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Black Hill Discovery Center – Exhibits

Facility at Black Hill Regional Park

Need a park map? Want to know what events are happening in the park?  Do you need help registering for a nature program? 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.

Inside the Discovery Center

This past year the center has had a beautiful mural created by Kersa Hoffman that has enhanced our spectacular view.

Bald Eagle Display

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). Over twenty eaglets have hatched and fledged since then.

We have created a new exhibit giving you an idea of how it would feel to be in the nest with bald eagles. Stop by and see our pair up close.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources granted Black Hill permits to display these magnificent birds 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.

Children’s Corner

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 mural depicting lake life is the children’s area centerpiece.

Outside the Discovery Center

The grounds surrounding the Black Hill Discovery Center offer all manner of opportunities for exploring nature. The deck at the back of the center offers comfortable chairs & a picnic table with a stunning view of Little Seneca Lake and provides a viewing scope for closer observation. The building has bird feeding stations and a Bird Blind next to the lake to observe the waterfowl on the water. Extensive wildflower meadows grow below and adjacent to the Discovery Center, with purple martins, swallows and bluebirds frequenting 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. Our native gardens offer information on native plants, pollinators, and great photography opportunities. Below the center next to the lake is a Native Tree display, with signs for identification and providing a buffer for birds.

Nature Play Spaces

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 Discovery 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, Mud Kitchen and more! There is also a small pond with fish and frogs! The grounds are beautifully landscaped with native plants maintained by our garden 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. In 2024 our Earth Bench will celebrate it’s 10th Anniversary.