by Mark Imlay |
Environmental groups offer opportunities for habitat restoration all over the state
Experience delayed gratification. Non-native invasive plant removal will reach maintenance phase if there is a major work effort at each site in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world for about three to five years to remove the massive populations of species. Regular stewardship projects may be conducted in all seasons. A high-intensity program is followed by a low-intensity annual maintenance program for plants we have missed, plants emerging from the seed bank, and occasional plants migrating in from neighboring areas.
You may attend training in invasive plant removal and habitat restoration to learn about weed identification, control and removal techniques, and native alternatives to exotic flora. You may conduct your own removals or join an organized group. There are general methods and species-specific methods for removals, such as best season for removing species, targeted use of herbicides, and the use of wet soils for pulling. Following is information on numerous activities to rid the State of invasives and plant native species.
Baltimore City Parks
Get certified as an Urban Weed Warrior! Baltimore City Recreation and Parks supports an Urban Weed Warriors program. If you are certified as a weed warrior, you may work on your own to help control non-native invasives in Baltimore City parks. Weed-pull activities are scheduled throughout the summer and fall, with tools and refreshments provided.
CONTACT: For information about training and activities, to get on the e-newsletter list, or with questions, contact Amanda Holloway, Urban Weed Warrior Coordinator, at 410-396-0359 or Amanda.Holloway@baltimorecity.gov.
Cromwell Valley Park
DATES: Monthly removal work parties are scheduled at Cromwell Valley Park in northern Baltimore County on the 2nd Saturday of each month 9-12 (8-11 in July and August). The rain date is the following day, at the same time. Tools and refreshments are provided.
Cromwell Valley Park is a wonderful rural park just outside the Baltimore Beltway on Cromwell Bridge Road. The Beehive Woods is looking much betterwe are almost down to the road. The stream is revealed and is quite pretty. The former Kudzu Hill is being replanted with native trees and bushes, and is now Dogwood Hill. Our Habitat Restoration Team needs all the help we can get to eradicate invasives and plant natives. We have tackled multiflora rose, Japanese barberry, kudzu, garlic mustard, mile-a-minute and many others.
CONTACT: For information contact Bill Breakey at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Park office number is 410-887-2503, or check out the Parks website at email@example.com. Volunteers are placed on an e-mail notify list.
Herring Run Watershed Association
CONTACT: For any questions about upcoming invasive removal activities in Herring Run Park in Baltimore City, contact Angela at (410) 254-1648 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the website at http://www.herringrun.net/ .
Jones Falls Watershed Association
DATE: Western Run Invasive Plant Removal on July 14, 9:30 a.m. noon. Free the trees! Help to remove invasive vines from trees along Western Run creek in the Mt. Washington neighborhood.
CONTACT: Suzanne Greene at email@example.com or 410-366-3036 for more information or to register for this or future outings.
Jones Falls Watershed Association
3000 Chestnut Avenue, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Hellen Creek Preserve
Join the Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust for invasive removals at Hellen Creek Preserve.
DIRECTIONS: From Washington, take Rt. 4 south to Calvert County. At Lusby, turn right at the second light at Coster/Mill Bridge Road then take an immediate left onto Coster. After passing two rights (Bassford), look for the MACHINE SHOP sign on the left and then turn right at Clifton Drive. Take the first left. Turn at a handmade sign with the number 11785. Follow to the sign and gate for the Preserve.
CONTACT: For more information or to receive updates about workdays, email or call Bob Boxwell at 410-394-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Chestnut Land Trust, Port Republic
Join the Holly Arboretum Volunteer Crew as they maintain the historic holly trees at Warriors Rest. Work includes invasive vine removal, mulching, mowing, and pruning. Bring work gloves, clippers, and a smile.
American Chestnut Land Trust
P. O. Box 204
Port Republic, MD 20676
Adkins Arboretum trains volunteers to assist the staff in the removal of invasive non-natives on the Arboretums 400-acre site. Workdays are flexible.
