There's three days of national celebration on Saturday, and not a Hallmark card for any of them. The warm days are fleeting. Let's make the most of them. Here's five things to do this weekend that don't take a lot of coin.
1.) Dig for shark's teeth and other fossils at Purse State Park in Charles County. Everyone knows about Calvert Cliffs State Park, and as a result, pickings can be slim. Purse, along the banks of the Potomac River in Nanjemoy, is a tiny park -- it's more of an evening clutch than a full-sized purse. But its treasure trove of fossilized sharks teeth and ray plates makes it a hidden gem. Park along Route 224, cross the road and hike about a half-mile to water's edge. Bring water, good hiking shoes, bug spray and sunscreen. On Saturday, a park naturalist will answer questions from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This one's free.
2.) Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, and volunteer at Leakin Park and Gwynns Falls to spruce up trails and remove invasive vines that crowd out native plants. Volunteers will meet at the parking lot just before the tennis courts at 1900 Eagle Drive, off Windsor Mill Road. Give a shout to Abby Cocke of the Parks and People Foundation, 410-448-5663, ext.122, and let her know you're coming.
3.) It's also National Estuaries Day -- who knew? Learn about the Chesapeake Bay while participating in a wetlands scavenger hunt in a canoe, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center in Harford County. War Canoe rides, courtesy of the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum and the Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School, will be offered from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. There are fees for some activities and registration is a must (that's why we tell you on Thursday, gang). Call 410-612-1688 to reserve a spot. The center is at 700 Otter Point Road in Abingdon.
4.) Looking for another freebie? Cross the Bay Bridge Saturday and celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Schrader's Bridgetown Manor in Caroline County. The Department of Natural Resources will roll out all kinds of fishing and hunting gear and show you how to use it. There will be music and food and free stuff. Schrader's is at 16090 Oakland Road in Henderson. Just 90 minutes from Baltimore, it's easy to get to. Just take U.S. 50 to Route 301 north to Route 304 east to Route 312 north to Route 313 south to Route 311 north. If you get to Delaware, you've gone too far. DNR's Patty Allen knows all. She's at 410-260-8537.
5.) Here's one on Sunday -- and I'm not going to stop promoting this until you all promise to go. The reenactors at Fort Frederick State Park will be firing off some rounds again from a 6-pound cannon from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fort Frederick, which is in Washington County -- go figure -- is just as cool as Fort McHenry. The park entrance fee is $3 for adults and $2 for children, ages 6-12. The address is 11100 Fort Frederick Road, Big Pool. Need more? Call 301-842-2155.