Volunteer planting day, Oct. 2013
Photo by Roswitha Augusta
With the goal of providing habitat for a greater diversity of species, in 2013 ANS began restoring a large section of its meadow adjacent to the Woodend Sanctuary entrance drive off Jones Mill Road. Larry Weaner, a horticulturalist specializing in native plant gardens and meadows, identified plants appropriate to the upland, lowland, and shaded areas of the meadow, mixing in a large proportion of deer-resistant species. (See the plant list
). From late summer to early fall, staff and volunteers prepared the site: moving fauna to safety, raking, mowing, removing existing plants (many alien), and sowing a temporary grass cover. In October, a team of some 50 volunteers set out and dug in 3,000 plants and reseeded with native sedges and forbs. Separated from the unrestored section by a mowed buffer, the area encompasses zones of high ground and low, sun and shade, and a portion protected by a deer exclosure.
In 2014, the restored meadow came to life with a succession of native plants blooming among grasses, hosting a variety of fauna as well as naturalists young and old: Master Naturalist Volunteers, nature campers, and wildlife biology students from the University of Maryland. A study of bat species at Woodend saw greater diversity in the restored section, along with more insects. Some deer browse was evident, with taller plants thriving better in the exclosure, but most species, and the meadow overall, were unharmed. Volunteers and staff continue to maintain the area, removing invasive plants, spraying deer repellent, and mowing in February and May.
For more information about helping restore the meadow, contact email@example.com.
Meadow team leader: Pearl Marks
Staff contact: Lisa Alexander