Fullscreen background image

Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA)

In coop­er­a­tion with the Mid­dle Patux­ent Envi­ron­men­tal Foun­da­tion, Howard County Dept. of Recre­ation & Parks man­ages the 1,021 acre Mid­dle Patux­ent Envi­ron­men­tal Area (MPEA). The main focus of the MPEA’s mis­sion is 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 tra­di­tion­ally found in this region.

ACTIVITIES

Ongo­ing nat­ural resource man­age­ment projects in the MPEA include meadow habi­tat restora­tion, nat­ural resource inven­to­ries (bird sur­veys, veg­e­ta­tion sur­veys, etc.), for­est man­age­ment, deer pop­u­la­tion man­age­ment, stream water qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing, and the vol­un­teer program.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The objec­tive of the MPEA vol­un­teer pro­gram is to involve mem­bers of the com­mu­nity in many aspects of the MPEA’s man­age­ment. These oppor­tu­ni­ties include:

Devel­op­ment and main­te­nance of the trail system:

  • Help main­tain the 5.4 miles of hik­ing trails mainly by prun­ing back veg­e­ta­tion encroach­ing on the trails. Oppor­tu­ni­ties include super­vised Group Work ses­sions and train­ing to become an Inde­pen­dent Trail Main­te­nance Volunteer.

Fight the inva­sive exotics that threaten native species:

  • Weed War­riors — are vol­un­teers who are trained to work inde­pen­dently to remove inva­sive plants in the MPEA.
  • Con­ser­va­tion Stew­ard­ship Project – vol­un­teers are encour­aged to join in to work with Rec. and Parks staff to remove inva­sive plants. Vol­un­teers meet monthly March to June and Sept. to Novem­ber on the fourth Tues­day of the month. Open to any­one over 18 – under 18 needs an adult with them.

Study the diverse flora and fauna communities:

  • July But­ter­fly Counts — part of the North Amer­i­can But­ter­fly Asso­ci­a­tion (NABA) pro­gram, vol­un­teers will con­duct counts at 4 dif­fer­ent parks in the Howard County area. Occurs on the 3rd Sat­ur­day in July.
  • Frog­watch USA — mon­i­tor a sec­tion of the MPEA twice monthly from March-July and enter data into the online database.

Habi­tat man­age­ment projects:

  • Nest Box Mon­i­tor­ing — vol­un­teers mon­i­tor and main­tain the 22 nest boxes in MPEA’s grass­land restora­tion plots and enter col­lected data into the Cor­nell Lab of Ornithology’s Nest­watch online database.

CONTACT
Jeff Claffy
410−313−6209
jclaffy@howardcountymd.gov

WEBSITE
www.howardcountymd.gov/MPEA

Green Tip

Hi, I’m Howard and I’m here to provide you with green tips. Look for me throughout the site and check out my cool interactive games at the Kids Zone.