Friends Of Seneca Creek State Park (FOSCSP)

Friends Of Seneca Creek State Park (FOSCSP) The Friends of Seneca Creek State Park collect dues and donations that are used to support the visitor experience in the park. We are a 501(c)(3) designated charity, so all donations, including dues, are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Friends Of Seneca Creek State Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of the visitor experience at Seneca Creek State Park.
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The only State Park in Montgomery County. Hiking, Disc Golf, Boating, Fishing, Peony Display Garden, Recycled Tire Playground, Winter Lights display from Nov. 24th through December 31st. Entrance is free from November through March.

Mission: Friends Of Seneca Creek State Park is a volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the visitor's experience by providing financial support and resources to the park.

New to gardening? You might be interested in this virtual program about garden pests and diseases. It costs $10 and regi...
06/07/2020

New to gardening? You might be interested in this virtual program about garden pests and diseases. It costs $10 and registration is required. Get those tomatoes growing!

Grow a healthy garden.

Learn to identify "Common Garden Pests and Diseases" from Carol Allen, University of Maryland's Plant Sciences Department, during Brookside Gardens' virtual program Saturday, June 13, 10 am.

Spaces are still available. Register now: http://ow.ly/b7H150zUP3X.

More exciting Nestbox News from Heather's Bluebird Trail at Button Farm. Great photos!
06/07/2020

More exciting Nestbox News from Heather's Bluebird Trail at Button Farm. Great photos!

On the trail this week, we have several #TreeSwallow nests at different stages of development; mother on nest, mother showing us her #eggs, adult feeding babies. We also have eggs in a house wren nest. We are hoping for more #bluebird residents in our vacant #nesting boxes next week. #nature #outdoors #birds @MarylandBluebirdSociety #ButtonFarm

THE PARK IS FULL! The park is full to capacity and no vehicles are being admitted. This closure is expected to last at l...
06/07/2020

THE PARK IS FULL!
The park is full to capacity and no vehicles are being admitted. This closure is expected to last at least two hours. To avoid being turned away, we recommend that you do not arrive at the park between noon and 4:00 p.m. Any closure will last at least two hours. During the closing period, no left turns are allowed when exiting the park. Please plan ahead!

06/07/2020
Poke My Heart

NO BABY SKUNK LEFT BEHIND.
We all need a little help now and then.

This mother skunk does not stink!

Excellent advice from Officer Ruckus!
06/06/2020

Excellent advice from Officer Ruckus!

Whether you are swimming, boating, or engaging in any other water-related activity, please wear your life jacket. Remember, you may not have a chance to put on your life jacket if you encounter a water accident or fall out of your boat. Be smart from the start and wear your life jacket.

06/06/2020
The Soulful Gardener

TAKE A HIKE! IT'S NATIONAL TRAILS DAY!
National Trails Day on the first Saturday in June recognizes all the incredible benefits federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and exposure to nature. Don't just stay on the popular Lakeshore Trail. Try one of the other trails in the park. Down load a trail map from the DNR website: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/seneca.aspx

One minute’s #peace. Taking a #walk in the woods can be #relaxing & educational. #Breathe slowly & look around at the beautiful #flowers, listen to the #birds, discover new #insects. #BePresent  #TakeaHike!

PLAN AHEAD FOR "FILLED TO CAPACITY" PARK CLOSURESTo ensure the safety of our visitors and protection of the park’s natur...
06/06/2020

PLAN AHEAD FOR "FILLED TO CAPACITY" PARK CLOSURES
To ensure the safety of our visitors and protection of the park’s natural resources and facilities, the park has a limited capacity for visitors.
During periods of high visitation, when the park’s capacity is reached, the park will be closed and traffic will be turned away from the park entrance.
When that occurs, no additional vehicles / visitors will be allowed to enter the park, including those with members of their party who may already be in the park. If you are not traveling in the same vehicle with others in your party, we suggest that you all arrive at the same time.
When the park is closed due to being full to capacity, individuals and groups with shelter reservations will be admitted, as parking is reserved for those purposes.
Based on recent experience and visitation trends, and depending on good weather, the park will likely fill to capacity and close on the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends, and other weekends during the course of the summer. Please take this into consideration when planning your visit.

