On Earth Day, community members of all ages gathered at Cattail Creek in the Berrywood community. The goal was to plant native and pollinator-friendly plants along the creek, which is the final phase of the large-scale restoration project that ultimately took six years to complete.
The restoration construction started in October 2018. It was made possible by grants from the "Watershed Stewards Academy in league with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources," said Berrywood Watershed Committee member Bob Royer. Underwood & Associates took charge of the design and construction of the restoration.
In all, the grants totaled just under $1 million.
Royer and Molly LaChapelle, a longtime Berrywood resident, worked together to make this restoration project happen.
"I always said from a technical standpoint what we did was connect the stream with the floodplain, which hadn’t been done in years," Royer said. "The most important thing now is we have reconnected the stream back to the community."
Now, families are using the spot as a nature park, according to Royer.
"We want to bring people’s attention to the environment, and this is the perfect showcase for demonstrating that," Royer said.
Some of the proposed plants include American cranberry (which is where Berrywood gets its name), blueberry, bald cypress, sweetbay magnolia, American holly and redhead grass.
"We'd like to use this as a flagship program to start this off, and then move forward to increase the water quality going up the Cattail Creek watershed, but also use it as a leading example for other neighborhoods to do the same in their area," Royer said. "If we can do this one stream at a time in other areas, then the [Chesapeake Bay]'s health will approve dramatically."