News & Updates from the Land Preservation Committee By Merritt Pridgeon, VP of Sustainability As the GVC celebrates its 25th year, it is important to remember that as a land trust organization, we are responsible for protecting our eased properties…
Create a Pollinator Paradise!
Pollinators are important because they serve as a critical link in the ecosystem. Without pollination there would be no seeds or fruits that provide food for other insects and animals (including us!). Pollination is critical for agriculture and supports the development of many foods we consume. An estimated 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops require insect and animal pollinators in order to reproduce via seeds. Furthermore, seed dispersion by wind and animals allows new plants and plant communities to grow, forming grasslands and woodlands that stabilize the soil surfaces of our watershed.
Who is the cast of characters? Bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies and birds are the primary pollinators in our local ecosystem, the Eastern Broadleaf Forest, Oceanic Province. Bees are considered to be one of the most important groups of pollinators in this region. Female bees feed on and collect both flower nectar (high in sugar and necessary amino acids) and pollen (high in protein) as food for their offspring. No wonder they are so busy! In doing this, they accidentally transfer large quantities of pollen from flower to flower, providing a critical link in the seed production process. Other pollinators also unintentionally transfer pollen in their search for nourishing nectar, and many of the recommendations described below support their life cycle needs too.
MIDDLE RIVER — Born the eldest of 11 children in Middle River, Norm Brady remembers clear creeks.
“I used to swim in the river as a kid,” said Brady, a retired medical social worker for the developmentally disabled. But, having returned to Hawthorne five years ago to live on the water again, Brady laments the change in the clarity of his hometown creeks.
“Since I’ve been here, I haven’t been in yet. Look at it,” Brady said. “Would you swim in it?”
Confronted with excess sedimentation and debris from a nearby storm drain, which creates what Brady describes as “a crescent of silt” right beside his boat pier, Brady is determined to prevent any erosion from his own property from entering Middle River.
On May 3, 2010, Baltimore County published the Master Plan Rural Areas Amendment to the 2010 County Master Plan. This amendment was created to comply with the County Charter’s requirement that the Master Plan be reviewed and revised at least every ten years. The Master Plan Amendment was also drafted to comply with the Maryland Agricultural Stewardship Act of 2006. This Act “provides for the establishment of priority preservation areas by charter counties.” The Rural Areas Amendment continues Baltimore County’s efforts, since 1974, to place agricultural lands in permanently protected easements.
The Master Plan Amendment identifies four general policies to guide the County’s efforts to protect rural lands:
- Permanently preserve lands for agriculture and natural resources to achieve the goal of at least 80,000 acres.
- Recognize and promote sustainable agriculture as a vital economic, commercial, and industrial activity that requires permanent protection.
- Manage development to protect agricultural lands and prevent conflicts between agricultural operations and incompatible uses.
- Ensure the proper management of agricultural lands to protect water quality and natural resources.