Adkins Arboretum staff and volunteers recently completed a wetland enhancement project with funding from Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Outreach and Restoration Grant Program, in partnership with the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Charles County and Clean Water Howard. The enhancement project entailed removing 18,000 square feet of invasive plants; installing 17,000 square feet of native trees, shrubs, grasses, herbaceous perennials and ferns; and retrofitting a water control structure that allows staff to alter the water level within the wetland. In addition to increasing open-water habitat, this measure allows staff to control some invasive grasses that take root in the wetland through natural means of submersion and cutting back.
This year, volunteers and staff are working to monitor the wetland’s water quality and its flora and fauna. The Arboretum’s Wetland Wrangler volunteers meet every second and fourth Friday mornings to work in the wetland. So far, they have planted buttonbush, blue flag iris, swamp rose mallow and soft rush; removed the invasive reed canary grass; and have identified countless frogs, birds and aquatic macroinvertebrates.
The Arboretum extends special thanks to its volunteers and to volunteers from the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, the District 2 State Highway Administration Team, the Maryland Conservation Corps, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Benedictine School, Centreville Middle School’s sixth graders and interns from Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center for their hard work in helping to enhance the wetland.