Environmental Concern Holds 18th Annual Fall Native Plant Sale Set for September 7

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Environmental Concern’s (EC) annual Fall Native Plant Sale will be held on September 7. EC invites the public to purchase plants from the grower. Choose from a variety of native plants that are propagated from seed and grown in EC’s nursery. Seeds are collected from shorelines, ponds and gardens restored by EC over the years.

Making the wise choice to use native plants in your landscape provides food, a safe nesting area, and cover from harsh weather conditions for birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects. You can make a difference by replacing invasive, ornamental and exotic plants that have little or no wildlife value with native plants that have high wildlife value. Planting a butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) plant gives the Monarch butterfly a place to lay eggs – the only plant that the Monarch will lay its eggs. You are supporting a “Near Threatened” butterfly by adding milkweed plants to your garden. Planting native is one step that everyone can take to support wildlife. Choose from a selection of plants for a variety of garden sites and conditions – from backyard ponds to upland pollinator gardens.

EC’s featured plant this fall is the Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempivirens). The photograph, taken in one of three pollinator gardens located on EC’s campus, captured two Monarch butterflies drinking nectar from the flowers. Vibrant yellow, dense flowers bloom from July through November. The goldenrod is a major food source for fall migrating monarch butterflies, and provides benefits to birds and small mammals. Growing to a height of 3-4 ft., the goldenrod is a low maintenance native plant that is often blamed for causing hay fever – it does not! The goldenrod pollen is sticky, and travels on the feet and bodies of pollinators, not by the wind.

Our staff will be ready to welcome visitors on Friday, September 7th from 9 am to 4 pm. EC’s Professional Landscape Architect, Diane Miller, will be on hand to answer your questions and to help you with your plant selections. The sale will take place on EC’s campus located at 201 Boundary Lane at the head of San Domingo Creek by the St. Michaels Nature Trail – rain or shine.

Mid-Atlantic Monarch Initiative Workshops will be presented during the sale. The “Monarch Butterfly Rearing” Workshop is scheduled from 10 am-11 am, and “Seed Stewards for Monarchs: Collecting Milkweed Seeds” follows from 11 am until Noon. A $10 donation for workshops is requested. Visit www.wetland.org for more information and to register for the workshops.

Upcoming Programming by Environmental Concern Inc.

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Here are the upcoming events by Environmental Concern Inc.

“Native Plants Create Healthy Habitats”
March 5th
630 pm – 730 pm
Talbot County Public Library – Easton
Environmental Concern will be presenting “Native Plants Create Healthy Habitats: Attracting Butterflies, Bees & Birds to Your Garden” with Tips from the Grower. After the presentation EC will open their Pre-Orders for the upcoming Spring Native Plant Sale featuring the plants that benefit the Birds, Bees and Butterflies.
$5 donation is requested to help fund our Education Outreach Initiatives.
For more information and to register please call 410.745.9620 or visit our website at www.wetland.org.

“Basic Wetland Delineation”
April 30th -May 4th
Environmental Concern has opened registration for“Basic Wetland Delineation” for Wetland Professionals. The course is held from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at EC’s picturesque waterfront campus and includes field trips to various project sites for field-keying and practice.
For more information or to register call 410.745.9620 or please visit http://www.wetland.org/education_professionalcourses.htm

Environmental Concern Awarded Living Shoreline Project in Calvert

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Jessica Lister, Environmental Concern’s Vice President of Restoration, assists students as they dip net and seine (fishing with a vertical net) to take a sampling of the number and species of macroinvertebrates and fish living in the shallow waters of the North Beach shoreline.

Jessica Lister, Environmental Concern’s Vice President of Restoration, assists students as they dip net and seine (fishing with a vertical net) to take a sampling of the number and species of macroinvertebrates and fish living in the shallow waters of the North Beach shoreline.

The Town of North Beach Walton Reserve Living Shoreline and Habitat Enhancement Project was awarded to Environmental Concern at the October meeting of the North Beach Town Council. Funding for the project is the result of a $540,000 grant North Beach obtained from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Relief Program. Only 4 NFWF grants were awarded in Maryland.

Environmental Concern will construct a Living Shoreline at the Town’s Walton Beach Nature Reserve site located between MD RT 261 and the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The design will protect the 105-acre North Beach salt marsh from further erosion and prevent damage to the road. The North Beach salt marsh is also an important Black Duck stopover. The Living Shoreline will provide additional habitat for this and other important species, as well as provide numerous water quality and educational benefits.

Education Director, Kate Frase, observing species in a dip net in shallow waters of the North Beach shoreline.

Education Director, Kate Frase, observing species in a dip net in shallow waters of the North Beach shoreline.

As part of the education initiative, the Calvert County Public School students will learn about the importance of wetlands while being immersed in the large-scale restoration project. Students will be active participants in an “Assistant Wetland Scientists Program” that will immerse them in the water, mud, and fun of implementing best management practices.

The initial stage of the North Beach Shoreline Restoration Project took place during the first week of November. Approximately 600 students from Calvert County Public Schools participated in baseline assessments at 9 stations, set up by the EC staff along the shoreline. Each group of 9th graders had the opportunity to work as student scientists, conducting water quality tests, habitat assessments, and identification of existing vegetation. Students documented the existing site conditions through the collection of data. All of the information collected will also be used to evaluate the success of the restoration project after the shoreline construction is completed.

The students will also help plant over 10,000 native wetland plants when the shoreline is restored and prepared for the final phase of the project. The planting is scheduled for spring, 2015.

Environmental Concern is a non-profit established in 1972 that exists to promote public understanding and stewardship of wetlands with the goal of improving water quality and enhancing nature’s habitat. To learn more, please visit www.wetland.org.

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