On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the summer months offer
one of the best opportunities to observe native species in their natural
habitat. On Environmental Concern’s (EC) campus, course participants,
summer camp kids, daily visitors and our staff enjoy observing our
wetland habitats - the most productive ecosystems in the world.
Along the shoreline, a thriving marsh is home to
blue crabs, silvery minnows and whirligig beetles. Numerous wetland
habitats and dozens of species of native plants growing in our nursery
provide the ideal conditions for butterflies, dragonflies, leopard
frogs, beetles and honey bees. We have a resident green heron and a
plethora of beneficial insects.
The three bee hives located near the forested area
on campus offer a special experience for visitors and the EC staff. Our
beekeeper gives us advance notice before he visits the bee hives so that
we can observe the bee colonies, and watch as he maintains the apiary.
Photographs give us a fleeting glimpse of the
activity in and around the wetlands – a snapshot of nature’s perpetual
movement that we would miss if not captured in a photo. Our in-house
photographer enjoys rambling around the nursery searching for the first
bloom on a particular plant species or a florescent colored beetle
landing on a black-eyed Susan.
When the children attend day camps in the summer,
they collect creepy beetles, moths and tiny frogs. They can’t wait to
see what lurks in the bottom of their nets when they are pulled out of
the creek. The campers don’t seem to mind getting wet and muddy if they
are successful in their quest to find a living creature.
We look forward to sharing the wonders of wetlands
with you. Come visit us. We’re in the tiny, historic town of St.
Michaels, Maryland. There’s lots to do, starting with a tour of EC’s
campus. You can continue your nature tour in a kayak or on a paddle
board on San Domingo Creek. Peddle and Paddle is only a few short
blocks away. Rentals are very reasonable.
We hope to see you before the summer is over.
- - Suzanne Pittenger-Slear