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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Howard County Conservancy

     With the changing of the season toward winter I decided to make a trip out to the Howard County Conservancy  at 10520 Old Frederick Road.  It is location is the old "Mt. Pleasant farm was donated for preservation by Ruth and Frances Brown, former Howard County schoolteachers. It is now used for our educational programs, special events and is open to the public for hiking, visiting our nature center and the 3-acre John L. Clark Honors Garden."  The nature center is pictured above.
   Their website describes their purpose as:
     "The Howard County Conservancy is a local, non-profit environmental education center and land trust. The Conservancy was founded by a group of local citizens in 1990. Our mission is to educate children and adults about the natural world, preserve the land and its legacy and model responsible stewardship of the environment. The Conservancy provides environmental education programs at two locations – our home base at Mt. Pleasant Farm in Woodstock and at Howard County’s Belmont Manor and Historic Park in Elkridge."

      The walking trails onsite are like the ones pictured above are grass covered and make a good walking surface.

   Many of the features of the past farm are apparent like the old stone wall like the one pictured above and the tree lined row pictured below.

    At this time of year it is a little harder to find some color but the bittersweet bush, pictured above, was nice to see and some of the leaves on the oak trees, pictured below, that keep there leaves though much of the winter.

    The stream that runs through the farm shows the impact of heavy storm water erosion that in some cases has caused the uprooting of trees like below.

    The location seems like a popular site for Eagle Boy Scout projects like the two pictured below.

   The visitors guide is a good way to plan a visit to the Conservancy.  The map of the trails shows all of the ways to navigate the Conservancy with the length of each trail.
    This Saturday, December 6th, would be a good day to visit the Conservancy for their Natural Holiday Sale from 10 am to 3 pm.  This is how they describe the Sale:

"DEC 6- Saturday 10am-3pm Natural Holiday Sale: You will find an assortment of unique and locally crafted items for sale including natural holiday decorations from the woods, gardens and local farms and markets. Children and adults can make whimsical critters from cones, pods and seed heads. Local pottery, hand crafted soaps and bees wax candles, jewelry, hand crafted accessories, nature and gardening books, nature photography items, kids books and puppets. All proceeds benefit the Conservancy’s environmental educational programs. Families are welcome!"

    In my walk I noticed that beech and oak trees retained many of their dead leaves when all the other trees had dropped their leaves.  It made me do a Google search to find out why this happens.


1 comment:

Ned said...

Great article on the Conservancy - it is one of Howard County's greatest secrets!! It is totally supported by those of us in the community who still feel that we need places like this 230 acre farm to get out kids outside and exploring the wonders of the natural world. Go check it out and ask how you can get more involved. #SavingThePlaces