We Extended and Touched Up the Turtle Enclosure at Tuckahoe State Park
Sunday, June 15, 2019
On Sunday we finally had the chance to start our project! After a year of planning and several months of fundraising, we were going to gather our materials for the new enclosure. The Lowes in Easton, MD, had everything we needed: wood planks, new hinges, and plenty of screws (plus a helpful discount!) Below are some pictures of us hard at work grabbing the wood planks!
Monday, June 16, 2019
Now that we had all of the required supplies for the enclosure, it was time to build! Monday was the hardest day for the building process: we had to tear apart some of the old enclosure in order to make it bigger. This wasn’t easy, as the previous builders put concrete patio blocks on the front bottom board of the old enclosure. The blocks helped to prevent the turtles from escaping, as they are known for digging out of their homes.
However, we eventually got the board out of the way. Now the real building could begin! We extended the enclosure by four feet instead of the planned two feet. We also put in the new side boards and the A-frame for the doors. We had to get our hands–and almost everything else–dirty: in order to screw the bottom boards in place, there needed to be a space big enough for our power tools.
At the end of the day, we were almost finished with building the enclosure. Below are some pictures of us working hard on the enclosure.
Tuesday, June 17, 2019
Tuesday was the second and final day of building the enclosure. We put together all six doors of the enclosure and attached them to the A-frame. We did some touch-ups and completed the build! Below are some more pictures of us and our accomplishment.
Now that the enclosure is built, we need to paint the enclosure and add some more things for the turtles. We are hoping to paint on July 1st and 2nd, and to add plants and other goodies for the turtles sometime in late July. Official dates still need to be hashed out with the Rangers!
Monday, July 1st, 2019
Today was painting day. We chose a paint that could withstand the outdoors, and had a more natural color so the turtles felt more at home. Painting the enclosure wasn’t hard—it was just extremely tedious. We had to be careful not to touch the paint, or else we had to do it again. We had to paint the inside of the enclosure too! Luckily, we managed to paint the enclosure in one day.
Thursday, July 25th, 2019
Today we needed to put in the plants for the turtles. The rangers were exceptionally nice and had already put in the pond for us. Thanks!
The plants we were going to buy had to be non-toxic for the turtles, and they had to look nice. We chose ‘hot lips,’ Black-eyed Susans, turtle grass, and some blueberry bushes. ‘Hot lips,’ also referred to as pink turtleheads, were chosen because they looked gorgeous and their second name fit the project. They were placed in the back of the enclosure to provide more shade for the turtles. However, they wouldn’t grow too big, so the turtles still had a sunny spot. The Black-eyed Susans were put on into the front left side of the enclosure, because the Maryland state flower is the Black-Eyed Susan. The turtle grass fit the project and gave the turtles more shade. The grass was placed on the right side of the turtles’ new pond. Finally, the blueberry bushes were put behind the pond, or the middle of the enclosure. The bushes gave the turtles a tasty snack if they got hungry between meals.
We purchased all of the enclosure plants from Adkins Arboretum, right down the road from where the enclosure was located. How convenient! Below are some pictures of us hard at work planting the plants.
After we were done planting, we realized that the only thing left to do was put our plaque on the enclosure! The ranger already ordered it and we were anxious to receive it. We were almost finished!!
Friday, August 29th, 2019
Today was the last day of our project! Ranger Paul showed what the plaque looked like on the enclosure and it was fantastic!
We knew there were other people working behind the scenes on the project, too, so we gave them cute turtle keychains as a thank you. Plus, they function as a bottle opener! We gave Ranger Paul one, too, along with a thank you card. Below are some pictures of us in front of the enclosure for the last time. The bottom picture is of Ally presenting a check, our leftover fundraiser money, to Ranger Paul to help maintain the enclosure. We hope it will last a lifetime!!