St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

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Kids Can Join Local Artist for Art Classes during the Spring and Summer at St. Clement's Island Museum Art Kids (SCIMAK)

Join art instructor, Ms. Ellen Duke Wilson, in exploring fine arts at St. Clement's Island Museum Art Kids classes this spring and summer. Young artists will expand their understanding of art and history while learning to sketch, paint and sculpt. Students will also reflect how creating art can make a positive impact on society for future generations.

"We're very grateful to have the very talented Elle Duke Wilson back for a second year to teach these popular classes," says Christina Barbour, Site Manager of St. Clement's Island Museum. "The children have loved coming to each class here at the museum and learning something new in a fun, creative way."

At the end of each session, all participants will create an individualized work of art to share with their family and community. These classes are geared towards children ages 7 to 17. Preregistration is required and the price is $3 per child. All materials are provided and participants are asked to bring a light snack. Parents are encouraged to sign up soon, as slots fill up quickly.

The first class is scheduled for April 17and will include activities surrounding drawing and weaving. The following classes are scheduled for the summer from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm: "The Power of the Pencil" on June 18—20; "Express Yourself with Painting" on July 9—11; "Making a Statement in Sculpture" on July 23—25; and "Collage: Putting the Pieces Together" on August 6—8.

Special thanks to Huntington Learning Center in California, MD for sponsoring this ongoing event.

For more information regarding St. Clement's Island Museum Art Kids, or to sign up your child, please call Christina Barbour at 301-769-4723. For museum hours of operation, programs, admission prices and more, visit the St. Mary's County Museum Division's Facebook pages at or or on Twitter at @StClemIsMuseum or @PineyPtLHMuseum.

St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks Announces the 36th Annual Easter Egg Festival

On Saturday, April 6, the St. Mary's County Department of Recreation & Parks will host its 36th Annual Easter Egg Festival at the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds. This rain or shine event will be held from 11:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. and is open for the entire community.

The Easter Festival has become a staple of the Southern Maryland community every spring and features egg hunts for all ages up to 12, photos with the Easter Bunny, live entertainment, free arts and crafts, egg decorating contest, face painting, and goods and services for sale by local area vendors.

For a $5.00 fee, attendees can participate in the egg hunt, have a photo taken with Mr. or Mrs. Bunny, participate in recreational activities and enjoy free face painting and crafts. Kids can also take a pony ride; participate in a BMX course or play in the tennis demonstration. Pet adoptions, a K9 demonstration by the St. Mary's County Sheriff Department and a food drive will also be a part of the festivities.

Food and beverages will be available for separate purchase from a variety of vendors. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Recreation & Parks main office Monday—Friday 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.

Recreation and Parks is still seeking donations and sponsorships. Please call for additional details.

Net proceeds from the Easter Festival, along with the Scott Verbic Memorial Golf Tournament, are used to fund the Recreation & Parks Scholarship program which provides qualified individual applicants the opportunity to participate in an activity at a 50% prorated amount of the registration fee.

For more information please visit or call 301-475-4200 ext. 71800.

Recreation and Parks Accepting Applications for Water Safety Instructors at the Great Mills Pool

Recreation and Parks is seeking certified WSI (Water Safety Instructors) for swim lessons, starting in June 2019 for the Great Mills Pool.

To apply, applicants can obtain an application at the Recreation and Parks main office in Leonardtown; 23150 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, MD 20650, at the Great Mills Pool next to Great Mills High School, or go online to St. Mary's Recreation and Parks and click on then click on application for employment.

For further information, please call the Great Mills pool at 301-866-6560.

New Temporary Exhibit, "America's Greatest War Invention," Now on Display at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

The St. Mary's County Museum Division is happy to announce the opening of a new temporary exhibit now on display at the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park in Piney Point, MD.

Titled "America's Greatest War Invention," the temporary exhibit depicts the fascinating story of how a Maryland inventor's discovery was developed into a novel method to intercept German military reports during World War I.

During the war, the Navy Department used a powerful undersea wireless device during military operations. These instruments, and system used to operate them, were developed by inventor James H. Rogers of Hyattsville, MD. Throughout his career, he filed more than fifty patents on devices related to the field of telegraphy, electrical lighting and telephonics. In 1908, he realized that electronic signal could be sent underground and through water, and from this came the Rogers System, which allowed radio receivers to hear clearly German military reports being transmitted from Europe. Further testing done along the shores of the Potomac River, while staying with his sister in Piney Point resulted in this, his greatest discovery.

"I would have never known about the Rogers System until one of the museum neighbors told me this fascinating story," says April Havens, Site Manager of Piney Point Lighthouse Museum. "It turns out, the inventor James Rodgers was their relative who experimented with the system while staying with family at Mae Pine Cottage in Piney Point, during the 1900's. History Matters!"

To learn the whole story about the Rogers System and how it helped shape the course of World War I, visit the exhibit at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum. This temporary exhibit runs until May 31, 2019. For more information call 301-994-1471.

