Our spring Nature Walk was a combination of neighbors and Sierra Club members. Aged seventy plus to seven months we had twelve attendees Spring was late in arriving and the wind and rain dampened most of early season. Several trees came down in one storm that temporarily blocked Clifton Drive.
The Sustainable Calvert Network continued to review the Comprehensive plan and followed up on the successful Forum on Rural Lands with a Commissionerís Candidate Forum in May. Funding has been ignored for land preservation for several years was an issue in the primary election this year.
Calvert Countyís Citizen Green team held its Green Expo on June 2nd. We attended Farm Heritage Day at Biscoe Grey near Battle Creek.
Staff assisted Earth Day programs at Ridge and Piney Point Elementary Schools in St. Maryís County. We staffed a table at Calvert Memorial Hospitalís Earth Day celebration in May and also attended the open house for PEARL at Morgan State in June.
The Master Naturalist training program was completed in Calvert County. We are a sponsor. We are helping plan for the St. Maryís class this fall. .
Bird migration was a bit late but by late April we had our nesting warblers, vireos, and flycatchers busy in the woods. Speaking of busy one morning amble through the Preserve yielded nine box turtles, the last two of whom were mating. An adult and juvenile turtle are still visiting on a regular basis. The hummingbirds didnít show up until late May but now that they are here I have up to five at the feeder and actually seen four feeding at the same time.
An invasive plant event was held on June 23rd. We worked on Japanese stilt grass and wine berry removal. The Boy Scouts held two overnights, one in April and the other in June. Repairs were made to the railing by the steps to Hellen Creek.
Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) is working with the Navy REPI program and the owners (TNC) of the Hemlock Preserve to push the acquisition of the property by CPNHT. TNC has a sale contract agreed to and presented to the REPI board. Once again action has been delayed when REPI asked for modification of the contract. They met again in October. After waiting 15 years to make this happen we hope they will sign the paperwork in October.
A successful bid was placed on a 169 acre track off of Turner Road. This property is across the creek from the Hellen Creek and Hemlock Preserves. It includes farmland and wooded acreage. Current plans call for no change in activities on the property and the sale of farmland to someone who will continue to use it as such.
Brent Steury is conducting his annual plant monitoring at the Cove Point Marsh. In addition to this research Brent will be surveying the beetle population associated with populations of lizardís tail (herbaceous plant) in the marsh.
Paul Bushmannís horseshoe crab survey for 2018 has been completed and we await the report. These efforts include monitoring in the daylight hours by volunteers.
Greg Kearns received funding for 2018/2019 migration monitoring.
American Chestnut Land Trust Science Committee held a meeting to review research and monitoring efforts on their properties. Staff helped by running two bird routes in early June.
Bluebird monitoring started in early April. At this point broods of bluebirds, tree swallows, and tufted titmouse have been fledged.