- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2005

BALTIMORE (AP) — Park trails, new signs and a new exhibit at the USS Constellation Museum will receive National Park Service grants, the agency announced yesterday.

The Park Service awarded $327,538 to four Baltimore-area attractions.

The awards, all of which require matching funds from the parks, included more than $25,000 for a new exhibit highlighting the relationship between the 151-year-old USS Constellation and the Chesapeake Bay.

“It’s an opportunity to really showcase the ship, the Chesapeake and Baltimore history,” Chris Rowsom, executive director of the museum, told the Baltimore Sun.

Another grant is for new trails and a “water trail” for kayakers at the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Kent County.

The trails will make it easier for residents to appreciate the refuge, said Angie Ashley, Chesapeake Bay program manager for the National Aquarium.

Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service runs the refuge, the aquarium is overseeing the work, using its $83,437 grant.

Trails will have signs that describe the wildlife and habitat, including restoration projects and a wetlands viewing area.

The Gwynns Falls Trail Council received a $112,000 grant to have more information along the 14-mile trail.

The council will add educational panels and develop histories of neighborhoods along the trail, said Guy Hager, director of parks, streams and green communities at the Parks & People Foundation.

The council is a public-private partnership operating under the umbrella of the Parks & People Foundation.

A first-time Gateways Network grant recipient, the Baltimore Maritime Museum, is using its $107,000 to do preservation work and create educational materials for the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse at the Inner Harbor.

The planned exhibits will highlight the role and histories of lighthouses throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

The museum’s executive director, John Kellett, said work should be completed next year, which marks the lighthouse’s 150th anniversary.

Gateways Network is a partnership created by the Park Service to coordinate efforts for the Bay and its river network.

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