Smoke Free Holy Grounds Information Session

The Tobacco Free Living (TFL) Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary's Partnership will host an open information session for local faith-based organizations on the Smoke Free Holy Grounds initiative on Friday, March 29, 2019 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A/B at the Lexington Park Library, located at 21677 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Blvd.

"Currently, 15% of adults in St. Mary's are smokers and 27% of our youth are using tobacco products," said Caitlin Kirkpatrick, Tobacco Control Program Coordinator at the St. Mary's County Health Department (SMCHD). "We have amazing partners and resources in our community that are here to help anyone who wants to quit."

Smoke Free Holy Grounds (SFHG) is implemented through pastoral leadership to practice and promote healthy lifestyles in the faith community. It involves a covenant to adopt tobacco-free policies and to promote tobacco prevention and cessation programs for members, with the assistance of public health partners such as the TFL Action Team and SMCHD.

Bishop Larry Lee Thomas, the founder of SFHG, will be providing an overview of the initiative and representatives of the TFL Action Team will be present to discuss local resources and ways to get involved. Faith-based organizations that join the SFHG initiative would be one of over 300 churches across Maryland that are dedicated to a healthy and positive environment.

Faith-based organizations play a pivotal role in strengthening the social fabric of neighborhoods and communities, mobilizing residents to address community issues, promoting volunteerism, and delivering direct services across a broad spectrum to address critical unmet human needs. Faith organizations have the ability to reach a great number of community members on a consistent basis, and the TFL team hopes to partner with local faith-based organizations to provide the tools and expertise needed to promote health and wellness for their congregations.

If your faith-based organization is interested in practicing and promoting healthy lifestyles in your community, please join us for this information session or contact the Healthy St. Mary's Partnership at (301) 475-6777 or at Local quit resources and information is available at:

Monthly Open Houses for the Community at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse

The St. Mary's County Museum Division, in partnership with the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), will offer Open Houses for visitors and the community at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse in Drayden, MD, periodically throughout the year.

The Drayden African American Schoolhouse is one of the nation's best-preserved one-room African American schoolhouses, and its story represents a significant part of St. Mary's County's history. The schoolhouse was closed for several years, but with the completion of extensive building renovations in the spring of 2018, the public was able to access the site during the first open houses in 2018.

"The Division is pleased to be entering the 2nd season of open houses at the newly-renovated Drayden schoolhouse and offering this important piece of our county's history to the public," says Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary's County Museum Division. "We further appreciate the continuing support of the volunteers who man it for us, most of whom are members of the UCAC."

The open houses are on the first Saturday of the month and other select special days, April through October. The schoolhouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates: March 24 (Maryland Day Weekend), April 6, May 4, June 1, June 15-16 (Juneteenth Weekend), July 6, August 3, September 7 and October 5.Volunteers will be available on site during the open houses to share stories about the schoolhouse's history.

The St. Mary's County Museum Division also offers special programs for school, bus and other tour groups who would like to schedule a visit to the site. Individual visitors, who would like to see the schoolhouse during times outside open house hours, can contact the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park at 301-994-1471 to arrange a visit.

For more information about the Drayden African American Schoolhouse Open Houses, programs, admission prices and more, visit the Drayden African American Schoolhouse Facebook page at or call 301-994-1471.

Open House Scheduled for Taxiway Relocation and Apron Expansion Project

The Department of Public Works and Transportation and the Airport Advisory Board will host an Open House for the pending project to relocate the existing taxiway and expand apron area at the St. Mary's County Regional Airport in accordance with the Airport Master Plan.

The Open House will be held on Wednesday, April 3, inside the Captain Walter F. Duke Terminal Building at the St. Mary's County Regional Airport. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Representatives will present information about the phasing plan and efforts to minimize impacts to current airport operations.

Questions about the meeting, or the Airport Advisory Board, can be addressed to Allison Swint, Airport Manager at 301-475-4200 X73511.

St. Clement's Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park to Change to Summer Hours Starting Maryland Day

St. Clement's Island Water Taxi Begins New Daily Operation

Starting on Maryland Day, March 25, St. Clement's Island Museum in Colton's Point, Maryland and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park in Piney Point, Maryland, will switch hours of operation over to Summer Hours. The museums will be open daily beginning March 25 to October 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The St. Clement's Island Water Taxi, which operates from St. Clement's Island Museum to St. Clement's Island State Park, will now be available daily starting March 25. Having only operated on the weekend and for special events, the St. Mary's County Museum Division has expanded water taxi operation for visitors every day due to popular demand.

"We hated having to turn away out-of-town visitors from visiting the island during the week when the water taxi was not running," says Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary's County Museum Division. "We are pleased to now have a captain available during the week in addition to the weekend, which allows the museum to run the water taxi to the Island 7 days a week, weather dependent."

For more information regarding hours of operation, programs, admission prices and more, visit the St. Mary's County Museum Division's social media pages on Facebook at or, or on Twitter at @StClemIsMuseum or @PineyPtLHMuseum.

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