DYK? Eastern Box Turtles don't reach adult size until they are 20 years old. Wild turtles usually live 30 to 40 years. I...
06/05/2020

DYK? Eastern Box Turtles don't reach adult size until they are 20 years old. Wild turtles usually live 30 to 40 years. In captivity an Eastern Box Turtle may live to over 100 years old! So please, slow down and watch for turtles crossing the road. The life you save may belong to a turtle older than you are.

Why did the turtle cross the road? To breed on the other side! Right now, our local turtles are looking for love and are laying eggs. Give them a brake and help them across the road if it is safe to do so. Also, please keep our turtles wild as many wild populations are declining. For those interested in adopting turtles, check out the link in the article. Photo by Janet Kerr.

https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2019/05/15/marylands-wild-turtles-are-on-the-move/

FREE FISHING DAYS!On June 6, June 13, and July 4 you can fish in Maryland WITHOUT a fishing License. Give it a try on Cl...
06/05/2020

FREE FISHING DAYS!
On June 6, June 13, and July 4 you can fish in Maryland WITHOUT a fishing License. Give it a try on Clopper Lake or Great Seneca Creek and maybe you'll bring home dinner. You might catch a yellow perch, large-mouth bass, black crappie, brown bullheads, common carp, bluegill, red-ear and pumpkinseed sunfish in Clopper Lake. Great Seneca Creek has small-moth bass, panfish and stocked trout.
Read more about teh fish of Clopper lake at https://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/hotspots/clopper.aspx

🎣 First FREE fishing day is tomorrow! Who will be out there? http://ow.ly/zkrf50zSpUQ

06/04/2020
Eastern Wormsnake

A WRITHING WORM SNAKE
Wormsnakes are so named because of their resemblence to earthworms. Adults measure no more than a foot long and are a light brown color similar to a worm. They are shy and dislike being handled, but will not bite. They feed mostly on worms, or occasionally a soft insect larva or slug.

06/04/2020
Red-eared slider baby's first swim

FIRST SWIM FOR BABY TURTLE
The Red-eared Slider found in the peony garden knew exactly what to do as soon as it was put down near the lake.

ANOTHER SURPRISE IN THE PEONY GARDENToday while weeding the garden I found this hatchling turtle under a peony. It being...
06/04/2020

ANOTHER SURPRISE IN THE PEONY GARDEN
Today while weeding the garden I found this hatchling turtle under a peony. It being a far distance for such a small creature, I carried it down to the lake and put it on the mud about 18 inches from the water. It looked right, then left, then knew exactly what to do - head for the water!

06/04/2020

MAY TRIVIA!
The Friends brought you 60 posts in May, appearing on timelines 13,059 times. Did you learn anything reading our posts in May? Take the quiz and find out!

1. What color are Mayapple Flowers?

2. What animal performs a “slap-dive” to warn of danger?

3. How long might a Catbird song last?

4. Where do Solitary Sandpipers breed?

5. You spot a woodpecker with a red head and narrow black and white stripes on its back. What kind is it?

6. Where do Baltimore Orioles spend the winter? (The birds, not the team!)

7. What are Cliff Swallow nests made of?

8. We’ve all seen Woolly Bear caterpillars, but can you name the moth that it becomes?

9. What is the biggest woodpecker seen in the state of Maryland?

10. How do Bumble Bees transport pollen?

Dates of corresponding posts: 1: 5/1, 2: 5/3, 3: 5/4, 4: 5/6, 5: 5/9, 6: 5/9, 7: 5/16, 8: 5/17, 9: 5/23, 10: 5/27

The peonies in the garden are almost all gone by, dropping silky colored petals. There are still some nice specimens in ...
06/03/2020

The peonies in the garden are almost all gone by, dropping silky colored petals. There are still some nice specimens in the field, but they won't last long. The peony field is also a nice place to visit later in the summer when it is full of wildflowers being visited by butterflies and dragonflies.

