Currently
°F
Forecasts

Calvert Marine Museum Makes Adjustments Amid Reopening

SOLOMONS, Md. — Flags and balloons line the walkway of the Calvert Marine Museum(CMM) as it reopens for the first time in four months. The museum opened its doors to members for two days between July 15-16, and beginning on Friday, July 17, the museum will be open to the public.

Back on March 14, CMM closed its doors to the public due to COVID-19 precautions. Since then, many of the staff members and volunteers worked remotely, using teleworking and technology to connect with the public.

Rachelle Green, deputy director of CMM, said that this period of time created new virtual opportunities.

“...(Our) newest program has been five summer camps,” Green explained. These 30-45 minute zoom programs allow campers to engage with each other and ask questions from their counselor, making it so that “people can visit if they feel safer at home.”

Many of CMM’s other programs will now be offered virtually, such as "Sharkfest" last week. Tours of the Drum Point Light House and new exhibits will be available on their website.

Green acknowledged most the changes guests will find when visiting the museum will include new social distancing practices and increased sanitation, while still offering some classic programs such as toy boat building. Some areas that will still be closed include the Drum Point Lighthouse, Lore Oyster House, and the Discovery Room.

Although the touch-tanks, previously a part of the Discovery Room are now closed, the museum’s schedule for young visitors is just as busy as before quarantine.

“Tuesday to Wednesday are critter talks; they can come through and learn about one of the animals in our collection,” Kevin Allor, senior interpreter, told TheBayNet.com.

A volunteer from the skates and rays exhibit, Kathleen Miller, M.D, explained that some changes include “limiting the number of people in the area; we used to be able to let them touch the animals, but now they can’t.”

As a result of social distancing, only three visitors and one staff member are allowed in the skates and rays exhibit, although Miller noted that this could be accommodated for larger families. She also recognized a positive of the situation saying, “when you can talk to three to four people instead of 10 to 15, it feels like you can give more information.”

Although the museum is still open seven days a week from 10am-5pm, visiting hours have been divided into three two-hour time windows, with sanitation segments in between. Masks, under county guidelines, are still required for all visitors, although there are several “unmask zones” located on the museum grounds.

Additionally, new exhibits will not be stopping even though the museum has changed some operations.

“(We are) actively putting up a new exhibit called Her Story, a celebration of Southern Maryland women... a collection of Southern Maryland women’s contributions,” Green described. Available virtually since March, the collection highlights local female achievements in areas important to the museum, such as estuarine biology, community involvement, and paleontology.

During the months CMM was closed, Green said the “hardest part was not knowing when we would open again – and the uncertainty of planning events.”

Staff members agreed that it was a difficult time with many of the museum’s signature events being canceled, such as the Riverside Concert Series.

“That’s gonna hit the museum pretty hard this year,” Anjelica Eitel, who handles public relations for CMM, noted that the museum would be trying to gain important funding in other directions. “We don’t know when they’ll be back... hoping for next year.”

Looking towards CMM’s future, Green noted that “(we are) all just really excited to see people again – and to have the museum full of voices and laughter... we have missed everyone so much.”

And the community seems to be on the same page.

“I’m excited to see how long it takes for people to realize we’re open and come visit again... looking forward to things being more normal,” Miller, a museum member since 1983 said.

Contact Michaila at intern@thebaynet.com

Around the Web

Loading...

1 Comments Write your comment

    1. Loading...