Red spruce (Picea rubens) once covered thousands of acres in western Maryland. Logging and subsequent wildfires at the turn of the 20th Century drastically reduced its range. It’s estimated that in the Central Appalachians as much as 90% of the original red spruce forest is now gone.
But we're working to change that statistic - one seedling at a time.
"We’ve been planting red spruce in western Maryland nearly every year since 1996, and have begun re-visiting sites planted 10 years ago in order to introduce some age diversity in these restored forests", says Deborah Landau, Conservation Ecologist for the Maryland/DC chapter. "It’s so satisfying to go back to these sites and see how well the seedlings we rescued are growing. I can’t wait to come back to these sites in another decade and do it all again."
How You Can Help
Join us at Cranesville Swamp Preserve on Friday, April 20 and/or Saturday, April 21 as we replant several thousand locally-sourced red spruce seedlings. This planting will accelerate restoration of forest cover and regeneration of red spruce.
It will improve habitat quality for rare plants and animals, help rebuild carbon-rich soils, improve hydrology and local climate, reducing erosion and increasing percolation of water into the underlying bedrock.
Pretty good payoff for a spring day spent in a beautiful place! Visit our registration page to RSVP.