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Butterflies, bee hives and blooms – it’s summer on the Eastern Shore EC President Suzanne Pittenger-Slear

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the summer months offer one of the best opportunities to observe native species in their natural habitat. On Environmental Concern’s (EC) campus, course participants, summer camp kids, daily visitors and our staff enjoy observing our wetland habitats - the most productive ecosystems in the world.

CCV Volunteers plant wetland

Along the shoreline, a thriving marsh is home to blue crabs, silvery minnows and whirligig beetles. Numerous wetland habitats and dozens of species of native plants growing in our nursery provide the ideal conditions for butterflies, dragonflies, leopard frogs, beetles and honey bees. We have a resident green heron and a plethora of beneficial insects.

The three bee hives located near the forested area on campus offer a special experience for visitors and the EC staff. Our beekeeper gives us advance notice before he visits the bee hives so that we can observe the bee colonies, and watch as he maintains the apiary.

Photographs give us a fleeting glimpse of the activity in and around the wetlands – a snapshot of nature’s perpetual movement that we would miss if not captured in a photo. Our in-house photographer enjoys rambling around the nursery searching for the first bloom on a particular plant species or a florescent colored beetle landing on a black-eyed Susan.

When the children attend day camps in the summer, they collect creepy beetles, moths and tiny frogs. They can’t wait to see what lurks in the bottom of their nets when they are pulled out of the creek.  The campers don’t seem to mind getting wet and muddy if they are successful in their quest to find a living creature.

high school student catching fish

We look forward to sharing the wonders of wetlands with you. Come visit us. We’re in the tiny, historic town of St. Michaels, Maryland. There’s lots to do, starting with a tour of EC’s campus. You can continue your nature tour in a kayak or on a paddle board on San Domingo Creek. Peddle and Paddle is only a few short blocks away. Rentals are very reasonable.

We hope to see you before the summer is over.

- -  Suzanne Pittenger-Slear 
Periwinkle Snails

Rudbeckia hirta with grasshopper

  Beekeeper at Environmental Concern

Dogbane Beetle on milkweed
 
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