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Freedom Hill Horse Rescue will be celebrating the American Societ for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s national Help A Horse Day on Saturday, April 26, and competing for a chance to win one of five $10,000 grant awards to assist with its efforts to protect horses, Jennifer Purcell, development coordinator for the rescue, said.

To celebrate the day, FHHR will host “Spring into Action: Help a Horse @ 231 Spring Fling” from noon to 5 p.m. The event will feature interactive demonstrations with rescue horses, music from WKIK 102.9, item raffles and local vendors at the 231 Farm, Home, & Pet Center’s annual Spring Fling event, located at 171 Skipjack Road in Prince Frederick.

The nationwide competition is for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the lifesaving work they do year round to care for at-risk horses in their community who have been abused or neglected. Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since its founding 148 years ago when, on April 26, 1866, Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse, Purcell said.

“We are grateful to the ASPCA for keeping equine rescue in the national spotlight and supporting the efforts of smaller, local organizations,” Kristy Alvarez, president and executive director of FHHR, said in a press release. “When we heard about the Help A Horse Day, we knew it was a perfect chance to partner with local business and bring our barn to the community. Our goal for the day is to share our success stories and to show people, with the help of our equine friends, how they can help horses and horses can help them in return.”

The rescue, located in Owings, also is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. With the use of four different barns, the small rescue can accommodate 12 to 18 horses. In addition, off-site sponsors help house horses in need.

“Our goal is to try to help the horse owners before they have to take them to auctions,” Purcell said, adding that horses are often sold at auctions and sent to slaughter houses, something that is illegal but still being done. The rescue offers owners who have come upon tough circumstances another option before hard decisions have to be made.

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue volunteers work year round to save the lives of unwanted horses from abuse or neglect. A team of volunteers and supporters has rehabilitated and found homes for more than 200 horses since the rescue’s inception 10 years ago. FHHR has plans to expand its capacity and services in the next five years.

Community participation at the event will help FHHR qualify for the $10,000 grant. Attendees will have a chance to meet several rescue horses, purchase raffle tickets and even participate in an equine-assisted learning session.

“We want to get people out to visit, and the more community support and interest we have, the better chance we have of getting that grant,” Purcell said.

For more information about Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, go to www.freedomhillhorserescue.com.

Farm Bureau welcomes new hires

The Maryland Farm Bureau has hired two new field representatives to support members in the central and southern counties and the Eastern Shore. They both began their roles Monday, March 24.

Jennifer Richards of Brandywine will be responsible for Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, while Matthew Miller of North East will cover the Eastern Shore from Cecil County to Worcester County.

Richards earned a two-year degree at the College of Southern Maryland before working for Parks and Recreation in program development. She also served as a sheriff’s deputy. She continues to work on her bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations and has been a nanny for three years.

Miller works as an entomologist research intern with the University of Delaware and on Chesapeake Gold Farms. He has studied animal science at Penn State University and currently is taking classes at Cecil Community College. He was a 10-year 4-H member and now serves as a volunteer in the youth development program. He also is on the Cecil County Fair Board.

PRAD accepting grant applications

The opening of the Patuxent River Appreciation Days Inc.’s 2014 grant round has begun. Nonprofit organizations that provide educational programs about the Patuxent River or conduct research activities in and around the Patuxent River or Patuxent River Basin are eligible to apply.

The grant recipients for 2013 were Sotterley Plantation and Battle Creek Nature Center.

Awards are made on a competitive basis by the PRAD Inc. Board of up to $1,000 per organization in any one calendar year, according to a press release. The board includes members of the Calvert Marine Museum, the Pa-Po-Peake Shrine Club, The Calvert Artists Guild, The American Legion Arick L. Lore Post and the Calvert County Waterman’s Association.

To request an application, call Melissa McCormick at 410-326-2042, ext. 41, or email mccormmj@co.cal.md.us. The name of the nonprofit organization, contact person’s name, complete mailing address and a daytime telephone number or email address must be included. Deadline for completed applications is April 30. For more information, go to www.pradinc.org.

