Deep in Trout

I am in awe of nature. The life cycles of millions of species seems to flow so effortlessly. Growing up in Montana hiking in parks and forests and fishing in streams, rivers and lakes I had no idea all of the complex interactions taking place around me. Through the Trout in the Classroom program at Fountain Rock Park, I have learned how much work it is to try to recreate nature in captivity. I feel passionately about the Mid-Atlantic Trout in the Classrooms mission to introduce students to cold water conservation in order to make them better protectors and advocates for clean and healthy waterways.

In 2015 I had my initial training to be part of the Trout in the Classroom Project. We successfully raised about 124 trout from egg to release. In 2016 I took an additional training session to better assist with the 2016-17 Trout in the Classroom Project. On December 16, 2016 Fountain Rock took delivery of our eyed eggs for the current program. The eggs began to hatch before Christmas. The sac-alevin have absorbed their sacs and have just been released into the tank.

Each year schools all over the state of Maryland and the country take part in the Trout in the Classroom Project. Under teacher supervision, students set up a tank with a chiller, bubbler and filter. They carefully de-chlorinate the water and add beneficial bacteria to prepare for their special delivery of eyed trout eggs. Delivery day means carefully tempering the water and placing the eyed eggs in a basket to monitor their health. Students test the water, perform tank maintenance and monitor the eggs until they hatch into sac-alevin.20161230_133005-003 After hatching the alevin absorb their yolk sack while growing into all of their fishy features. They learn how to swim up to get food before being released from their nursery basket into the tank.  Students learn about the very specific stream requirements wild trout need to survive and thrive and the importance of trout to the greater food web. Students raise their trout to the parr stage and eventually release them, usually in May, into
pre-approved streams.

The Trout in the Classroom tank at Fountain Rock Park is located in the Nature Center. Since we are a nature center and not a school, the program is run by volunteers and students from our Nature Academy and Big Outdoors classes. We have special releases for our student helpers and the public in early June. We also keep a small number of trout over the summer to be cared for by our summer camp participants. The final release of trout is the last week of camp. The nature center is open to the public 10-4 Saturdays and 1-4 Sundays so anyone can come observe little trout growing.

~Monica Wenzel

Trout in the Classroom Volunteer

Categories: Uncategorized

Fall Programs Are Just Around the Corner!

In this sweltering summer heat, it’s refreshing to think about the cool and colorful days of Fall. September is just around the corner! Take a look at our 2016 Fall Nature Program schedule:

Enjoying a crisp fall day at the boardwalk at Fountain Rock Park

Featured Series Programs

Nature Academy
Get ready to play in the park! Observe, listen, smell, and feel the outdoors in this interactive program designed for our smallest nature lovers. Our supplemental, nature based, program is for those pre-school aged children that learn best naturally. Join us as we explore the woods, the creek, the fields, and look deep into our environment to discover answers together.

Ages: 3 – 5 | $119 for the 12-week semester
REGISTER NOW for Mondays 12:30 – 3:00pm, Sep. 12 – Nov. 28
REGISTER NOW for Tuesdays 9:30 – 12:00pm, Sep. 13 – Nov. 29
REGISTER NOW for Wednesdays 12:30 – 3:00pm, Sep. 14 – Nov. 30
REGISTER NOW for Thursdays 9:30 – 12:00pm, Sep. 15 – Dec. 8

Big Outdoors
Our semester-long outdoor class for the big kids! Take a weekly adventure into the woods, creek, or fields to explore natural science concepts that teach you how the “real world” works.

Tuesdays 12:30 – 2:30pm | Sep. 13 – Nov. 29 | $149 for the 12-week semester
REGISTER NOW for Pathfinders (Ages 6 – 8)
REGISTER NOW for Trailblazers (Ages 8 – 11)

Rustic Arts
This fall, it’s all about fairies. Learn how to make various fairy furnishings the first week, then come back to make small fairy size gardens. Finally, we’ll build a house just for your fairy friends. Joins us for one class or all three to put everything together. We will provide all of the supplies, you bring the imagination! Ages 12+ | $18 per person

Sundays from 1:30 to 2:30pm
REGISTER NOW for “Making Fairy Furniture” on Sept. 4
REGISTER NOW for “Fairy Gardens” on Oct. 2
REGISTER NOW for “Build a Fairy House” on Nov. 6


Regular Monthly Programs

Babes in the Woods
Let our naturalist introduce the sights and sounds of nature. Take a sensory walk on our kid friendly trails and listen for frog calls, feel animal furs, or look at bright colorful feathers. There are lots of interesting ways to discover nature together. Ages 4 and under. Third Saturdays from 9 – 10am. $5 per parent child pair.
Register Now: Sept. 17 | Oct. 15 | Nov. 19

Nature Pals
In this parent and child program explore our world through stories, songs, and games. Live animals will be introduced according to the monthly theme. Ages 2 – 3. Third Tuesdays from 10 – 10:45am. $8 per parent child pair.
Register Now: Sept. 20 | Oct. 18 | Nov. 15 | Dec. 20

I LOVE Nature
You are invited to investigate a different nature theme each month! Each session is unique and incorporates games, songs, stories and a craft. Enjoy this time with your child and see the natural world through their eyes. Ages 3 – 5. $8 per parent child pair.

1st Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:00am
Register Now: Sept. 7 | Oct. 5 | Nov. 2 | Dec. 7

3rd Sundays 1:00 – 2:30pm
Register Now: Sept. 18 | Oct. 16 | Nov. 20 | Dec. 18

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Join CommuniTyler and Help Clean Up Fountain Rock Park


CommuniTyler is a volunteer service group that helps communities around the country through service projects on synchronized days. The group is named in memory of Tyler Lorenzi, an outdoor recreation enthusiast who passed in 2011.

For the past three years, volunteers from CommuniTyler have completed stewardship projects in Fountain Rock Park, including planting native perennials, maintaining trails, and removing invasive weeds. It’s a great way to make friends and make a difference.

This year, CommuniTyler will volunteer at Fountain Rock Park on Saturday, May 21st from 9am to 1pm. The public is welcome to participate. To learn more and to register, please visit

Categories: Uncategorized

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