We joined other
non-profits in exploring ideas to revive a Nature Trail
at the Leonardtown campus of the College of Southern
Maryland. The Trust provided funding for and found a
speaker for the annual meeting of the Calvert Nature
Society. The Trust had a table at the second annual open
house at Chesapeake Biological Lab in Solomons.
As a member of the
Sustainable Calvert Network we signed onto and help edit
a letter to the editor encouraging the county to include
agribusiness incentives in the comprehensive plan
update. We also encouraged the county to release the
report from the November 2016 Environmental Summit held
Both Boy Scouts held an
overnight camping trip to the Hellen Creek Preserve. A
meeting with a Girl Scout and her leaders was held to
further efforts a Gold Award project. Invasive plants
and how to deal with them is the proposed project.
Staff participated in the second annual Insectival at
Annmarie Gardens. We provided assistance for a summer
camp program at the Elms Environmental Center in St.
Mary’s County. Harvest Fellowship in Lusby received a
presentation for their Intergeneration Summer Camp on
Local Bird Identification. We held a Nature Walk at the
Work continues on
controlling invasive plant species at the Preserve. The
focus continues to be on Japanese knotweed and wineberry
in the summer. The Pollinator Pockes have had additional
native plantings. Plants were also provided for a
pollinator garden on community property at the
Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lubsy. Efforts to acquire
the Hemlock Preserve currently owned by The Nature
Conservancy are back on line. We have hired EHS Express
to conduct the Phase 1 Environmental Assessment. Sites
visits, yellow book values, and communications with the
U.S. Navy REPI program have also been done. We met with
Calvert County to discuss possible acquisition by
non-profits or the county of bank held property near the
Site 1 Offsite Property held by Dominion Energy. In
preliminary concept plans this parcel could form the
backbone for a regional park for the County.
The last bluebird trail
monitoring was held in August at Cove Point. Preliminary
results show improvement in productivity from the
previous two years. The report will be available on the
Trust website in November. Brent Steury has completed
his plant communities monitoring at the Cove Point
marsh. Paul Bushmann’s horseshoe crab surveys were
completed for 2017. The reports for both efforts will be
put on the Trust website upon receipt.
Surveys of the sora rail
populations at Jug Bay using banding and tags to follow
their activities, funded by the Trust will begin this
Staff was trained on the
flow monitoring equipment used by the county for their
non-tidal water monitoring program and participated in
the summer sampling. The Trust funded both this annual
effort and the purchase of the equipment.
Cove Point Natural
Heritage Trust (CPNHT) continues to support the scouting
programs in Southern Maryland. We have sponsored two Boy
Scout overnight encampments at the Preserve this spring.
Meanwhile we are in discussions with the Girl Scouts
concerning programming and camping. We are also working
on a Gold Award project.
The Calvert Citizen’s
Green Team held its eighth annual Calvert Green Expo on
Saturday June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Annmarie
Gardens. CPNHT has been a sponsor of this event since
We held two programs for
the Calvert Nature Society at the Preserve. In April we
searched for migratory avian activity and in May we held
a wildflower hike. In between those events we had our
own spring Nature Walk at the end of April.
Staff attended a
Comprehensive Plan hearing session on natural resources.
Together with board president Mike Rudy staff presented
the annual non-tidal water monitoring check. On May 15th
staff gave a presentation to the St. Mary’ County Garden
Club on Planting for Habitat Using Native Plants.
Approximately thirty people were in attendance.
Calvert County graduated
its fifth class of Master Naturalists. St. Mary’s County
held its initial class this year. This program teaches
individuals about the various aspects of natural history
in the coastal plains of Maryland. We cosponsor the
Calvert program and provide guidance and funding for the
St. Mary’s program though a grant with the Maryland
Department of Agriculture. I also led a field trip for
the St. Mary’s class as part of their ornithological
The Ruth Mathes
Scholarship checks are sent out this month. Four
education institutions in Southern Maryland (CSM, SMC,
MSU, and UMCES) receive scholarship funding. In May and
June volunteers assisted with Paul Bushmann’s horseshoe
crab surveys by taking daytime surveys to match those he
and his interns undertake at night. Not much activity
takes place during the day but we wanted to verify this
belief. We discovered that in large part the action is
nocturnal. We had two days which we found crabs on the
beach and only in limited numbers.
The annual plant surveys
in the marsh are currently underway. Some mute swans
spotted in the marsh were reported to the DNR regional
The spring water
monitoring took on added significance with the departure
of two county employees who ran the program. David
Brownlee will be training me and other volunteers in the
use of the flow tracking hardware. Before this important
data collection was completed by Mr. Brownlee and
This year’s bluebird
surveys are doing much better than the previous two. At
the end of June we had three broods of bluebirds fledged
totaling fifteen birds and four tree swallows fledged.
Another brood (5) of bluebirds and one (4) of tree
swallows were also hatched in June. Two bluebird pairs
have also laid a brood of four and one of five eggs.
Wood duck boxes installed on Mill Bridge Road did not
see any nesting activity expect wasps. A bald eagle
nesting across the creek has been seen periodically. The
nest is obscured by leaves.
The Science Committee for
American Chestnut Land Trust has requested help in
monitoring their Important Bird Areas. Staff took
training and took on one of the routes and completed two
Maintenance of our road
and trails took a major step forward with the completion
of road work by B&B Excavating on Clifton Drive. Minor
limb and tree blow down has required some removal.
Planting for pollinators has occurred in two areas.
Additional plants were added to the garden plot as well.
So far six columbine, five black-eyed Susan, and ten
butterfly weed have been added to the landscape.
An invasive plant removal
event was held in June. We removed a large amount of
wineberry and lesser amounts of Japanese stilt grass and
knotweed. Sierra Club is planning an outing for weed
removal in October.
Staff continues to be
active with the county’s rural legacy committee. In this
capacity we endorsed ACLT’s request for Rural Legacy
funding in conjunction with their attempt to acquire
Holly Farms The County Commissioners approved this