DYK? THIS IS NOT A BUG!Rollie Pollies, aka Pill Bugs, Sow Bugs or Wood Lice, are not insects. They are CRUSTACEANS. And ...
06/02/2020
Study Finds ‘Rollie Pollies’ Remove Heavy Metals From Soil, Protects Groundwater

DYK? THIS IS NOT A BUG!
Rollie Pollies, aka Pill Bugs, Sow Bugs or Wood Lice, are not insects. They are CRUSTACEANS. And very beneficial to your landscape as they eat dead organic material, helping to create rich compost.

Next time you see these unsightly critters crawling under a rock take to the time to appreciate what they do for our soil! By helping to remove contaminants, they could help protect our groundwater too!

EASTERN WORMSNAKEThis snake is peeking out of its burrow under a peony in the demonstration garden. Wormsnakes are small...
06/01/2020

EASTERN WORMSNAKE
This snake is peeking out of its burrow under a peony in the demonstration garden. Wormsnakes are small, typically just 7.5 to 11 inches long. They are common but seldom seen as they spend most of their time underground. This one was not too pleased with the weeding of the garden. For more info and photos visit the DNR and Biodiversity websites.
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/herps/Squamata.aspx?SnakeName=Common%20Wormsnake
https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/view/888

Temporary Trail Closure Alert
06/01/2020

Temporary Trail Closure Alert

Powerline Trail between Black Rock Road and Schaeffer Road will be closed through June 26 because of construction.

Trail users, please find an alternate path and be cautious around the work area: http://ow.ly/tah550zUPcE.

Heather monitors the Bluebird nestboxes at Button Farm.
05/31/2020

Heather monitors the Bluebird nestboxes at Button Farm.

Trail update: 50% of our #Bluebird #nesting boxes were occupied. The Bluebird babies fledged and we had newly hatched #treeswallow babies. Note the feathers used in their nests. Maryland Bluebird Society

05/31/2020

FIND A FAWN - SAVE A FAWN - LEAVE IT ALONE!
White-tailed deer give birth in spring through early summer. Young does usually have single fawns, but older does may have twins or rarely triplets. A fawn can walk a short distance within a half hour or so of birth, but can’t cover the distances that the doe travels to feed. Until the fawns are strong enough to keep up with their mothers they will remain behind in a safe spot while the dams are away feeding. The fawns have almost no odor to attract predators to their hiding spot and their spotted coats help keep them camouflaged. The mother will return to the fawn no more than 2 or 3 times a day for feeding and grooming, and will lead the fawn to a new hiding spot frequently during its first few weeks. Her infrequent visits help protect the fawn from predators who might follow the mother to the fawn. If you see an “abandoned” fawn, the best thing to do is to leave it alone and leave the area so you are not attracting dogs or predators to the fawn, or preventing the mother from approaching. So how does a baby manage to grow on so few daily feedings? Deer milk is very rich with 10% protein, 2.5% lactose and almost 20% fat. For comparison, cows typically produce milk that is 3% protein, 4.9% lactose and 3.5% fat. Fawns consume what they need in a smaller volume of highly concentrated milk from their mothers. For more information on what to do if you find a fawn visit this page: https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/Deer_Fawn_FAQ.aspx

Adoption is not all that uncommon in the world of animals.
05/29/2020

Adoption is not all that uncommon in the world of animals.

❤️🐥 One of these ducklings is not like the other! Take a close look at their heads to spot the difference. The one with solid yellow feathers and a ginger crown is a redhead duck, not a mallard like its “siblings!”
. . .
🦆🥚 While redhead parents can craft their own nests, sometimes they lay their eggs in those of other ducks. Mama mallard is none the wiser, accepting this bundle of joy as her very own. Bird House keepers welcomed the chick May 17 and report that it is eating, moving and doing well!
. . .
🦅 In fall 2021, the Smithsonian's National Zoo’s historic 1928 Bird House will transform into a first-of-its-kind attraction that immerses visitors in the annual journeys of western hemisphere birds. LEARN MORE: https://s.si.edu/2P98LJi.
. . .
#NatZooZen #BringTheZooToYou #ClosedButStillCaring

05/29/2020
The Soulful Gardener

Nice video of a beaver in Great Seneca Creek by Heather Zindash, The Soulful Gardener. Thanks!

