Our 29th Earth Day Birthday

By Kathy Knotts, CBM Bay Weekly managing editor

Around the CBM Bay Weekly office, you can’t say Earth Day without following it with “birthday”. We are happy to announce your favorite weekly Chesapeake newspaper turns 29 years old this week!

The paper launched in 1993, then called New Bay Times, intending to explore life along the Chesapeake Bay. Our founders, Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bill Lambrecht and Alex Knoll, set a high standard for us, and we thank them once again for paving the way nearly three decades ago.

Earth Day is an active time in Chesapeake Country. Flip over to the Bay Planner and you will see festivals and cleanups all weekend long in communities near you. Keeping our neighborhoods and waterways clear of litter not only makes them more beautiful but also protects wildlife and habitats from pollution. If you’ve never experienced the rewarding hard work of cleaning up a stream or river, I encourage you to check out the Alliance for the Chesapeake’s Project Clean Stream project. Writer Matt Liptak picked up trash bags and joined volunteers recently for a cleanup in the Severn Run Natural Environment Area and tells us about the interesting things he discovered.

Nature provides for us in so many ways. Here on the Bay, it’s a source of recreation, inspiration and good eating. This week’s feature story from Duffy Perkins is all about finding food in surprising places.

While I am not much of a mushroom fanatic, I have plenty of friends who wait all year for morels to spring forth. I prefer the discovery of a wild blackberry bush to fungus, personally. But there’s something reassuring about having that knowledge of what is out there that is safe to eat—and pleasurable.

The pandemic gave many of us some anxiety over where our food would come from if the supply chain stopped or there just weren’t enough people to man the farms or stores we rely on. But it also pushed many of us to start exploring what’s already growing in our own yards, or what we can plant and grow for ourselves. I hope it’s a trend that continues and we teach our young people where food comes from and how we can survive and thrive if ever we are faced with a food shortage or supply chain breakdown.

That said, I’m a terrible gardener. So my Earth Day resolution—and we should all make one—is to become a frequent visitor to farmers markets in my community. Most of our usual markets are starting back this month and you may be surprised by what you will find in the stalls. I’d love to hear about your favorite market find as well as what you have growing in your garden or even just your backyard. Send letters to [email protected] or find us on Facebook and Instagram.