Vendors sought for Renaissance festival

The deadline for the vendor application for the College of Southern Maryland Renaissance Festival is Monday, March 31. The college is seeking food, artisan and handmade product vendors appropriate for the second Renaissance Festival beginning Thursday, April 24. Vendors of glass and clay, clothing, jewelry, wood, leather, art, musical instruments and toys are encouraged to apply. Vendors are asked to be outfitted in Renaissance style.

The festival will kick off with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, through Saturday, April 26, with music, weaponry demonstrations, outdoor plays, games, palm reading and face painting for children and adults. For both days, the fee is $50 for food vendors and $25 for product vendors. Applications are available at www.csmd.edu/Arts/renaissancefestival.html. Email bxoffc@csm.edu or call 301-934-7828 with any questions.

BCNES presents Nature’s ARTcade showcase

On June 7, Battle Creek Nature Education Society will present Nature’s ARTcade, a showcase of art inspired by Southern Maryland. The exhibition will be open Fridays and weekends, June 7 through 29, at Flag Ponds Nature Education Center in Lusby. More information can be found at www.calvertparks.org/ARTcade.

Artist entry forms and show information may be found at calvertparks.org. Prize monies for this exhibition will total $2,000. There also will be a student exhibit featuring the work of Calvert’s young artists. May 1 is the artist registration deadline; art selection will be May 15; artwork drop-off is May 31; and the opening reception and awards presentation will be June 7.

The curator for this exhibition will be Margaret Dowell, artist and adjunct professor of art at the College of Southern Maryland. Prize jurors include Jayme McLellan, artist, educator, curator and founder and director of the Washington, D.C., Civilian Art Projects; and Tom Horton, former environmental editor for the Baltimore Sun and author of several books about the Chesapeake Bay.

Students to test knowledge in Envirothon

Calvert County’s high school students will test their knowledge in the fields of wildlife management, soil conservation, forestry management and aquatic resources at the 23rd annual Calvert County Envirothon. The event will be held Wednesday, April 23, at Kings Landing Park from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Envirothon is an annual competition in which students work with environmental professionals to gain expertise in a variety of natural resource management fields, a press release states. The goal of the program is to engage students in activities that will hone their critical thinking and decision-making skills on environmental problems and to expose them to careers in the natural resources field. The winning team will advance to the state competition to be held at the Camp Pecometh, Centreville, on June 18 and 19.

The Envirothon is sponsored by the Calvert County Soil Conservation Service, Calvert Forestry Board, Calvert County Natural Resource Division, Morgan State University PEARL, American Chestnut Land Trust and the Calvert County Public Schools’ CHESPAX program. For more information, contact the CHESPAX office at 410-535-2960.

Wildlife rescue looking for volunteers

The Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center in Lusby treats and releases injured and orphaned wildlife and is looking for volunteers. The organization is a well-equipped facility, resting on 3 acres of wooded property, where the animals are housed and cared for, a press release states. Volunteer responsibilities include handling and feeding animals, cleaning cages and maintaining the facility. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum 4½-hour shift, mornings or afternoons, on a regular day each week for three months between May and September, the rescue’s busiest time of the year. For more information, contact Anne at volunteerOWRC@comcast.net or 410-394-6735.

World War II Memorial brick campaign underway

The Calvert County Department of General Services is coordinating the annual Veterans Patio Memorial Brick Campaign taking place now through April 1. For a limited time, the public may purchase memorial bricks to be placed at the Veterans Patio, located at the World War II “On Watch” Memorial statue in Solomons.

The commemorative bricks are available to memorialize those who served the country during World War II. The cost of each memorial brick is $100, and all contributions are tax deductible. Bricks will be installed in the fall of 2014, and purchasers will be notified when they are available for viewing, a press release states.

An application is available online at www.co.cal.md.us/OnWatch. To learn more, call Melinda Donnelly at 410-535-1600, ext. 2565.

