In the heart of fast-developing Anne Arundel County, Maryland lies a natural jewel. Nestled between busy communities and highways, is a large tract of green space. This natural area encompasses the headwaters of the South River, including three major streams and contains one of the largest tracts of contiguous forest in central Maryland.
It is also an area under significant development pressure. That’s why groups including Scenic Rivers Land Trust, South River Federation, The Trust For Public Land, Biophilia Foundation, Anne Arundel County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office have joined together in an effort to protect forests, wetlands and streams in the South River Greenway.
This area contains 6,000 acres of forest in two contiguous blocks, 800 acres of wetlands, and 100 miles of streams that flow into the South River. The forests and wetlands harbor a large diversity of migratory birds; including species of high conservation concern like the Kentucky warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler and prairie warbler; amphibians including the wood frog; and many types of reptiles, and mammals.
Recently, the Scenic Rivers Land Trust received a grant award of $50,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The funds will be used to conserve geographically linked private lands in the South River Greenway Project, which in turn will protect valuable wildlife habitat and enhance water quality. These protected lands also have the potential to become a large natural area park in the heart of Anne Arundel County.
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