home their Shoreline Discoveries Mobile, which they'll make after a stroll along the shore for winter treasures. During the program, from 1 to 3 p.m. for anyone 4 to adult (4 to 12 with an adult), guests will make a mobile from what they find while enjoying hot chocolate and snacks available at the stove in center's headquarters. The event fee is $3.

Later that evening, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., visitors can learn about a few of the famous constellations in the winter sky, and stories that accompany them, during the Constellation Exploration program.

Visitors can make their own star finder and venture outside to find constellations in the night sky. Hot cocoa will be provided The event fee is $3 for the all ages program. Those 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

As one of the facilities of Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation, the mission at Anita Leight is to increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of estuarine ecosystems through research, monitoring and education.

The estuary is one of the few remaining large freshwater tidal marshes in the upper Chesapeake Bay accessible to the public. Otter Point Creek is a shallow tributary at the headwaters of the Bush River. The Otter Point Creek Component consists of two land areas (Leight Park and the Melvin G. Bosely Conservancy) connected by 261 acres of shallow open water. Leight Park is 93 forested acres owned by Harford County Parks and Recreation and home to the Estuary Center. The Bosely Conservancy is 350 acres of tidal marsh and wooded wetlands owned by the Izaak Walton League of America – Harford County Chapter.

Through partnerships with Harford County and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR), Anita Leight offers public, private/group and school (including home school) programs. Program activities include canoeing, kayaking, pontoon boating, crafts, hiking, education, animal encounters and research.

For more information go to http://www.otterpointcreek.org.

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