• A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 72 people are interested

2024 Middle Patuxent Environmental Area Conservation Stewardship Project

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ORGANIZATION: Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 72 people are interested
Clegg's Meadow
Clegg's Meadow at the MPEA

The Middle Patuxent Environmental Area Conservation Stewardship Project (MPEA CSP) addresses the issue of invasive exotic plant species in Howard County Recreation & Parks’ Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. Invasive exotic plants reduce native floral diversity by competing for sunlight, resources, and space, and other poorer quality or insufficient food and habitat for native wildlife; they may also increase soil erosion and reduce water quality, or present a nuisance to visitors. During the CSP events, volunteers help combat this problem through the removal of invasive plants and the restoration of native, ecologically appropriate species. Each event also includes an educational component concerning the target species or area of the day.

Registration is required, see requirements section for links and more info.

Tree & Shrub Planting
Tuesday, March 26 / Trotter Parking Area / 9-11:30am
Removing invasive exotic plants, while a crucial step, is only one component of
habitat restoration. On this day, we will visit a site already cleared of invasive
flora, and plant native trees & shrubs that will benefit the local ecosystem.
Install shelters around plants that protect them from deer. We will also install
shelters over planted material to protect them from deer.

Invasive Plant Removal & Spring Flower Walk
Tuesday, April 9 / South Wind Circle Trailhead / 9-11:30am
Tuesday, April 23 / South Wind Circle Trailhead / 9-11:30am
Garlic Mustard and Wineberry are tenacious, invasive species that our
volunteers have traditionally removed every spring, particularly alongside
one of our most scenic trail routes. After hand-pulling and digging up the
two target species each morning, embark on an educational wildflower walk
highlighting the blooming spring ephemerals.

Shelter Clearing & Breeding Bird Atlas
Saturday, May 11 / Trotter Parking Area / 9-11:30am
Tuesday, May 21 / South Wind Circle Trailhead / 9-11:30am
Non-native, invasive plants pose a continuing threat to our habitat restoration
efforts, particularly within areas hosting trees & shrubs planted and sheltered
by staff and volunteers. On these days, remove vines and vinelike plants
from some of these areas, freeing young trees & shrubs from the threat
of smothering. Additionally, on Tuesday, May 21, participants receive an
introduction to the Breeding Bird Atlas community scientist survey.

Japanese Barberry Removal
Tuesday, June 18 / Trotter Parking Area / 9-11:30am
Japanese Barberry is an abundant foe of the environmental area, and
controlling this species requires continuous maintenance. Luckily, this invader
is relatively easily uprooted. Revisit an ever-expanding restoration site to
continue digging and hand-pulling these spiny shrubs.

More opportunities with Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area


5795 Trotter Rd, Columbia, MD 21044, US

Mission Statement

The primary components of the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area's mission are natural resource conservation, environmental education, research, and passive recreation. The area is managed using ecosystem management concepts to restore and protect the diversity of communities found in this region.


Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks manages the 1,021-acre Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) in cooperation with the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation. This natural area is home to a diversity of wildlife, including an impressive list of about 150 species of birds, over 40 species of mammals, and numerous amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, plants and other wildlife. Five and one-half miles of hiking trails, with two interpretive nature trail brochures, give visitors an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the area.

The objective of the MPEA volunteer program is to involve members of the community in many aspects of the MPEA's management. Volunteers can become involved in the development and maintenance of our trail system, help fight the invasive exotics that threaten our native species, study the diverse flora and fauna communities, participate in habitat management projects.




We'll work with your schedule.


Middle Patuxent Environmental Area5795 Trotter RoadClarksville, MD 21029



  • Habitat Restoration
  • Environmental Education
  • Botany
  • Gardening
  • Horticulture
  • Outdoor Recreation


  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 13
  • 2.5 Hours
  • Registration is required. Click the "I want to help" button or contact Allen Dupre - adupre@howardcountymd.gov for more info, or visit tinyurl.com/MPEAStewardshipProject for direct registration.

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