“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Welcome to the Luther Goldman Birding Trail

Luther Goldman Birding Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2008
1. Luther Goldman Birding Trail Marker
Inscription.  The Luther Goldman Birding Trail is dedicated to the memory of Luther Chase Goldman (1909 - 2005), a noted Prince Georges County Resident, field biologist, pioneer national wildlife refuge manager, renowned wildlife photographer, and nature tour leader who became the first official photographer of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service during a career that spanned nearly four decades.

Luther lived in nearby College Park, frequently hiked these trails, and loved to watch birds here. He knew, as you can, too, that each day, each time of day, each season, each habitat could reveal something new, something unique. It is his observations of birds seen on his hikes that make up the bulk of bird sightings recorded here. A group of friends and admirers initiated the creation of a birding trail at this site as a fitting tribute to his life and work. This 2.2-mile trail is a designated portion of the designated Anacostia Tributary Trails System of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

About Luther Goldman

Luther Goldman learned about wildlife and conservation at his father's side when, in his teens,
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he accompanied Edward A. Goldman, an eminent field naturalist, on research trips. Luther earned his degree in biological science from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he was a first-string lineman on the football team. From College, he plunged into field work in Mexico, Baja California and Arizona. In 1939, he married his college sweetheart Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Mulligan, his partner of sixty-three years, and became the first manager of Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in CA. He helped research, develop and/or manage many more wildlife refuges in his career: Imperial and Havaso in AZ, Bitter Lake and Bosque del Apache in NM, and Laguna Atascosa and Santa Anna in TX. As a wildlife refuge manager and biologist eager to document the results of field work being done in these remote areas, Luther created a darkroom and began submitting his own photos with his reports, thus beginning a life-long love of wildlife photography that accompanied his intense interest in ornithology. He captured many of the first-ever photos of rare birds on their nests and in their habitats. A hit at the Washington headquarters, his photos began appearing on the covers of government reports. After his twenty-year career managing national wildlife refuges, Luther became the official photographer and curator of the photography collection of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Luther Goldman Birding Trail Sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2008
2. Luther Goldman Birding Trail Sign
retiring in 1974, Luther led nature tours abroad, as well as field trips in the Mid-Atlantic region for local birdwatchers. Audiences were always eager to join his bird walks and attend his slide talks about trips taken, near and far away, talks he gave even at age 94. Luther was a role model and mentor to many, especially in the birding community. His was a life well lived. He was a gentleman well loved.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironmentParks & Recreational AreasScience & Medicine. A significant historical year for this entry is 1939.
Location. 38° 59.448′ N, 76° 55.343′ W. Marker is in College Park, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Lake Artemesia Access. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: College Park MD 20740, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dervey Augusta Lomax (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Origins of Lake Artemesia (about 600 feet away); Town of Berwyn Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Town of Berwyn Heights (approx. ¼ mile away); Keleher Avenue (approx. ¼ mile away); Waugh Avenue (approx. 0.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Washington Spa Spring & Gretta Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in College Park.
Additional commentary.
A Robin image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2008
3. A Robin
Do not despair. There are plenty of other species of birds here, including (but not limited to) Barn Swallows, Mallards and Red Winged Blackbirds. I simply did not have time to photograph them. You can tell by the long shadows that the sun is going down and the park is about to close.

1. Text of Interpretive Panel
From this point, the Luther Goldman Birding Trail follows the shores of Lake Artemesia, traversing upon open water, wetland, meadows and riparian forest and goes along Indian Creek as it completes its circle. It is a lovely walk, but sharpen your senses and you can add yet another dimension to your walk. Along the trail you will see many common birds of field, forest and marsh. Depending on the season, you may even sport some rare and unusual birds. A birding site guide and bird checklist are available, and interpretive display panels along the trail explain the natural history of lake artemesia and the nearby Anacostia River. They describe some of the songbirds, aquatic mammals, fish and waterfowl that live here. As you walk, be aware of movements in the water, air, grass and trees. Listen to the sounds around you, and you will see what drew Luther to walk here regularly.

Birding Tips
• Learn key field marks and shapes of different species to help you identify individual birds. Each species has a distinctive size, color, wing/head/chest/tail markings, beak size, behavior and flight pattern.

• Note in what habitat you see a bird for yet another clue to identification.

• Follow one of Luther's favorite pieces of advice to bird watchers: when looking at a
Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2008
4. Interpretive Panel
The text of the panel is located elsewhere in this entry.
flock of birds, look at every one. That is how you may spot an uncommon or rare bird.

• Deepen your knowledge of birds and gain birding skills by carrying a field guide and binoculars.

• Be patient and observant. Walk quietly and make no sudden movements or loud sounds.

• Keep a respectful distance from nesting or feeding birds.

• Join other birders when you bird watch. Local birding organizations host field trips and programs for all ages and skill levels.

• Most importantly, enjoy all of nature.
    — Submitted May 23, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.

2. History of the Lake Artemesia Site
Lake Artemesia is in a community known as Lakeland. It used to be a swampy marsh (or was it a marshy swamp?). The lake is adjacent to the CSX Capital Subdivision railroad line and the Metrorail Green Line between the College Park and Greenbelt stations. In the early 1970's, there was a concrete foundation of a building that I believe to be the B&O Railroad's Lakeland passenger station on the east side of the tracks. That foundation was demolished, probably about the time that construction began on the Green Line extension. (The Greenbelt station opened December 11, 1993.) Lake Artemesia was created to serve as a recreational
Lake Artemesia image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2008
5. Lake Artemesia
site and also as a repository for storm water runoff.
    — Submitted May 23, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,428 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 23, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.

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Apr. 23, 2024