The World War II “On Watch” memorial statue is an 8-foot-tall bronze statue by Maryland artist Antonio Tobias Mendez commemorating the people and work done at the Solomons Amphibious Training Base during WWII. This, the nation’s first amphibious training facility, was active from 1942 to 1945, and its effect on the area continues to be felt today, according to the release. The statue was unveiled in August 2007.

Discussion to focus on food-related issues

The Southern Maryland Food Council is hosting an open discussion Wednesday, May 7, relating to food in May. Topics may include community and/or school gardens, environmental effects of food systems, childhood obesity and disease, nutrition education, recycling, farming, natural foods and remedies and more, a press release states.

The event features an optional networking session from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and focused roundtable discussions from 7 to 9 p.m., giving participants an opportunity to share their unique interests and experiences, and make connections toward resolving food issues together, the release states.

The free event will be held at the Waldorf Jaycees building in Charles County. Register online at the “News and Announcements” page at www.smadc.com. To find out more about the Southern Maryland Food Council initiatives or this event, go to www.somdfoodcouncil.com, email info@somdfoodcouncil.com or call 301-274-1924, ext. 1.

Governor encourages chefs to buy local

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) invites chefs using local Maryland ingredients to submit original recipes for the seventh annual Buy Local Cookout, which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at Government House in Annapolis. Recipes must be submitted by May 5 and include products from at least one Maryland farmer, waterman or other producer. This year, chefs are being asked to submit simple but creative recipes that showcase ways the average Maryland family can prepare delicious, nutritious meals with locally produced food at home, a press release states. The cookout promotes the statewide Buy Local Challenge Week, which takes place from Friday, July 18, to Saturday, July 27, during which time all Marylanders are encouraged to eat at least one local product each day of the week.

Recipes will be chosen in each of the following categories: appetizer, main dish, side dish or salad, dessert and beverage. Selected teams will be invited to provide, prepare and share their dish at the governor’s cookout. Chefs should note that recipes may be published in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Maryland Buy Local Cookout Recipes cookbook. Complete rules of entry and additional information are posted online at http://mda.maryland.gov/Documents/2014_Recipe_Guidelines.pdf.

Recipes should be submitted online at: https://mdamarketing.wufoo.com/forms/2014-governor-omalleys-buy-local-cookout. Chefs who have questions should contact Karen Fedor at Karen.fedor@maryland.gov or 410-841-5773.

Summer camp encourages students to become leaders

For the fifth year, Leadership Southern Maryland and Maryland Leadership Workshops have worked together to offer rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties a chance to delve into the many facets of what leadership really is during a four-day, three-night summer camp experience. Through engaging activities and lessons, LEAD delegates are able to sharpen problem-solving skills, hone communication and presentation skills and realize their leadership abilities, a press release states.

MLW’s knowledgeable and diverse staff of young professionals guide the way through hands-on workshops and thought-provoking projects with help from LSM mentors, who share their real-world experiences with delegates, according to the release. This collaborative spirit is abundant as teamwork becomes essential and friendships are forged between teens from varied cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, across county lines, who may have never crossed paths otherwise. Throughout, delegates are given the tools to become effective leaders as well as opportunities to exercise them during service projects. Southern Maryland’s leaders of tomorrow develop a sense of commitment to their communities and gain the confidence to step up and participate in making a difference.

The cost of the camp is $400 and includes room, board, tuition and fees. A limited number of scholarships are available. Go to www.lsmlead.org for details or to register online. Application and registration deadline is May 16. Call 240-725-5469 or email leadsomd@verizon.net with additional questions.

Nonprofit seeks ‘Champions for Children’ nominations

Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth Inc., a nonprofit, educational and advocacy United Way partner agency, seeks nominations of local “Champions for Children” to be recognized at a dinner May 1, a press release states. The awards recognize exemplary child advocates in Calvert County, in the areas of educational opportunities, healthy children and strong families, and also recognize a youth, someone 21 years old or younger. Details and the nomination form are available at www.calvertkids.org. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 4. For further information, contact the Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth Inc. at 410 286-8300 or calvertkids@chesapeake.net.

