Chester River Environmental Park at Gibson's Grant
The park was a result of cooperative efforts between Gibson's Grant, a 280 unit traditional neighborhood design community developed by White's Heritage LLC., CBEC and the Queen Anne's County Department of Parks and Recreation. The park protects 55 acres of native habitat and is accessible to the general public via the Cross Island Trail. The Chester River Environmental Park serves as another venue for CBEC to launch year-round education programs and wildlife monitoring hikes.
Phragmites Control: Since 2000, CBEC has engaged in controlling an invasive plant known as phragmites. Phragmites rapidly spread by rhizomes that can grow up to a half mile in length containing hundreds of new plant offshoots. Aerial spraying of Glypro, an aquatic safe herbicide with an enzyme that is specific to eradicating phragmites, has been applied to 200 acres of CBEC’s 510-acre peninsula. CBEC has regained as much as 40% of native marshlands as a result of the spray and burn methods used to control phragmites.
The primary methods for controlling Phragmites are chemical treatment (spraying a glyphosate herbicide), and physical treatment (mowing, discing, flooding, draining and burning). Usually several methods need to be employed to control phragmites, and the repeated treatments for several years produces the most effective results.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) working in cooperation with Queen Anne’s County Weed Control Department provide a service to the residents in assisting with control of Phragmites. Since a permit is required to treat phragmites, a list of homeowners requesting the treatment, and collaboration with the state and county to have the work done, it is important to Contact Donald Webster, Wildlife Biologist for DNR, at 410-490-5744 and request a treatment. He is the person who will arrange for a permit for you. Please contact him prior to August 1 of the year.
Partners: US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Queen Anne’s County Soil & Conservation District, National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
Septic Upgrade Demonstration: In 2005 CBEC received the first nitrogen retro fit septic system in Queen Anne’s County. The system treats waste water by efficiently removing 99% of the nitrogen contents resulting in lowered nutrient output into the bay. High nutrient levels due to increased housing and failing septic systems in the critical zone have lead to the sharp decline of aquatic plants and animals essential in filtering the Chesapeake Bay. CBEC’s goal is to lead by example and encourage homeowners to correct outdated septic systems.
Partners: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP)