Wardour Reserve Demonstration Conservation Landscape

Neighbors are invited to join us this Sunday, 10/28, between 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. to help plant a native garden in the Wardour Reserve. You’re welcome to come for a brief shift or stay the whole time, and kids can help plant too. We’ll be planting rain or shine. (Forgive me if I hope for rain–it will be helpful in getting our plants established!) If you have gloves or shovels, please bring those with you.

Conservation landscapes use native plants with deep roots to slow down and absorb rainwater and runoff, which are major sources of pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay. We’ll be planting a conservation landscape in an area of the Wardour Reserve that is saturated with storm water from a culvert during heavy rain. The plantings will help slow down and absorb this storm water before it reaches Gudger Beach, where the neighborhood is working on a plan to restore the tidal marsh. Capturing some of this water upstream will help keep the marsh water clean and healthy. Slowing down the water will also protect the beautiful path and landscaping that our neighbors along the Reserve created a couple of years ago. The plantings will include low ground cover, shrubs, and flowering perennials that will provide year-round color for us and nesting sites and food for native birds and pollinators.

This will also serve as a demonstration garden for Wardour neighbors who are interested in learning about planting with natives (which require less or no watering and attract birds and pollinators) or learning how to install conservation landscapes and rain gardens to help prevent runoff to the Bay. I’ve planned this garden as part of the steward certification process of the Anne Arundel County Watershed Steward Academy. Stewards act as resources for their communities, helping county residents find and fix sources of watershed pollution on their properties.

How to find us:
Wardour Reserve is a common property that runs between Wardour Drive and Gudger Beach. The planting project will be near the wooden bridge that joins the path and the private road leading to the pump house. There will be a sign-in table near the project site.

Budget and funding:
Because we are doing our own planting and getting the plants wholesale, the project will be under $2000. The Watershed Steward Academy of Anne Arundel County will provide a grant towards our costs. I have also applied for an Anne Arundel Bird Club Conservation Stewardship Grant and a Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini Grant.

Meet the plants: