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 more info.
Garlic Mustard Pulling & Spring Flower Watching Tuesday, April 27 Hand-pull and bag invasive Garlic Mustard plants, then take an educational walk highlighting spring ephemeral flowers.
Mile-a-Minute Removal & Breeding Bird Atlas Tuesday, May 25 Dig, cut and hand-pull invasive Mile-a-Minute vines and other invasive plants, then enjoy an introduction to the Breeding Bird Atlas community scientist survey.
Wavyleaf Basketgrass Removal I Tuesday, June 8 Hand-pull and bag highly invasive Wavyleaf Basketgrass.
Wavyleaf Basketgrass Removal II Tuesday, June 22 Hand-pull and bag highly invasive Wavyleaf Basketgrass.
Tree and Shrub Planting Tuesday, September 28 Plant native trees and shrubs to provide habitat for wildlife.
Japanese Barberry Removal Saturday, October 16 Dig and hand-pull invasive Japanese Barberry shrubs.
Autumn Olive Removal I Tuesday, October 26 Cut, saw and trim invasive Autumn Olive shrubs.
Autumn Olive Removal II Tuesday, November 23 Cut, saw and trim invasive Autumn Olive shrubs.
About Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area
5795 Trotter Rd, Columbia, MD 21044, US
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.