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As fall quickly turns to winter, our Maryland landscape is beginning to look very brown and a little gray. It can be difficult for many who enjoy the lush green scenery and warm temperatures of summer. There are, however, a few bright spots of the impending long winter...and I’m not talking about popular winter holidays. A number of gorgeous native plants remain in bloom during the wintertime and among the most bright and beautiful are our native holly plants. Maryland is lucky enough to have three native holly plants and while they all come from the same holly family, each plant is unique and special in its own way and all are wonderful options for both décor and landscaping.  

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation. Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.