CONTACT: Sylvan Kaufman, e-mail email@example.com. or 410 634-2847, ext. 24.
Chapman Forest and Ruth Swann Park
DATES: Chapman Forest on the first Sunday and Ruth Swann Park the following Saturday each month. Time: 10 a.m. 4 p.m.
Remove invasive non-natives from the 200-acre Swann Park and 800-acre portion of Chapman Forest designated as Chapman State Park. There is time for plant identification and a beautiful beach lunch. Participating organizations include Maryland Native Plant Society, Sierra Club, and Chapman Forest Foundation. Casual clothing, long sleeves, pants, sturdy comfortable walking boots/shoes, and gloves are encouraged.
For first Sundays, directions to Chapman Forest, Chapman State Park, Mount Aventine, and the Glendening Natural Environment Area: Take the Washington Capital Beltway to Indian Head Highway (MD 210) south toward Indian Head (from VA Exit 2; from MD Exit 3A). At 14 miles, continue on MD 210 through the traffic light at MD 227. (This crossroads is the center of the community known as Bryans Road.) At about 1.1 miles past the light, veer to the right onto Chapmans Landing Road. Follow for 1.6 miles to the gated entrance of Mount Aventine and Chapman State Park. Meet at main gate of Chapman Forest.
For the following Saturday, directions to Ruth B. Swann Park: 20 miles (30 to 40 minutes) south of Washington Beltway (I-495) on Rt. 210 (Indian Head Hwy), about a mile and a half south from the traffic light on Rt. 210 in Bryans Road. Meet at the Potomac Branch Library parking lot.
CONTACT: Marc Imlay at 301-699-6204 or 301-283-0808. On outings days, I can be reached on my cell phone at 301-442-5657. For information and a map, check out www.chapmanforest.org and www.mattawomanwatershedsociety.org.
For carpool information, meet at the Sierra Club Md. Chapter office at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. Call Laurel Imlay at 301-277-7111.
Savage River State Forest
DATE: Battling Botanical Bullies in Bear Pen Wildland from 9 a.m. to noon Friday June 15. Volunteers are needed to continue control efforts of Japanese spiraea in the Bear Pen Run area of Savage River State Forest. Kerrie Kyde, DNR Invasive Plant Specialist, is providing technical support. Elk Ridge NatureWorks is coordinating the project and providing snacks and drinks for volunteers.
CONTACT: For more details or to register, contact Ron Boyer at 301-895-3686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patapsco Valley State Park
DATE: Join the Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park on the second Wednesday evening each month at the Avalon area to eradicate invasive vines. This is the worst place in the park for non-native vines, where they have killed or broken many trees, so we need lots of help. Wear long clothes and bring gloves, as there is some poison ivy. If you have them, bring hand pruners and lopers (the 2 handed cutters for larger vines). We will have a few extra tools if you need to borrow some.
CONTACT: Jim Palmer to confirm date and time at 410-531-2065 or via email at J.G.Palmer@jhuapl.edu. See our web site for updates at www.fpvsp.org/.
DIRECTIONS: Meet at the Avalon contact station. From I-95 take I-195 east to Rt. 1 toward Elkridge. Turn right immediately on South St. The park entrance is on the left. Proceed 1/2 mile to the contact station.
Middle Patuxent Environmental Area
DATE: The Conservation Stewardship Project at the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) meets on fourth Tuesdays monthly from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. from March to October. Each trip has an educational component and a work component. The Conservation Stewardship project is sponsored by Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Howard County Master Gardeners.
CONTACT: For information, directions, or registration, contact Aylene Gard at 410-992-9889 or Carol Filipczak at email@example.com.
Howard/Anne Arundel/Prince Georges County
Help remove Japanese stilt grass, English ivy, garlic mustard, tree of heaven, multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle, common privet, phragmites, Asiatic tearthumb, etc. Prior to removing the weeds, there will be a short training session. People of all ages, backgrounds, and interests are invited to spend a few hours outdoors, hand-pulling some non-native plants while learning about the differences between native plants and non-native invasive plants and how these invasives adversely impact our natural ecosystem.
