When area residents celebrate the 10th annual Magothy River Day on June 10, they will undoubtedly think of Captain John Smith’s voyage into the local waterway as he searched for the Northwest Passage.
While that history is part of the day’s allure, Magothy River Association (MRA) President Paul Spadaro wants people to consider the future while they reflect on the past.
“The idea really is going back to renewing our stewardship of the river,” Spadaro said. “As we drive down Ritchie Highway, Mountain Road and College Parkway, we become detached from the beauty that is out there, the Magothy. As residents living in the watershed, we need to be better stewards. What better day than when Captain John Smith sailed up Sillery Bay?”
This year’s festivities will go from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at Donnelly’s Dockside, located at 1050 Deep Creek Avenue in Arnold. Formerly known as Deep Creek Restaurant, the venue has hosted Magothy River Day in past years.
“The restaurant is upgraded, so it should be a much better venue,” Spadaro said. “There are 12 slips for people to come by boat. We’re looking for a longtime partnership, for Donnelly’s to host Magothy River Day and other MRA activities.”
Attendees can look forward to educational displays and music by the Nautical Wheelers, a trop rock, island-style music group.
MRA also has two other upcoming events. On June 2, from 9:00am to noon, volunteers will meet at Beachwood Park in Pasadena to mulch and plant Atlantic cedar, yellow pine and redbud trees. The plantings are in partnership with the Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary.
That cleanup will prepare the grounds for an event on June 12 from noon to 1:00pm when the MRA and the Department of Recreation and Parks will honor former Severna Park resident and MRA volunteer Charlie Nolte with a park bench. Nolte passed away in December 2015.
According to Spadaro, a park ranger will guide guests along the nature trail while sharing history of Beachwood Park. Light refreshments will be served.
“A ranger will walk through a forest and point out trees, flowers or shrubs,” said Mark Garrity, park administrator for Recreation and Parks. “They will point out poison ivy. And they might talk about the history of the park. It’s a place where the African-American community used to go to picnic and swim until the early ‘70s.”
The event will also serve as a welcome for new additions to the park: about 15 parking spaces, a walking path to the water, and a new sign.
“MRA has been very helpful with mulching and trail access,” Garrity said. “We have a good relationship with the MRA, and we hope to do some tree reforestation, maybe in the fall.”
As he awaits the return of Magothy River Day, Spadaro wants to get more people on the water so they can take ownership of its health.
“It’s about moving toward better public access,” Spadaro summarized. “The MRA believes that everyone on the watershed needs to have access to the Magothy.”