Explore the natural resources of Greenbelt and the many ways that Greenbelters and visitors enjoy them
When I moved to Old Greenbelt after 26 years in Takoma Park I had no idea that I’d be vastly increasing my connections to nature – my chances to spend time outdoors close-by and more great places I could easily drive to.
The differences I discovered since moving to Greenbelt in 2011 include:
- A MUCH more amenable place to ride a bike, without Takoma Park’s steep hills, lack of shoulder and much greater traffic volume. Riding around OGB is soooo easy, and I see friends along the way. There are regular bike-club rides that start or end in Greenbelt.
- A lake, open farmland and forests in walking distance of Old Greenbelt.
- Swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts, pickleball and more, all in the center of Old Greenbelt, all free or subsidized by the city. (As a senior I pay just $120/year for the many facilities at our Aquatic and Fitness Center. Adults pay $240/year – quite a bargain in the DC area.)
- Greenbelt National Park across Greenbelt Road from here.
- Within a 15-minute drive to Lake Artemesia, Bladensburg Waterfront Park and bike trails through them into D.C.
- About 15 minutes from two major public gardens – the National Arboretum and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
- Just 45 minutes from several Chesapeake Bay beaches.
Here are the many articles and resources on this site – so far – that expand on these many, many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors for us lucky Greenbelters.
The Birds of Greenbelt, written by Jamie Jorgensen. Birds are shown by location, with time of year, links to more and even videos.
Field Guide to Plants in the Greenbelt North Woods by Owen A. Kelley.
Greenbelt Forest Preserve website. Our city’s name—Greenbelt—comes from the 800 acres of forest that once surrounded the town in the 1930s when it was built. Over the years, the forest lands were sold piece by piece until only 225 acres remained. A citizens’ group, the Committee to Save the Green Belt, formed in 1987 and worked feverishly over the decades to save the woods from development until the City Council passed a unanimous resolution in 2003 to form the Greenbelt Forest Preserve.
Flickr collection of Animals and Insects of Greenbelt Homes Inc.
Stories about Greenbelt Lake
Self-Guided Woodland Plant Tour – omit because it was temporary?
Video by Bill Cornett
More Nature Articles Set in Greenbelt
Resources for Outdoor Activities
Best Walking Routes in Old Greenbelt includes sidewalk, path and North Woods routes, and an ecology map for the woods. Advice from Greenbelt’s hikers and map-makers!
Where Greenbelters go Cycling recommends Greenbelters’ favorite rides, groups to ride with, and more. A great resource for beginning cyclists and cyclists new to Greenbelt.
Groups of Outdoor Greenbelters
Greenbelt Biota, the Natural History Society of Greenbelt,” is a group of citizens (almost 500) from different backgrounds and disciplines with the common goal of cataloging the flora and fauna of the Greenbelt Forest Preserve and other natural areas in Greenbelt; and educating the public about the important role of such urban green spaces in the conservation of biodiversity.We share observations on the Group page, organize monthly walks (which are usually a Saturday or Sunday morning at 10am, though that can vary). We like to do most of our walks within Greenbelt, or very nearby.
Old Greenbelt Gardening Boosters is an informal collection of local gardeners who just want to help other people in Old Greenbelt learn to garden. So we have no dues, officers, or monthly meetings. We DO create learning and social events for local gardeners. Here are the ones we hope to do in 2020, (pending life getting back to something like normal):
Gardening in Greenbelt, Maryland Facebook Group (541 members as of 6/22).
CHEARS, the Chesapeake Education, Arts and Research Society, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health of all who share the Chesapeake watershed environment.
Day Trips for Nature Lovers
Rivers and Lakes
Bladensburg Waterfront Park – Explore the river by boat or the hiker/biker trails linking to the Anacostia Tributary Trail System and the new Anacostia River Trail to Washington, D.C. Rent a pontoon, canoe or kayak.
Gardening Info for Greenbelters
Swap Meet or Major Give-Away? describes the plant “swaps” held at the GHI offices each spring and fall.
Destinations on my 7-Minute Walk shows what’s located in the center of Old Greenbelt, just 7 minutes on foot for the author. It’s almost everything we need.
How to Go Car-Less in Greenbelt has tips from many car-less Greenbelters. Updated in 2019.
Composting in Greenbelt