Bay Journal

Joel Dunn

Immerse yourself in Dumbarton Oaks Park

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The Japanese have a practice translated in English as “forest bathing,” in which people immerse themselves in a forest as a preventative health measure.

Studies have shown tremendous benefits of this practice, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress and improved sleep, which in turn promote better focus, a boosted immune system and higher energy levels.


At the ten-year mark, happy birthday to the Bay’s beautiful and profoundly historic national trail

As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national park we have right here in our collective backyard: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Winding through much of the Chesapeake region, the nation’s first all-water national historic trail is as beautiful, and as precious to our...

Wye Island is a great place to explore by land, water

Wye Island in Queen Anne’s County, MD, is one of my favorite places in the world. In the mid-1970s, this beautiful place was nearly lost to the public. Plans to turn the island into a housing development failed to come to fruition because the state purchased the land with Program Open Space funds and turned the island into a Natural Resources Management Area.


Chart your paddle route with a virtual tour

Outside, the wind is rattling cold rain against my windows. But inside, I’m warm enough and thinking of my kayak, spring breezes, a serene stretch of river and the next section of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail that I want to explore.

But which section? I’m torn. Should I go south, to the James River, where Smith helped found the first permanent...

Getting wilder, in a good way

When people think about nature in the Chesapeake region, I would bet that most people don’t automatically conjure up images of downtown Baltimore and city life.

But nature is abundant in the Chesapeake’s cities. Leaving the city is not required to connect to our natural environment and experience the great outdoors, especially in Baltimore.

Baltimore has been judged by the...

Preserving Mount Vernon’s Potomac

Stand on Mount Vernon’s back porch and look out across the Potomac River. The nearly unbroken sweep of woods and farm fields is very similar to that which George and Martha Washington would have seen any spring day in the 18th century.

That this beautiful and historic view is nearly intact is no accident. Protecting it required the foresight to recognize the threat that the...

Harriet Tubman National Park

In December, Congress enacted and the president signed a law to create the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a sister park in New York.

The parks honor Tubman, who became a hero in the abolitionist movement and who is the first African-American woman honored with a national park. It also provides a compelling...

Carved conundrums

In 1926, a team from the Maryland Academy of Sciences took a load of dynamite 10 miles up the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace and blew up Indian Rock at Bald Friar’s Ford.

They did it to save a piece of history.

The rock, a mighty boulder nearly as big as an island and close to the river’s north bank, was one of the East Coast’s finest examples of American Indian...

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About Joel Dunn

Joel Dunn's avatar Joel Dunn is the president and CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy.


Snead's Farm Asparagus Festival May 27-29 in Fredericksburg, VA
Ernst Conservation Seeds: Restoring the Native Balance.
Tour dem Parks, hon.

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