In today’s episode we explore ecosystems. An ecosystem is the term for the biological community that interacts with a specific environment. Forests, deserts, creeks, rivers, backyards and cities are all different ecosystems. By studying different ecosystems, scientists can learn which organisms thrive best in different areas. They study changes within an ecosystem and how those changes affect other areas. These studies can lead to better solutions to problems we face within these ecosystems. For example, scientists have developed a way to help fight the erosion happening along the water’s edge at Camp Whippoorwill, which sits along the Magothy River, and Camp Woodlands, which sits along Broad Creek.. This solution is called a Living Shoreline.
Living Shorelines help control the erosion that occurs where water meets land. Erosion can be very damaging to our camp property and to the ecosystem existing there. Living Shorelines use natural elements like wetland plants and sand to create a natural transition zone between the water and the land, instead of man-made structures like concrete seawalls. Not only does the living shoreline help stabilize the shoreline, but it also helps filter water and creates a new habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species.
In 2014, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland was pleased to receive a bond bill from The State of Maryland to help our Living Shoreline project at Camp Whippoorwill. This project will be on-going for the next several years as we plant and monitor grasses and wetland vegetation. If you or your troop would like to get involved with the Living Shoreline project at Camp Whippoorwill, please contact us at STEM@gscm.org.
To learn more about the ecosystems at our other camp properties, check out Ranger BoxTurtle’s Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center Tour at Camp Ilchester in Ellicott City, Maryland. Nature Center Tours are $5 per person and include a visit to the Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center and a guided nature hike. To schedule a visit to the nature center, contact Ranger BoxTurtle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Living Shorelines visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.