Nearly 700 Trees Planted at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary

The Maryland Park Service recently completed an important environmental restoration project, planting hundreds of native trees at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary in Prince George’s County. It is the only wildlife sanctuary managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Last week, members of the Maryland Conservation Corps and Veterans Conservation Corps planted 691 trees in an old agricultural field along the 2-mile section of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Driving Tour located in the sanctuary.

The route is open for self-guided driving tours 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays year round, and biking, hiking and horseback riding February through September. It is closed October through January to provide peaceful resting grounds for migratory geese and other waterfowl.

The following tree species were planted: Red Chokeberry, Red Maple, Multi-stem Serviceberry, Tulip Poplar, Black Cherry, White Oak and Northern Red Oak. Planting supplies and trees were obtained from local nurseries by Maryland Forest Service staff.

The planting project is a cooperative interagency effort between the Maryland Park Service and Maryland Forest Service, with funding provided to offset resource impacts associated with a utility upgrade project in Southern Maryland.

The Maryland Conservation Corps and Veterans Conservation Corps involve members in comprehensive natural resource management and restoration projects, and important conservation and environmental education efforts throughout the state.