Opportunities to witness Spring’s arrival are everywhere. Nature walkers can see spring ephemeral flowers including spring beauties and toothworts, emerging butterflies including the spring azure and duskywing, early spring migrating birds such as the Broad-winged Hawk and Brown Thrasher, and resident birds well into nesting and song including the Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Eastern Bluebird. Don’t miss the harbingers of spring!
There is a lot going on. Frederick County’s Environmental Sustainability office began in January and the Commissioners are seeking applicants to serve on the new Sustainability Commission. A new bioretention facility has been constructed at Kemptown Park and will soon be full of native plants. The Potomac Valley Fly Fishermen and friends have cleaned up Big Hunting Creek and head for Owens Creek to do the same; Cub Scout Den 1 boys got dirty with trash & critter discoveries in the Linganore watershed. Schoolyard Habitat projects are well underway and growing rapidly at Valley, Tuscarora and Oakdale Elementary Schools, Monocacy, Windsor Knolls and Urbana Middle Schools, and Middletown and Walkersville High Schools with tree plantings, native meadows, wetlands, rain gardens, grow out stations & other projects. Rain barrels are being assembled and offered by Scott Key Center staff, regional partner ICPRB & local farmer Rick Hood.
There is a lot to learn. Do you know how to best establish woods in your own backyard and reduce your grass mowing or how to identify and manage invasive plant species that threaten ecosystem health? Have you observed the diversity of local marsh or wetland habitats like the one in the Marshy Glade area? Have you considered the numerous and critical value of trees and forests to the health of streams, air and soil? Are you interested in selecting a shrub like the Elderberry that will help attract butterflies and birds to your yard? Are you curious about the results of various methods of harvesting trees?
There are also plenty of opportunities to act. Help plant trees at Bar-T near Urbana on April 10th or in your own yard. Select native plants at two local sales on the last Saturday of April or bring your family and friends to a Nature Fest at Fountain Rock Park in late May. Find the events that interest you on the Alliance calendar & keep checking back for more. Whether working in your backyard or nearby school, park or farm, involve your friends & neighbors and help improve the health of Frederick County’s watersheds!
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