A surprise appearance while looking for #minutations. We followed quietly until it went under a bank to chew a twig. Then suddenly, we were startled by a gunshot-like noise & a splash. A slap-dive by another beaver on the opposite bank. #thrilling #beavers #FOSCSP #nature

GUESSES ENCOURAGED!This photo is as taken in the park on May 24th, no zooming in, cropping or other manipulation. What i...
05/29/2020

GUESSES ENCOURAGED!
This photo is as taken in the park on May 24th, no zooming in, cropping or other manipulation. What is it?

THE BACHELOR HERDThis time of year the bucks form bachelor herds, hanging out together in groups of two to many. This pa...
05/29/2020

THE BACHELOR HERD
This time of year the bucks form bachelor herds, hanging out together in groups of two to many. This pair are showing off their antler growth. The antlers were just buds back on April 20th. They sure grow fast!

05/27/2020
Peony Garden Pollinator in Seneca Creek State Park

PEONY POLLINATOR AT WORK!
Note the pair of yellow "saddle bags" of pollen that this bee is carrying on its hind legs. Most bees need to make separate trips to carry pollen and nectar to their hive or nest. A few, like this Common Eastern Bumble Bee, have specialized hairy receptacles on their hind legs called pollen baskets or corbiculae that allow them to transport pollen. Honey Bees also have these structures and a Honney Bee can carry half of her body weight in pollen.

OUR RANGERS DO IT ALL!The skilled and dedicated Rangers at Seneca Creek State Park do everything you can think of for th...
05/25/2020

OUR RANGERS DO IT ALL!
The skilled and dedicated Rangers at Seneca Creek State Park do everything you can think of for the park, and then some, often understaffed but still smiling. To thank them for their work in keeping the park open during the Covid-19 crisis, the Friends board voted unanimously to buy them lunch every day over the Memorial Day weekend, typically the busiest days of the year. If you would like to help with a contribution, please join using the link at the top of our timeline. Thank you!

Please join! We need and welcome more FRIENDS! 😀
05/25/2020
Friends Of Seneca Creek State Park (FOSCSP)

Please join! We need and welcome more FRIENDS! 😀

PLEASE JOIN THE FRIENDS!
Here are the membership levels. Please use the comments field of the donation form to indicate the membership level you would like, along with any comments. We also accept donations in any amount. Dues and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law for a 501(c)(3) charity contribution. THANK YOU!

Friend - $25.00
Family - $50.00
Benefactor - $100.00
Life - $500.00 (one time)
Business (bronze) - $100.00 minimum
Business (silver) - $500.00 minimum
Business (gold) - $1000.00 minimum
Business (platinum) - $2500.00 minimum

Please note: The payment page will take you to PayPal. You do NOT need a PayPal account to use PayPal to pay with a credit card.

BLACK BEARS BACK FROM THE BRINKBlack Bears were nearly extirpated from Maryland during the 20th century. Conservation ef...
05/24/2020
Montgomery Community Media

BLACK BEARS BACK FROM THE BRINK
Black Bears were nearly extirpated from Maryland during the 20th century. Conservation efforts have brought them back, mainly to the western counties. Bear sightings occur almost yearly in Montgomery County. Some areas may see permanent bear residents. Take look at the bear fact sheet and living with bears at these links.
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/black-bear.aspx
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/hunt_trap/bblivingwith.aspx

Remember that black bear that was spotted in Montgomery County on Monday? We have pictures!

05/23/2020
Jerri

Jerri

Lunch in the rain

05/23/2020
Jerri

Meet the largest woodpecker in Seneca Creek State Park and all of Maryland.
1. Can you name the species?
2. Can you tell the sex?
3. What is its favorite food?
All answers have been mentioned here in past posts, some quite a while ago.
Thank you Jerri Matchinsky for sharing this video.

05/22/2020
Peony Garden

"Rain, rain, go away..." Here is a virtual tour of the peony garden for you to enjoy while the peonies get a needed drink of water. Note that the tour begins and ends at the 'sign we should not need.'

