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How a Long-time Bowie Resident Helps the Chesapeake Bay

By Cindy Freland

With a passion for the enchanting children’s story, The Little Mermaid, Cindy Freland has

always been fascinated with marine life and bodies of water. Her love of children and animals

has inspired her to write about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay and other special places in Maryland.

When she worked for Bowie Montessori Children’s House, in Bowie, Freland was inspired by the 22 wooded acres of majestic trees, wooden bridges, vernal pools, and rocky paths. With this inspiration came the story of Vandi the Garden Fairy, her first chapter book.

Freland, a Bowie resident for 55 years, enjoys walking around Foxhill Lake, Allen Pond Park, in Bowie, and Patuxent Wildlife Refuge in Laurel. The Bowie Bog has always been a delight of Freland. Located at the corner of Route 197 and Old Route 450, you can stand on the platform and watch the birds, bees, and butterflies enjoy the flowers and trees among the sparkling water.

Anyone who goes to the beaches in Maryland knows that if you choose to go to the Chesapeake Bay instead of the ocean, you may be sharing that beach with jellyfish (sea nettles). But you may be surprised to learn that these simple creatures are important to the Bay ecosystem and related fishing activities. Take a swim with Jordan the Jellyfish and explore what is in the Chesapeake Bay in the water beyond the beach. We'll find our way back, it's a promise!

The stories have useful lessons about being kind, resourceful, and brave. They also include environmental facts that help children and adults understand what is beyond the

sparkles in the water and provides entertainment. They are fun stories as well as providing a

glimpse of the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay.

Jordan the Jellyfish is the first in a children’s series of ten books in which animals native to the Chesapeake Bay find themselves in peculiar adventures. This story came about after Freland’s six-year-old daughter was stung by a jellyfish at Sandy Point State Park. Many years later, in 2013, Freland was sitting in the sand with her feet in the water at Breezy Point State Park when many jellyfish approached her feet. She just had to write a story about jellyfish.

The other stories in the Bay series are Curtis the Crab, Chester the Chipmunk, Heather the

Honey Bee, Oakley the Oyster, Dylan the Deer, Olivia the Osprey, Macy the Mermaid, Owen the Oriole, and Christmas with Marco. Five additional stories written by Freland are Lila the

Ladybug: A Deep Creek Lake Adventure, Paisley the Pony: An Assateague Island Adventure,

Mud Pies, Angus the Soldier Bear, and Vandi the Garden Fairy.

Discover Freland's ten-book series about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay and five additional titles for children 3-9 years old. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to give your children the gift of reading and learn about the Chesapeake Bay and the animals that thrive there.

Her books are available in paperback and hardback for purchase at many gift shops, bookstores, restaurants, marinas, and museums around the Bay. Also borrow her books from libraries in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, and Talbot

counties. Freland is available for school presentations in elementary schools in Maryland. One story, Owen the Oriole, is available as an audio book on Amazon. It was narrated by Christopher M. Allport.

Freland’s precious three-year-old granddaughter’s favorite book is Macy the Mermaid. Cambria has her parents read it to her every night. What will be your child’s favorite story about the animals of the Chesapeake Bay? Get details about the books and school visits, by visiting the website at or emailing to



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