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Creating Wildlife Habitat Under In Our Powerline Corridors,
Speaker: Michael Wilpers
The program is free and open to the public.
Learn how powerline corridors in Maryland can support a tremendous diversity and abundance of native plants, insects, and birds when mowing is reduced and the powerlines are managed as early succession plant communities.
Along powerlines that cross federal lands at the Patuxent Research Refuge and the South River Greenway (near Annapolis), studies have counted 146 species of native bees, 40 species of butterflies, and 126 species of birds. In a small powerline meadow in Chillum, 125 native plants have been documented.
Our speaker, Michael Wilpers, has worked with Pepco on the meadow in Chillum since 2007 as a member of Friends of Sligo Creek, of which he is past president and currently chair of natural history. He is now working with the Sierra Club Maryland Chapter on a state bill that would remove a significant barrier to establishing more meadows within the 2,000 miles of transmission lines Maryland: all the county "weed" ordinances that require herbaceous vegetation be kept at no more than 12 inches in height. The bill's cosponsors are Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (Montgomery County) and Sen. Malcolm Augustine (Prince George's County).
Michael will discuss the inspiration, history, challenges, and successes of the powerline meadow in Chillum, in particular, and the flora and fauna that it has supported since mowing was reduced.
Further reading: Michael Wilpers. Fall 2019. A Meadow Grassland in Sligo Creek’s Powerline Corridor. Marilandica, Vol. 10, Issue 2. Page 6: https://mdflora.org/resources/Publications/Marilandica/Marilandica_v10n2.pdf
This will be recorded and available on our Webinars page.
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