Fort Meade Army Installation
DATE: Second Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. (Time is flexible if enough volunteers are available.)
DIRECTIONS: Take Route 175 East from the 295 Baltimore Washington Parkway. Turn right onto Reece Road to enter the post, immediately turn left onto Ernie Pyle Street, go approximately 1 mile, turn left on Llewellyn Avenue, turn right onto Chisholm Avenue, turn left on 3rd Street, turn right on Ross Road, and go to 2nd building on the rightEnvironmental Division Office.
CONTACT: At least three days before the event, contact Don Marquardt, Installation Forester, at 301-677-9185 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of names must be provided to the Forester, who provides them to guard personnel at the Reece Road entrance to ensure access to the Post. Bring hand tools, gloves, lunch, and water. Long sleeves and pants are recommended.
Patuxent Research Refuge
Outings are conducted in partnership between the Department of the Army (Fort Meade), the Maryland Native Plant Society, the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Patuxent Research Refuge and volunteers. Non-native invasive plants are threatening our wildlife habitat. Do your part to protect the Patuxent from alien invaders. Become a Weed Warrior! We need YOU to help stop them. Come out for one of our Weed Warriors Days and help us treat the garlic mustard, mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass, and other non-native plants infesting the Refuge. Warriors of all ages and abilities are welcome. You will receive a short educational briefing. Wear long sleeves and pants and bring gloves.
DATES (subject to change if necessary):
Monday, June 11, North Tract Visitor Contact Station, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Thursday, July 12, National Wildlife Visitor Center, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Tuesday, July 24, North Tract Visitor Contact Station, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Wednesday, August 8, North Tract Visitor Contact Station, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
To the North Tract Visitor Contact Station: From I-295, take the exit for MD-Route 198 towards Fort Meade. Go approximately 1.5 miles until you see Glory Days Auto Salvage on your near right corner and baseball fields on your far right. Turn right between them onto Bald Eagle Drive. Proceed through the gate and continue about 1/2 mile to the Visitor Contact Station.
To the National Wildlife Visitor Center: The Center is located off Powder Mill Road between MD Route 197 and the Baltimore/Washington Parkway, south of Laurel.
CONTACT: For additional information, call 301-497-5763 or visit http://patuxent.fws.gov. Please register for these events by calling 301-497-5887.
Christopher Wicker, Wildlife Biologist
USFWS, Patuxent Research Refuge
12100 Beech Forest Road, Room 138
Laurel, MD 20708
Fax: (301) 497-5515
Riverfront Park, Laurel
Wishing for weeders in Laurel. Wholesome river with lots of curves seeks outgoing naturalists for invasive species removal and native plant propagation, possibly leading to complete restoration of the wild.
DATE: Second Sunday of every month, 1 - 4 p.m.
DIRECTIONS: From I-95, take the MD Route 216-Laurel exit. At the second traffic light (Main Street), turn right. Go to the end of the next block, turn right at 9th Street, and park at the swimming pool.
CONTACT: Brigitte Fortin-Zaidan bfzaidan@Safe-mail.net or 240-506-8976.
Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge
Wineberries with garlic mustard: A new type of exotic fruit salad? Not quite. These are two invasive plant species that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like help removing from Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge at 1730 Eastern Neck Road, Rock Hall. Garlic mustard is a newly arrived invasive species, and is a priority for management. Wineberry is a raspberry-like plant that begins to ripen with fruit between June and July. The weed-pulling guide is Rachel Cliche, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and the invasive species specialist for the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Garlic mustard is pulled by hand, but a 4-pronged spading fork works best on wineberry. High boots (for ticks) are recommended, along with a DEET-based bug repellent, a hat, and gloves.
CONTACT: Rachel is always looking for volunteers to help pull weeds. Contact her at Rachel_Cliche@fws.gov or 410-639-2108 for details about when and where.
Weed Warriors are needed for the forested areas surrounding the gardens. You will be given directions so that you may work independently, weekends or weekdays, on your own schedule.
