FT 5
From Land To Water: Grassland Restoration And Ecology Of The Chester River

Sunday, August 9, 2015: 7:00 AM-3:30 PM
Charles St. Entrance, Baltimore Convention Center
Daniel M. Small, Washington College
Douglas E. Gill, University of Maryland; John Seidel, Washington College; and Doug Levin, Washington College
We* offer a single day, tour of two amazing sites (sights!) on the upper Eastern Shore of Maryland: a) the CRFRS* experimental restoration of the once extensive Atlantic coastal prairie on Chino Farms and b) a CES* cruise down Chester River with commentary about the controversial ecological issues influencing  the nation’s largest estuary. CRFRS includes  92.4 ha  that had a 250-yr history of intense pastoral and agriculture use but was converted into a wild grasslands in Spring 1999 as an landscape-scale experiment  to provide rare habitat for declining birds and plants and develop new habitat management protocols. Learn about long-term research studying the process of colonization, establishment, succession, and subsequent habitat maintenance for 16 years while listening and looking for grassland nesting birds such as Grasshopper Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Dickcissels and Northern Bobwhites. Chino Farms itself is the largest production farm in MD, and is a model showcase of environmentally conscious, modern precision farming. 

CES* and WC* offer the cruise of Chester River as an extension of their undergraduate training, educational programs, research and monitoring in estuarine ecology that emphasize the complex, multifaceted economic and ecological issues of the Chesapeake Bay interfacing with cities, suburban development growth, and agricultural practices embedded in its huge watershed.  The cruise will reveal the beautiful scenery of the upper Chesapeake Bay as well as provide running commentary on the hot issues swirling in the Chesapeake Bay

 *We = Washington College (WC), Center for the Environment and Society (CES), Chester River Field Research Station (CRFRS)

Registration Fee: $83

Equipment and Attire: Prepare for hot humid weather. Field clothes (long sleeve shirts and trousers, field walking shoes, broad brim hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant). Walking will be on relatively flat mowed paths. Binoculars and cameras.

Itinerary: 7:00 AM - Departure from the Baltimore Convention Center (1 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201) on tour bus to arrive by 9:00 AM. 9:00 - Arrive at the CRFRS Grasslands (207 Chino Farm Circle, Chestertown, MD 21620). Meet guides Dr. Doug Gill and Dan Small for introductory comments on Restoration Project and guided walking and bird-watching tour of Grasslands**. Depart by 11:00 AM. 11:00 - Bus transport to WC’s Lelia Hynson Pavilion (413 South Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620) to arrive by 11:30 AM. 11:30 - Lunch at the Lelia Hynson Pavilion 12:30 PM - Board boat for cruise and depart by 12:45 PM. 12:45 - Cruise with commentary down Chester River estuary: Chestertown to Kent Narrows to arrive at the Queen Anne’s County Visitor Center by 2:30 PM. 2:35 - Board tour bus at Kent Narrows (425 Piney Narrows Rd, Chester, MD 21619) for return to Baltimore to arrive at the Convention Center (1 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201) by 3:30 PM.

See more of: Field Trips