Volume XI, Issue 18 ~ May 1-7, 2003

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Not Just for Turtles

by Martha Blume

If you read the feature story this week, you’ll know that box turtles need a variety of habitats to live. They need wetlands for food and moisture; open, sunny spots for mating and nesting; and forests for food and to cool down. As people build homes, shopping malls and roads, habitats for turtles — and other animals, too — get divided up, leaving animals stranded or separated from food or nesting sources or from others of their kind.

Make a Backyard Habitat for Box Turtles
Kids can help by making their backyards animal-friendly, providing for an animals’ basic needs. These are:

food | shelter | water
If your home is next to a forest, stream, wetland or meadow, it could become a wildlife corridor, like a natural passageway that connects one habitat with another. Is your yard wildlife friendly? Here are some tips for making your yard a safe passage for wildlife.

Box turtles are omnivores. They eat a variety of vegetables, mushrooms, insects, slugs and earthworms. They’ll eat tomatoes, melons and berries from your garden. If you have fruiting trees or shrubs and good, composted soil, there will be stuff for turtles to eat.

Box turtles have been known to hide and even hibernate in compost piles. They dig under with sharp front claws and burrow in. If you have leaf piles or log piles, these are good places, too.

Ponds, streams and other wetlands attract turtles. You might not have one on your property, but there may be one nearby. Turtles can use your yard to get there if they can safely navigate through it.

Turtle Alert!
If you find a turtle or other reptile crossing a road or in your yard, you may pick it up and help it to the other side. But don’t keep it for a pet or take it to a local park. That turtle needs to get to wherever it was going.

Play Box Turtle Crawl to experience the joys and
stresses of being a turtle.

You’ll need: a playing piece for each player • dice

Object of the game: Complete the turtle crawl, moving clockwise around the board, beginning and ending at Home Range. Any turtle reaching Home Range is a winner. More than one turtle may occupy the same space.

This Week's Kids Stuff

Saturday, May 3
Wild Babies
Ages 2-3 learn thru story and song about animal babies. 10-10:30am @ Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Gray’s Rd. off Sixes Rd., Prince Frederick. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Waste Not, Want Not
Kids ages 5-7 investigate the problems of litter and garbage, and how to reduce waste. 3-4pm @ Patuxent Research Refuge Visitor Center - North Tract, Powder Mill Rd. off Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and Rt. 197. free; rsvp: 301/497-5887.

Monday, May 5
Preschool Night
Preschoolers and their parents end the day with joy. Listen to music and stories; watch fingerplays. 7pm @ Eastport-Annapolis Neck Public Library, 269 Hillsmere Dr.: 410/222-1770.

Tuesday, May 6
Little Explorers
Ages 3-5 hike and view the wonders of nature. Bring lunch. 10:30am-noon @ King's Landing Park, King's Landing Rd., Huntingtown. $3 w/discounts; RSVP: 410/535-5327.

Plan Ahead
Tony Tots Jog
Deadline: May 9-Kids ages 2-6 race this half mile for fun and glory at Southern Community Center’s ‘Tiny Tots Jog’ May 16. Awards to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each age group. 10am @ Southern Community Center, Appeal Lane (off Rt. 765), Lusby. $1; rsvp: 410/586-1101.



© COPYRIGHT 2003 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated May 1, 2003 @ 2:57am