Southern Maryland Blues Festival returns

Chesapeake Bay Events Inc. is hosting the second Southern Maryland Blues Festival on Saturday, Aug. 23, and Sunday, Aug. 24 at the Calvert County Fairgrounds. As with last year, the festival will feature 10 acts during the two days, local food vendors, wine, beer, a crafter village, kids’ activities and more. The festival line-up will be announced soon, along with ticket prices. Tickets will go on sale June 15.

Calvert County recognizes new, relocated businesses

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Economic Development welcome the following new and relocated businesses to the county:

New businesses:

• Community Home Health of Maryland

10735 Town Center Blvd.

Dunkirk

800-282-8104

www.medicalservicesofamerica.com/

• Lighthouse Restaurant and Dock Bar

14636 South Solomons Island Road

Solomons

410-231-2256

www.lighthouserestaurantanddockbar.com and on Facebook

• Le Visage Salon

Fox Run Shopping Center

775 Solomons Island Road

Prince Frederick

410-535-0917

Find them on Facebook

Relocation:

• Stoney’s Seafood House

Market Square Shopping Center

896 Costley Way

Prince Frederick

410-535-1888

For a full listing of all Calvert County businesses, go to www.ecalvert.com, and click “business database.”

Nominate a resident for Historic Preservation Awards

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners wants to recognize the people who have worked to preserve Calvert County heritage and historic properties with the 26th annual Calvert County Historic Preservation Awards.

There are three categories of awards to recognize outstanding contributions to the preservation of county heritage: project awards, service awards and awards for preservation education, a press release states. Projects eligible for recognition this year must have been completed by Jan. 1. Nomination forms are available at the Department of Community Planning and Building, County Services Plaza, 150 Main St., Prince Frederick; the Calvert County Historical Society, 70 Church St., Prince Frederick; and Calvert Library locations. Forms also can be downloaded from the Calvert County website at www.co.cal.md.us/historic. Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, May 2. The commissioners will present the awards Tuesday, May 20.

Past winners of the awards have included Scientists’ Cliffs Association for three separate restoration projects; Billy Yoe and Howard Smith for the restoration of the Yoe-Estabrook Tobacco Barn in Broomes Island; the Port Republic One Room Schoolhouse for public education; Ralph Eshelman for decades of devotion to research and action to preserve Calvert County heritage; and Harry Knott for his book, “Fishlighters,” the release states.

For more information or to request a nomination form, contact Historic Preservation Planner Kirsti Uunila at 410-535-1600, ext. 2504, or email uunilak@co.cal.md.us.

Commissioners’ meetings now streamed live

Now there is a way for those who cannot attend the Calvert County commissioners’ meetings Tuesday mornings to see what is discussed. Calvert County’s Media Center provides access to the commissioners’ meetings on demand, both by live streaming and archived, as well as a growing collection of videos on demand that highlight different aspects of Calvert County Government.

The Media Center, located at www.co.cal.md.us/mediacenter, includes a Meetings on Demand function that gives users 24-hour access to videos of regular meetings, archived meeting agendas and minutes, a press release states. Archived meetings are arranged by year and date, with the most recent at the top of the list. Users also can search the archives by typing keywords into the search box.

Videos can be viewed on a variety of devices, from smart phones to desktop computers. Video streaming typically requires the use of media plug-ins. While the necessary plug-ins will often come pre-installed, viewers may need to install or enable plug-ins to watch streaming video. Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight plug-ins are recommended, the release states.

County government information is also shown on Comcast channel 6, the county’s public access cable channel. Regular meetings of the commissioners are shown at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 2 p.m. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. In addition to video content, Comcast also airs a weekly county bulletin board with information from local government and other county agencies.

snewman@somdnews.com