CONTACT: Stacy Parsons 301-962-1417 or email@example.com . Websites:
Montgomery County Parks
Weed Warriors Wanted! The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commissions (M-NCPPC) Forest Ecologist is assembling a team of volunteer Weed Warriors to monitor and remove non-native invasive plant species in Montgomery County Parks. We need your help! As a Weed Warrior volunteer, you will receive a short training session from the forest ecologist. Weed Warriors can then work at their own pace and choose a schedule that best suits them. Many Weed Warriors live near a M-NCPPC Stream Valley Park or Regional Park and do their volunteer work while walking their dogs or hiking through their neighborhood park. Whether you choose to work individually or in a group, your efforts will contribute to the control of non-native vegetation in the 32,500 acres of Montgomery County parkland.
CONTACT: Carole Bergmann, M-NCPPC Forest Ecologist, at 301-949-2818 for more information or to sign up.
The Potomac Gorge
Invasive Plant Control Workdays in The Potomac Gorge. Help protect native plant biodiversity near DC! The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, will continue all season with invasive plant control workdays in the Potomac Gorge, a 15-mile stretch of river valley between Great Falls and Georgetown with over 200 rare plants and 5 globally rare plant communities. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for a variety of workdays, where we cut or pull some of the most problematic weeds, often in scenic areas. We will hold two more Weed Warrior training sessions, where volunteers learn about 13 non-native plant species, adopt an area, and then work independently in the National Parks in the Potomac Gorge.
CONTACT: For more information or to sign up, go to: www.nature.org/maryland for a list of workdays, or contact Mary below if you would like to sign up a school or organizational group for a workday, or want to be added to our email list:
Mary Travaglini,301- 897-8570 or
The RIPRemoving Invasive PlantsCommittee of Friends of Sligo Creek holds plant removal events in different parts of Sligo Creek Park between New Hampshire Ave and the headwaters in Kemp Mill and Wheaton. The group invites local residents and other newcomers to work on shrubs in fall and winter, garlic mustard in spring, mile-a-minute in summer, and vines throughout the year.
CONTACT: For a schedule, see www.fosc.org/RIPEventSched.htm . Be sure to check http://www.fosc.org for last-minute weather changes or call Sally Gagne at 301-588-2071.
Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Chevy Chase
The Audubon Naturalist Society needs your help to remove invasive non-native plants from its Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, MD! Join us for group work sessions where training will be provided. Trained volunteers may also be authorized to work independently.
CONTACT: Liz Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-652-9188 x 30 for more information or to sign up.
Northwest Branch of the Anacostia, Montgomery County
DATE: Third Saturdays 10:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. monthly
Join us for a walk in the forest and to remove invasive plants including garlic mustard and multi-flora rose. Afterwards, well relax and have a vegetarian lunch that is provided. All are welcome. Bring water and gloves.
DIRECTIONS: From the intersection of 29 (Colesville Road) and University Blvd in Silver Spring, go east on University and turn (theres only left) on Williamsburg Drive. Stay on Williamsburg at the first fork you come to (bear left), and then at the second fork (Williamsburg N. vs. S.) bear left again. Williamsburg turns into Big Rock Road at the bottom of the hill. Go to 10204 Big Rock Road.
CONTACT: Jane Osburn at 301-754-1564 or email@example.com.
Prince Georges County
Belt Woods, Bowie
DATE: Ongoing Saturday, Sunday, and occasional mid-week invasive species workgroups. Times and dates vary based on available team leader. Please call or email for schedule. We will be removing creeping euonymous, Japanese honeysuckle, winged burning bush, multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet, Japanese Stiltgrass, Garlic Mustard, etc. from various parts of the property. Tools and gloves are provided, but feel free to bring your favorite tool or pair of gloves.
CONTACT: To be added to the contact list email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 390-0797.
Woodworth Park, Cheverly
DATE: The Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek, Cheverly will not be working in June - August, but will resume invasive plant removals in the fall on the last Saturday of every month.
