The Town of Port Deposit is hoping "Rhonda" will help them promote tourism and economic development.
Rhonda is a computer graphic designed turtle the town adopted as its "official mascot".
Designed by a Towson University student, Rhonda came out of the 2013 partnership between the school and the town. TU and Port Deposit are teaming up on a research and conservation project which includes the restoration of the Tome Gas House.
The Tome Gas House is being converted to a Welcome Center and Northern Map Turtle Research Facility.
The Northern Map Turtle is an endangered species that can be found in Marina Park.
Town administrator Vicky Rinkerman says Port Deposit "embraces the fact that the Gas House is a research facility for endangered species". "It's an excellent opportunity to have a positive impact on an endangered species," she said.
Rinkerman said Rhonda will also be used as a marketing tool for the town and the logo will appear on banners.
The mascot's name came from a research project conducted by Towson students. They noticed that one particular female turtle returned to Port Deposit each year, surviving trips across Main Street. They named the turtle "Rhonda".
Rinkerman says the mascot will promote eco-tourism in the town and attract visitors while also raising awareness for an endangered species. While in Port Deposit, people will be able to visit the education center and observe the Northern Map Turtle in its natural habitat.
In other Port Deposit news:
The town is accepting applications for names to be placed on the ballot for the Tuesday, May 15, town election. There will be vacancies for mayor and three council positions. Petitions for filing for elective office may be picked up at town hall, 64 South Main St. Deadline for filing is March 9, 2015.
The election will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the Water Witch Fire Company, 15 North Main Street. Qualified residents may register to vote at the Cecil County Board of Elections by April 20.
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