05/21/2020

IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ!
NORMAL WEEKEND AND HOLIDAY USE FEES RESUME

Effective this coming Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday-Monday), Seneca Creek State Park is resuming its normal weekend user fee system. Admission fees will be charged to enter the day use area at the Contact Station at the normal rate of $3/person Maryland residents, $5/person non-Maryland residents. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

Several park services are also resuming this weekend, including picnicking (limited to small groups of 10 or fewer), charcoal grilling, and open comfort stations at Pines, Tire Playground, and Quail Ridge. [Comfort Station is Park Service speech for Restroom. -ed.]

Please note, the park is still experiencing extremely high levels of visitation, and is sometimes filling to capacity on weekend and holiday afternoons. When the park fills, no more vehicles may enter until sufficient patrons have left. We encourage our Friends to come enjoy the park on weekdays and weekend mornings to avoid the busiest times of day.

TREE SWALLOWThank you Christopher Toothaker for this picture of a Tree Swallow peering out of  nest box. Tree Swallows a...
05/21/2020

TREE SWALLOW
Thank you Christopher Toothaker for this picture of a Tree Swallow peering out of nest box. Tree Swallows are one of the native birds that we welcome into our nest boxes.

05/21/2020

HAPPY WORLD BEE DAY!
The United Nations has designated May 20th as World Bee Day. Seventy-five percent of our crops depend on bees for pollination, and they are in trouble. This is not limited to honey bees. There are around 400 different species of native bees in Maryland. Yes, 400. These hard workers are the unsung heroes of the garden and field, pollinating many of our favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers.
One fascinating group of bees dig burrows in sandy soils where they lay their eggs. We have an impressive colony of these Miner Bees in the lawn near the peony garden. They buzz and fly close to the ground, but they are harmless. Witness this video of a scrum of bees, one female surrounded by many males hoping to mate. Miner bees rarely sting, and even when they do, the sting is not very painful.
You can help our native bees by planting native flowers and avoiding pesticides in your garden. See these two sites for more bee friendly tips.
https://www.un.org/en/observances/bee-day
https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/habitat/wabees.aspx

Address

11950 Clopper Rd
Gaithersburg, MD
20878

Ride On Bus Routes 61, 71 & 78. There is a bus stop at the park entrance on Clopper Rd. Use care crossing the street!

General information

ENTRANCE FEES: Weekends and Holidays April-October $3/person; November-March no charge. Out-of-state residents add $2 to all day use service charges. HOURS: 8 a.m. to Sunset, March through October; and 10 a.m. to Sunset, November through February.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 20:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 20:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 20:30
Thursday 08:00 - 20:15
Friday 08:00 - 20:15
Saturday 08:00 - 20:15
Sunday 08:00 - 20:15

Telephone

(301) 924-2127

Website

Alerts

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Comments

Lunch in the rain
Another avian resident yesterday
More shots of the osprey from yesterday, and a heron that happened to fly nearby and land up in a tree. The osprey already had a fish when I spotted it on its favorite perch, which I think it had finished eating by the time I got under the tree for the closer shots. I've included a photo with a map showing where this is on the lake. I've seen the osprey there very consistently the past couple of weeks.
Practice physical distancing like these two when you visit the park. We’re getting lots of visitors.
It was a beautiful morning for a stroll on the peony field.
I've seen an osprey several times in the past couple of weeks. Seems to frequent a tree on the south end of the lake toward Longdraft Road, but will fly around to other parts of the lake. I caught a few pictures as it caught a fish yesterday. Didn't quite get focus on one of them, but it didn't crash into the water this time. Instead, flew low and snatched the fish and kept flying on to somewhere else with its catch, then eventually returned to it's perch on the tree about an hour later after I walked around the lake.
Video of the eagle that was banded in New Jersey, taken on the 17th. https://www.facebook.com/720799330/posts/10157813407269331/
An afternoon hike today on the east end of Clopper Lake, right near Longdraft road, provided views of a barred owl, great egret, and osprey. All within 100 yards of each other.
Dear REI, Thanks for the kayak launch. It really comes in handy! Sincerely, the Seneca Otter Club