Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area
Sunday, August 9, 2015: 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Charles St. Entrance, Baltimore Convention Center
Wesley M. Knapp, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wayne Tyndall, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area and Wildlands is the largest remaining serpentine ecosystem in the eastern United States. Serpentine ecosystems are underlain by serpentinite, an oceanic rock, which produces soils with excessive Mg:Ca ratios and very low levels of essential nutrients. This so-called “serpentine factor” has resulted in unusual floras and vegetation around the globe. A biodiversity hotspot, Soldiers Delight supports over 25 rare, threatened, and endangered plant and animal taxa and a variety of common species including colorful asters, prairie grasses, dragonflies, and butterflies. Since 1988, over 500 acres of this fire-frequent ecosystem of oak savanna and grassland have been cleared of non-indigenous conifers and much of it reexposed to fire by prescribed burning. Dr. Wayne Tyndall (Restoration Ecologist) and Wesley Knapp (Ecologist/Botanist) of the Maryland Natural Heritage Program will focus on geology, soils, indigenous versus extant conditions, botany, restoration ecology, and potential effects of climate change during this half day field trip.
Registration Fee: $25
Equipment and Attire: Hiking boots, sun screen, bug repellent, and hat.
Itinerary: 8:00 – Leave Baltimore Convention Center
8:30 – Arrive at Soldiers Delight Visitor Center
8:40-9:00 – Brief overview presentation of Soldiers Delight
9:00 – 12:00 - Hike discussing flora and ecology of Soldiers Delight
12:00-12:30 – Lunch
12:30 – Return to Baltimore Convention Center arriving around 1:00