Located off of Pitts Road in Showell, Maryland, this restoration project is owned by the Maryland Coastal Bays Program under an easement through the Lower Shore Land Trust.
The property consists of both mature forest succession with a variety of oaks, maple, ash, and hickory, as well as younger stages of forest succession that, in time, will begin to transition to older growth forest and the ecological diversity which mature forests harbor. The property consists of 87.7 acres of woods and wetlands. It has 1,500 ft frontage along Middle Branch of Shingle Landing Prong, St Martins River.
Most of the site is woods and ponds. The property is maintained and improved through continued restoration and reforestation, wetland creation, nutrient reduction projects, and educational initiatives.
Habitat restoration projects, such as the installation of pipes in agricultural ditches, have had positive impacts on water quality on the property. The pipes installed connect agricultural ditches to the property’s flood plains and wetlands. In times of highwater flow, the pipes will mitigate excess water to allow time for it to filter through the soil into the groundwater. This makes the water less nutrient loaded when it enters the St. Martin River.
Reforestation of Atlantic White Cedar and Bald Cypress trees have allowed for native forest regrowth, which improves the ecology and biodiversity of the area. A portion of the site has been converted into wetlands which provides important habitat for local fauna and reduce excessive nutrients entering our waterways.
The Showell property is ideal for outreach, citizen science projects, and educational initiatives. To date, the site has been used for ornithological and entomological studies through Salisbury University, trail building training for the Maryland Conservation Corps, mitigation pipe installation and trash clean ups through Comcast Cares, and various habitat improvement efforts which individuals and organizations have used to satisfy community service or volunteer hour requirements.
Worcester County public schools have also spent time on property with MCBP. The students participate in environmental education days and service projects, such as tree tube removal and trail maintenance. For these trips, MCBP orders portable restrooms to maintain comfort.