As part of our ongoing partnerships with Bowie State University (BSU) and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance), GreenVest hosted BSU students for a field trip to our Western Branch Mitigation Site (WBMS) in the Patuxent River watershed in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Students got a first-hand look at an environmental restoration site while learning about various restoration practices and maintenance and monitoring protocols for this project. The Bowie State University campus is also located within the Patuxent River watershed, allowing students to connect their local ecological footprint to that of the greater Chesapeake Bay region.
GreenVest created, restored, and preserved 3.04 acres of wetlands and associated wetland buffers on former agricultural land to provide mitigation for our client Washington Gas Light Company. Now in its fourth year of post-construction monitoring, the site has established a diverse community of native wetland plant species and harbors a surprising diversity of wildlife including bluebirds, wood ducks, hawks, herons, amphibians, and snakes!
Following an introduction to the site’s history and the restoration approaches used to construct the project, Ecosystem Restoration Specialist Jack Turner demonstrated various techniques employed by GreenVest field staff to monitor this project’s post-construction evolution. Students practiced soil sampling using augers and tested soils with Alpha-alpha-Dipyridyl (AAD) test strips. AAD strips measure the presence of reduced iron in soils which can indicate a reduced, anaerobic soil — a defining characteristic of wetland soils. Students also used a water level meter in one of the on-site groundwater monitoring wells to measure the elevation of groundwater — another way that GreenVest staff determine if wetlands are establishing as proposed. The GreenVest Team is grateful for our relationship with BSU and the Alliance. Working with the local university is one of many reasons we are proud to be a Prince George’s County-Based Small Business. It is incredibly rewarding for GreenVest to work with students and local organizations to inspire ecological stewardship, directly contributing to the GV mission.