Need a park map? Want to know what events are happening in the park? Do you need help registering for a program or need to purchase a boating permit? The information desk staff can help with all of this and more. The center hosts lots of information on nature programs, park amenities and facilities, trails, local natural history, the Agricultural Reserve, and partner groups.
Build it and they will come! It didn’t take long for the bald eagles to discover the man-made bounty of Little Seneca Lake. By the mid-1990s, occasional sightings were made and since 2006 the naturalist staff have kept track of a nesting pair (one male who has had three different partners). Twenty eaglets have hatched and fledged since then.
The eagle mounted in the Visitor Center is the first female of the nesting pair. She was caught in a powerful storm in June 2008 and perished. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources granted Black Hill permits to display this beautiful bird and to serve as an educational facility. In that capacity, Black Hill naturalists share information on migratory birds and the conservation efforts that brought the American bald eagle back from its endangered status.
The Children’s Corner theme changes seasonally but opportunities for fun are a constant! Child size furniture, books, games, loose parts, coloring activities, and puppets are always present, as well as comfy rocking chairs for parents and caregivers. A new mural depicting lake life is coming soon!
The grounds surrounding the Black Hill Visitor Center offer all manner of opportunities for exploring nature. The deck at the back of the center commands a stunning view of Little Seneca Lake and provides a viewing scope for closer observation, as well as bird feeding stations and a bird blind next to the lake to observe the waterfowl on the water.
An extensive wildflower meadow grows adjacent to the Visitor Center, and purple martins and bluebirds frequent the nesting boxes in this area. The park maintains mowed paths so visitors can experience the meadow along the perimeter, as well as in the interior.
A nature play spaces allow kids to explore the natural world through play. Studies show nature play improves motor skills and fosters greater creativity and imagination. There are numerous nature play spaces surrounding the Visitor Center. These include a log garden, a Little Library, sandbox, sorting tables, pebble harp, a Monarch Waystation, a rain barrel demo and cut flower garden, digging garden and more! There is also a small pond with fish and frogs!. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with native plants maintained by our volunteers. These attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
The Bottle Brick Bench project was a wonderful experience involving our whole community. Our 265 volunteers put in over 1100 hours to create the first Earth Bench on the east coast. The bench is made from over a 1,000lbs of plastic trash, bamboo, clay, stone, and recycled mosaics. The bench is a great place to enjoy the fabulous view of the meadow, lake, and gorgeous sunsets.