Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) award-winning original series Outdoors Maryland returns for its 33rd season on Tuesday, November 9 with four new half-hour episodes airing throughout the month. Produced in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Outdoors Maryland presents thought-provoking stories that capture the state’s beauty as well as its diverse collection of ecosystems, people, and places.
Outdoors Maryland airs Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. on MPT-HD and via MPT’s livestream at mpt.org/livestream. Episodes are also available to stream on-demand at video.mpt.tv and on mobile devices via the PBS Video App.
Segments premiering during the November 9 episode are:
- A Family Affair (Dorchester County): Eastern Shore trapper Justin Aaron demonstrates the long legacy of muskrat trapping in his family as they prepare for the 2020 National Outdoors Show, a celebration of survival skills and crafts. DNR biologist Donald Webster outlines the trapping program in Maryland and educates viewers on the lifecycle and habits of muskrats.
- Feel the Burn (Allegany County): For the first time in decades, fire is being used for forest management at the Sideling Hill Creek Nature Preserve in Little Orleans. With eyes towards the future, DNR and Nature Conservancy experts observe and share the ecological benefits of the introduction of flames to the landscape just months after a carefully controlled burn.
New segments airing on November 16 are:
- A Much Anticipated Emergence (statewide): Millions of cicadas took to the skies of Maryland and the East Coast during the spring of 2021. University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp and Baltimore artist Michael Brown, creator of Cicada Parade-a, offer their unique takes on the Brood X spawning through science and art.
- To Catch a Catfish (St. Mary’s County): The invasive blue catfish is threatening the delicate balance of life in the Chesapeake. While DNR researchers work alongside the U.S. Geological Survey in tracking these fish to manage their population, officials are encouraging greater fishing of the invasive species to help curb its rise.
- An Epoch Unearthing (St. Mary’s County, Calvert County): Dr. Stephen Godfrey from the Calvert Marine Museum has discovered several fossils of ancient marine life in the area of Calvert Cliffs, hinting at a different Chesapeake than people know today. Meanwhile, in Laurel’s Dinosaur Park, paleontologist JP Hodnett has uncovered the fossil-rich area’s latest find: Astrodon, Maryland’s State Dinosaur.
Segments premiering during the November 23 episode are:
- Off the Beaten Path (Garrett County): Designed with both recreation and stewardship in mind, the newly formed Wolf Den Run State Park has breathed new life into a swath of land affected by mining and logging. Off-road vehicles are encouraged on the trails while other areas are cordoned off so certain species – such as the endangered Allegheny Woodrat – can return.
- A Fledgling Enterprise (statewide): As the arrival of an exotic bird – the Painted Bunting – excites birders and scientists with its colorful plumage, it sparks conversation about the future. As rising sea levels and temperatures cause birds to change their nesting and migration habits, the Maryland Bird Atlas – a years-long effort that enlists bird watchers as citizen scientists – aims to catalogue the state’s avian population.
- Iron Mountain (Frederick County): Adjacent to picturesque Cunningham Falls State Park lies the ruins of a booming iron foundry called Catoctin Furnace. The furnace heavily employed the use of slave labor and has now become a landmark for preserving Black history. Through research, historians understand more of the culture brought by enslaved Africans and have even reconstructed the visage of some of those who were buried on the property.
The fourth new episode of the 33rd season, airing Nov. 30, will feature fan-favorite classic content including profiles of landscape painter Kevin Fitzgerald and photographer David Harp as well as students raising horseshoe crabs in their classrooms.
In January 2022, Outdoors Maryland will deliver two more new episodes highlighting topics from the mysterious Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay to the continent-spanning migration of birds and more.
Since debuting in 1988, MPT has produced more than 700 Outdoors Maryland stories on topics ranging from science-oriented environmental issues to segments about unusual people, animals, and places around the state. The series has earned more than 50 awards over more than 30 years of production, including several Emmy® Awards from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.