By: Phil Ourisson
Services provided by CCC in 2019 and 2020 include:
- Controlling invasive alien plants at the “Serene Ravine”. This area is shared by Anne Arundel County, the Cape St Claire Improvement Association (homeowners association of the Cape St Claire community, Annapolis, MD), and private properties.
- CCC organized a Wednesday Weed Warriors campaign in 2020: every Wednesday during the spring , summer and fall, volunteers came after office hours for 1-2 hours to remove alien plants. In the spring, the major focus was Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and later in the year, the focus moved to Bush Killer (Cayratia japonica).
- In 2019 and again in 2020, CCC purchased (over $1,000) numerous golden ragwort (Packera aurea), a native plant which reportedly will successfully compete with Garlic Mustard. These were planted around the areas with Garlic Mustard infestation.
- In the fall of 2020 (over $1,100, in part with a $693 grant from Unity Gardens) CCC purchased a variety of native plants, from bushes to ferns, and planted them in areas to hopefully shade the areas with Bush Killer infestation in order to reduce that population.
- In the spring of 2020 (over $1,100), CCC purchased and planted a variety of flowering native plants to make the ravine more attractive to residents. In the fall, wood chip mulch was spread to refresh the path through the ravine to maintain access to the area.
- In March 2019, CCC sponsored a speaking engagement by a USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Biologist. The talk was open to all at no cost, with the schedule advertised in CCC website, Facebook, The Caper (Cape St Claire newsletter) and a signboard at the entrance to Cape St Claire. The topic of this speaker was native bees, informing the public of the variety of native bees as well as their requirement of blooming native plants.
- In 2019 and 2020, CCC organized a Native Plant Fest and Sale. Native plants were purchased from local wholesale nurseries ($9,000 in 2019, $11,300 in 2020), and sold with a minimal mark-up. These were the third and fourth year that CCC organized this sale which has become more and more popular each year. In 2020, buyers, while mostly local, even came from outside Anne Arundel County because of the wide selection of native plants, the low prices, and the advice provided by members of CCC. Each year, plants sold out before the end of the scheduled sale.
- In 2020, CCC purchased six high quality cedar bat houses that were donated to the local Girl Scouts (Troop 55 of the Broadneck Peninsula.) They, in turn, assembled them, stained them with a safe wood stain, then donated them to the Beverly Triton Beach Park. They were installed in the Park in locations identified by the Girl Scouts together with Ranger Victor. Ranger Victor also educated the girls of Troop 55 on the species of bats found in Maryland and their declining numbers.
- In 2020, CCC purchased native plants (over $300) that were donated to Goshen Farms to support the pond restoration on their property.
- In 2020, CCC supported an Eagle Scout project. This Scout purchased, constructed, and installed three Leopold benches in the Serene Ravine. The contribution of CCC was to purchase and install one plaque on each bench engraved with a quote of Mr. Leopold on the protection of the Environment.
- Every quarter, CCC identifies one homeowner in Cape St Claire who has made a special effort in replacing a “traditional” landscape, which is based on alien plant species, with an “environmental” landscape which is based on native plants. These plants, in turn benefit native birds and native insects that depend on native plants. These individuals are honored as Habitat Heroes on the CCC website and in The Caper, and are offered a $25 gift certificate for more native plants at the Native Plant Fest and Sale.
- One member of CCC, each month, writes a blog on an environmental topic. This blog is published on the CCC website (CapeConservationCorps.org) as well as in The Caper.