Passport to Nature

Finzel Swamp Keeps Its Cool

Student researchers are monitoring weather conditions in relation to water levels, ultimately accumulating data on climate-change impacts to Finzel Swamp.

Even when summer heats up, Finzel Swamp Preserve keeps its cool.

Purchased and protected more than 40 years ago, Finzel Swamp offers visitors a chance to see and experience a rare “frost pocket.” More typical of northern climes such as Canada, frost pockets are unusual this far south in the United States.

Yet thanks to the Conservancy’s work to protect and restore this natural area near the town of Finzel, you can find an exemplary frost pocket less than a three-hour drive from Washington, D.C.

Thanks to a partnership with aptly named Frostburg State University, the Conservancy is learning more about this unique natural treasure.

In 2012, a group of Frostburg students set up a weather monitoring station at the preserve. This station allows the student researchers to monitor weather conditions in relation to water levels and ultimately gather data on climate-change impacts to the area.

The students, in turn, will share data with the Conservancy, helping us better understand how our restoration work contributes to the habitat’s health.

“The Conservancy is thrilled to partner with Frostburg State University on this project,” said Deborah Landau, senior ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC. “It will enable us not only to better understand the impacts of climate change on our natural areas, but also how our restoration efforts may help to mitigate climate change.”

View photos of the students at work.

Interested in Visiting Finzel Swamp?

Located west of Cumberland, our preserve is open year-round for nature walks, birdwatching and photography. Get directions.

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