As our preserved area grows, the land management aspect of our mission to protect the natural and cultural resources of the Parkers Creek and Governors Run watersheds for the benefit of this and future generations becomes increasingly important.
ACLT's volunteers have fun while preserving the natural and cultural heritage of our land and waterways in the following ways. Volunteer Opportunities.
Trail Maintenance Program
ACLT has constructed and maintains 15 miles of trails and two trailheads. At least twice a year (see Calendar of Events) we conduct scheduled trail maintenance work days where volunteers help with various tasks necessary to maintain the trails. Informal and special project days occur throughout the year on an as needed basis.
Invasive Plant Control Program
In 2006, ACLT instituted a new program called the Vine Vindicators to improve habitat for native plants by controlling non-native invasive species of plants. Volunteers are educated to the problems caused by non-native species and are trained to identify and safely remove them. See Calendar of Events for Vine Vindicator work dates and times.
ACLT experimented with using goats to help clear out the non-native species in early October 2009. Follow this link for additional information and images.
In 2007, ACLT instituted Weed-Whacking Wednesdays for volunteers who are available to meet during the week to work on invasive plant control. Weed Whacking Volunteers meet on Wednesday mornings.
Forest Management Program
ACLT has forest management plans on our properties that promote late successional (old growth) forest structure and the protection of endangered species of plants and animals. Our plans are designed to manage for forest interior dwelling bird habitat (i.e., a closed canopy) wherever possible. A closed canopy also helps to minimize opportunities for non-native invasive plant species to spread.
Double Oak Farm
Double Oak Farm is an initiative of the American Chestnut Land Trust to add another dimension to our mission to connect people to the land. A small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm was begun in 2010 and continues into the 2011 growing season by offering shares of produce to 30 shareholders.
The farm is managed under the able leadership of ACLT volunteer Jeff Klapper. Produce grown covers the full spectrum from arugula to zucchini and includes many heritage types from around the world as well as traditional main crop garden varieties. We grow using organic practices but are not certified organic by the USDA. The farm is a member of So. Md So Good ... .
If you would like to be added to the waitlist for a 2012 farm share, please download this form and return it to ACLT. If you would like to volunteer on the farm, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deer Herd Management
During regulated times of the year, we allow hunters to use our property in exchange for volunteer hours they contribute to ACLT's land management program throughout the remainder of the year. Deer herd management is important because an overpopulation of deer results in the destruction of much of the understory vegetation that provides habitat for birds and other species of wildlife. Deer herd management also enables the forest to regenerate itself.
Cultural Resource Management
The agricultural history of the lands ACLT manages is reflected in the scattered structures that remain throughout the landscape. ACLT has inventoried these structures and prioritized them for stabilization and/or restoration. ACLT has restored the Hance-Chesley Cemetery with the help of the Calvert Garden Club and is currently restoring the Percy Howard Barn on Scientists Cliffs Road.
Water Quality Monitoring Program
The ACLT monitoring program began in 1998. The goal of the program is to maintain a continuous record of water quality in Parkers Creek. By sampling once a month, we hope to be able to detect changes in water quality that may indicate a change in the 'health' of the stream. Volunteers are trained to sample for dissolved nutrients, total suspended solids, phytoplankton abundance, temperature, water clarity, and salinity.
Earth Day Community Event
The land trust sponsors an annual event in conjunction with surrounding neighborhoods to gather trash from the roadsides in the community and to undertake special projects designed to make ACLT operations even greener. For example, in 2008, ACLT created mulch for use on the trails to cut down on the need for mowing the trails.
[ Top ]