All age groups can help rescue our native flowers, ferns, and other plants from non-native plants covering 30-90 percent of our parks that we have worked so hard to preserve. Tools are provided, but wear work gloves and sturdy shoes.
CONTACT: Cathy and Dan Smith at 301-386-0889.
DIRECTIONS: Take Rt. 202 East under the BW Parkway. Go one block and turn right on Cheverly. Go one mile and turn left on Forest Road. Go two blocks passing a church on the left and turn right on BW Parkway. Go 2 blocks and turn left on Wayne for one block. We meet at the park by the small playground.
Join us for manual removal of honeysuckle and multiflora rose using shovels, pruners, and perseverance. Come and help preserve this unique habitat. Bring water, work boots, durable clothes, long sleeves, gloves, pruners, and shovels. Light refreshments will be provided. There is some poison ivy at the work site.
DIRECTIONS: From the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 7A (Branch Avenue), toward Waldorf. Take Route 5 south. Take the Allentown Road exit. Make a left onto Allentown Road. Stay on Allentown Road through five lights. Turn left onto Suitland Road at the 6th light. Follow Suitland Road until it passes under Suitland Parkway. The entrance to the Suitland Bog is to the right. Meet in the parking lot.
CONTACT: M-NCPPC Park Ranger Office Park Ranger Chris Garrett at 301-627-7755.
Indian Creek Trail at Lake Artemesia, Berwyn Hgts
DIRECTIONS: Meet in the Lake Artemesia parking lot along Berwyn Rd., at Indian Creek Trail @ Lake Artemesia, Berwyn Hgts., Prince Georges County. The lake is located on Berwyn Road in College Park.
From the south from the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 23 (Kenilworth Avenue) toward Bladensburg. Make a right onto Route 193 (Greenbelt Road). Make a right onto Branchville Road. (This road turns into 55th Avenue). The Lake Artemesia parking lot is on the left at the Berwyn Road intersection.
From the north from the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 25 (Route 1) toward College Park. Make a left onto Route 193 (Greenbelt Road), then a left onto Branchville Road. (This road turns into 55th Avenue.) The parking lot is on the left at the Berwyn Road intersection.
Bring water, work boots, durable clothes, long sleeves, and gloves. Light refreshments will be provided. There is some poison ivy at the work site.
CONTACT: M-NCPPC Park Ranger Chris Garrett or John Dillon, M-NCPPC Park Ranger Office, 301-627-7755.
Watkins Regional Park
Join us for Weed Warrior Work Days at Watkins Nature Center in Watkins Regional Park. Meet at Watkins Nature Center parking lot. Bring water, work boots, durable clothes, long sleeves, and gloves. Light refreshments will be provided. There is some poison ivy at the work site.
DIRECTIONS: Located in Upper Marlboro at Watkins Regional Park, one mile west of the Six Flags America amusement park.
From the Capital Beltway (I-495), take Exit 15A (Central Avenue) east. Continue for approximately three miles. Turn right onto Watkins Park Drive (Route 193) and follow the park signs to the facility.
From Route 301, turn onto Central Avenue (Route 214) west. Continue for approximately three miles (past Six Flags America). Turn left onto Watkins Park Drive and follow to the park entrance on the right.
Contact: M-NCPPC John Dillon or Chris Garrett, M-NCPPC Park Ranger Office, 301-627-7755.
Greenbelt Homes Inc Housing Cooperative, Greenbelt
The Greenbelt Homes Inc. (GHI) housing cooperative in Old Greenbelt has 85.6 acres of stewardship forest as well as other wooded parcels. The Woodlands Committee is actively involved with urban forestry management. Regular work sessions are scheduled throughout the year for the removal/eradication of non-native invasive plant species and for tree planting. Also scheduled are bird counts, native landscaping seminars, and guided hikes.
CONTACT: For more information on GHI Woodlands Committee activities, contact Matt Berres, Landscape Specialist, at email@example.com or 301-474-4161 ext 132.
