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The First Day of Summer 2006

This is the second in a series of electronic watershed newsletters that are linked to the web site of the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance.  Quarterly issues feature news briefs and alert you to upcoming watershed events.  If you do not want to receive future issues, please click here to unsubscribe.





Protecting an Amazing Waterfall

Some natural treasures are too beautiful to sacrifice.  Thanks to the Catoctin Land Trust, and a generous and far-sighted landowner, the amazing, historic waterfall pictured here will be protected for future generations.  Conservation agreements can be tailor-made for individual properties to meet owner goals, providing a legacy for future generations.  Protecting Frederick County’s rural heritage makes for a more appealing community for all of us!


Conservation Club Fun

Kids love the outdoors.  John Smucker is all about creating learning opportunities that help heal the environment and give kids opportunities to learn and delight in the natural world.  Learn more about his Conservation Club where kids act out “Trees the Trappers" which demonstrates how trees catch pollution before it reaches the stream!

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An Alluring Water Trail

Wondering where to put in your canoe or kayak for a leisurely float along the Monocacy River?  Community Commons, a local nonprofit, has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, to create a water trail along the river as it runs through Frederick County. The project developed a guide that identifies 20 places where people are permitted to access the river.  Click here to learn more. 


Passing Along the Blight??!!

Volunteers followed rigorous procedures to inoculate 132 of the more than 300 trees in ThorpeWood’s six-year-old chestnut orchard with the blight fungus that devastated this once dominant Appalachian tree early in the 20th Century.  The four-hour inoculation clinic provided hands on learning about ThorpeWood’s role in The American Chestnut Foundation effort to restore the American chestnut to our Eastern forests by breeding trees that incorporate blight resistance from Chinese chestnuts.  Click here to read entire article.

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Harvesting Rain in Middletown

Middletown residents decided this spring to cut down on their use of city water by harvesting rainwater for lawn and garden use!  With leadership from Alliance partners Bonnie Duggan of Sunny Day's Rain Bear and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin's (ICPRB) Jennifer Dotson combined with Town endorsement and a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Middletown residents received training and half-priced rain barrels to harvest rainwater.  Click here to read entire article.


Garden Beauty Traps Pollution!

The bee balm and cardinal flowers welcome humming birds and butterflies to the four rain gardens recently planted by volunteers in Libertytown.  Pollution is diminished as beautiful native perennials absorb nutrients and gardens slow stormwater so it can soak into the landscape.  Learn more about the work of Libertytown Stewards.

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Youth Improve Forest Vigor

College forestry students are assisting in implementing the Forest Stewardship plan for the Frederick City watershed through a  Crop Tree Release program.  Do you know what that is?  In order to increase the health of trees that provide wildlife habitat, trees that compete with these favored species will be removed in selected areas.  Learn more about this initiative. 


Maryland's 2006-2007
Cover Crop Program

Want to improve soil productivity and protect water quality in streams, rivers and the Bay?  The State’s new cover crop program can help by making grants to farmers who plant cover crops of wheat, rye, barley or other small grains following fall harvest of summer crops.  Some new features of the cover crop program include reduced paper work, permission to harvest cover crops in select situations, and an
upper limit of 1,000 acres.
Sign ups began June 12th and end July 28th.
Click here to learn more.

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Greening Catoctin Mountain Park

Throughout the summer, green is the dominant color of Catoctin Mountain Park as it is mostly covered by eastern hardwood forest.  And it just got even greener! The parking area at Park Headquarters has been converted from asphalt to turf block.  Turf block is a cinderblock type material filled with dirt and seeded with grass.   Learn more about this innovative strategy to reduce hard surfaces and their negative impacts on streams.


Got Milkweed?

An amazing multigenerational migration depends upon us.  Milkweed plants were once clustered along roads and fields but are dwindling fast.  What's so important about these plants you may ask. They are critical to the life cycle of the monarch butterflyLearn more about this amazing critter and how we can protect and foster its habitat.

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Upcoming Events

Opportunities abound for learning, service and connections to neighbors who share your concern about watershed health.  You might join Friends of Waterford Park and help remove invasive plants and care for newly planted trees and shrubs at their monthly work sessions.  Or, how about nominating a local conservation-oriented business for an award by July 15th?  You could learn about numerous grant opportunities from the Chesapeake Bay Trust on June 29th.  Or, join us July 20th at the next meeting of the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance.   Check out the calendar regularly as new postings are continuously added!


Enjoy the beauty of the summer season and pass along your comments and suggestions to us.  Thanks for your watershed work!

Kay Schultz
Community Restoration Coordinator
The Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance Facilitator