Posted by Greg Ellison
(September 30, 2021) The Ocean Pines Environmental and Natural Assets Committee discussed wildlife control measures and potential projects last Wednesday, including how to raise support for an upcoming native plant planting campaign for the Maryland Coastal Bays program in Bainbridge Pond .
Environment and Natural Goods Committee chairman Ken Wolf said help is being sought from the community in planting the local flora.
“We’re looking for volunteers to come on October 4th to help Maryland Coastal Bays and us plant,” he said.
Coastal Bays representatives and the Ocean Pines Association are working on the project, which is funded by grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust with funds from the association.
The planting element is the final phase of the larger Bainbridge Pond project, which aims to improve rainwater management, reduce flooding and improve water quality prior to entering coastal bays.
Native plants improve the filtration of rainwater entering Bainbridge Pond by absorbing nutrients before they flow into the Isle of Wight Bay.
Volunteers should contact Steve Farr, Coastal Bays Program Area Coordinator, by phone at 301-580-0848 or by email at [email protected]
Planting is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 4th at 9 a.m. and be completed by noon. Although shovels and gloves are available, participants should consider bringing tools. The organizers said workers should dress appropriately and wear boots.
The committee also reviewed the final version of new signs to be placed around the ponds to remind the public not to feed geese or other wildlife.
The signs warning against feeding the wild geese will be placed around the two North Gate ponds and on South Gate Pond at Veterans Memorial Park.
“We will have them produced and work with them [Ocean Pines] Public works where they should be placed around the pond, ”he said. “Ultimately, that’s your decision.”
Committee members continued to discuss a recent recommendation to test turf grass formulated to deter wildlife at North Gate Pond.
Wolf said board liaison officer Tom Janasek opened discussions about installing FlightTurf during the board meeting on Sept. 15.
FlightTurf, which was developed about a decade ago, is tasteless to poultry and costs around $ 2,600 per acre without installation.
“The colleague who runs the golf course was very interested in this concept,” he said.
Golf Superintendent Justin Hartshorne offered to help research the feasibility of planting FlightTurf.
During the discussion at the board meeting, director Collette Horn recommended that Janasek provide information on less costly alternatives.
Wolf said previous attempts to discourage geese populations from feeding and nesting ranged the gamut from dogs to chemically treated grasses.
“We tried growing the grass, then we came in and put chemicals on the lawn,” he said. “We also brought border collies with us. There was no magic bullet that would do anything. “
The session also discussed the water quality tests on various Pines ponds, including the water retention areas on the Ocean Pines Golf Course.
“We talked about the water quality tests that we had started on geese in the ponds at our behest,” he said.
Preliminary testing for bacteria had yielded below average results, but a follow-up sample did not reveal any areas of concern.
“There was a bug in the testing process that was cause for concern, but the test was retested and it was found that there were no problems,” he said.
Janasek continues to seek experts to improve the Bacterial Content Testing Committee’s understanding.
“We want to get a better understanding of how to interpret any test information we get back,” he said.
Further progress has been made in efforts to improve an underutilized pond and nature trail in the woods behind the Ocean Pines Library.
Off Shore Lake is located south of Route 90 and is approximately half the area of South Gate Pond.
Wolf said committee members were reviewing a recently completed land platform of the website that was commissioned by the association and completed by Vista Design.
Before measures are taken to develop the area into a nature reserve, the boundaries of the sea area must be clearly defined.
“We’re working with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program on this,” he said. “How can we make it a nature reserve.”
Committee members also voted for the Board of Directors to recommend that the Board renovate a small number of neglected mailbox clusters.
“At least one mailbox site and possibly two,” he said.
Last November, the Ocean Pines Budget and Finance Committee ruled that a $ 60,000 to $ 70,000 redevelopment proposal was too expensive for three post office box locations, but agreed that repairs were needed.
“It was the last thing the budget didn’t make it through last year,” he said.