Greenbelt National Park, Greenbelt
DATE: Invasive Plant Removal first Saturday of each month 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Located just 12 miles from Washington D.C., Greenbelt Park is a beloved retreat from the city and an important refuge for native plants and animals. Come join us in defending Greenbelt Park from encroachment by alien invasive plant growth. Volunteers will be hand-pulling harmful non-native plants such as Japanese honeysuckle, beefsteak mint, mile-a-minute weed, and garlic mustard. People of all ages, backgrounds and interests are invited to spend a fun day outdoors while learning about the differences between native and non-native plants and helping to preserve the health and native wildlife of this local natural area. Bring lunch, drink, and appropriate clothing for weather.
DIRECTIONS: From the Beltway, take Kenilworth Avenue south about 1/4 mile to Greenbelt Rd, MD 193 (Kenilworth goes under 193). Stay to the right so you can take MD 193 East (a left to go over Kenilworth) for only a few hundred yards to the park entrance. Follow the signs to the Sweetgum picnic area.
CONTACT: For questions and information about upcoming events, contact Tom Crone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-864-1959.
Little Paint Branch Park and Cherry Hill Road Community Park, Beltsville
DATE: June 21 and August 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We will continue the wonderful progress last year by the AmeriCorps workers, General Electric volunteers, Robert Goddard French Immersion and Montesori Elementary School, Washington Quaker Work Camps, and World Bank volunteers. There will be a sign-in and safety orientation with handouts. Information will be provided about the Parks natural history and special features, and the methods and reasons for controlling the spread of invasives. Our objective is to remove the invasives to allow natives to grow back. Native flowers and other plants will be identified as we work to rescue them. Gloves and tools are provided.
DIRECTIONS: Meet at the Beltsville Community Center parking lot. There are bathrooms and a large seating area for lunch. Take U.S. 1 north from the DC Beltway. Go about 1 mile, passing the National Agricultural Research Center, and turn left at the light on Montgomery Rd. Go 3 blocks and turn left on Sellman Road. Go about 5 blocks and turn right into Little Paint Branch Park at the bottom of the hill.
Several of the worst invasive species in the Mid-Atlantic region are in the early stages of invasion in this park. Japanese stiltgrass covers about 5 percent of the park. Research indicates that Japanese stiltgrass is a major contributor of nitrogen pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, and reduces by half the ability of any land it dominates to hold water and release it slowly.
The project supporters are now removing English ivy, wineberry, periwinkle, ground ivy, Japanese pachysandra, bush honeysuckle, and multiflora rose to rescue the incredible diversity of native plants and animals in the Park. Unlike most parks in the area, the 150-acre Little Paint Branch Park is in the early stages of invasion and is essentially the native plant nursery for the Paint Branch itself.
CONTACT: Marc Imlay, Ph.D. Conservation Biologist, Anacostia Watershed Society at 301-699-6204 or 301-283-0808 for more information.
Magruder Park, Hyattsville
DATE: June 14, 9a.m. to 2 p.m. and ongoing outings.
DIRECTIONS: Meet at the Magruder Park parking lot. Take Eastwest Highway (410) east almost to Route 1 in College Park. Turn right on Queens Chapel Road about a mile before Route 1. Go south about a mile and turn left on Hamilton. Pass the Safeway on the right, pass 38th street, go about one block, and turn right into the park. Magruder Park is approximately a 10-block walk from the West Hyattsville Metro stop on the Green Line.
CONTACT: Marc Imlay, PhD Conservation Biologist for the Anacostia Watershed Society, at 301-699-6204 or 301-283-0808 for more information.
St. Marys County
Myrtle Point Park
DIRECTIONS: From Washington, take Rt. 4 south, crossing over the Patuxent River at Solomons. About two miles past the bridge, make a right onto Patuxent Blvd. Go about two miles to Myrtle Point Park. Meet in the Park lot.
CONTACT: For more information or to receive updates about workdays, email or call Bob Boxwell, Executive Director, Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust, P.O. Box 336, Lusby, MD 20657, 410-394-1300, or email@example.com.
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