Click Here to take an aerial tour of the Conservation Farm
BCC Conservation Trail Guide is Available to download: Click here Link to Trail Guide
What is the long-range plan for the IWLA Bethesda Chevy Chase Poolesville Conservation Farm ?
To establish and develop the finest example of living resource management in the state of Maryland, the United States, and the world. Our cash crops are not timber, grain or vegetables, rather it is the healthy ecological attitude of our membership. We see our farm as a 623-acre classroom in which to plant the seeds of ecological awareness, responsibility and respect for the environment.
The BCC-IWLA Forest Management and Stewardship Plan addresses: soil conservation, soil erosion, invasive plant control, planting of native plants and trees, creating and maintaining wildlife habitat, education and understanding of the needs of wildlife and the value of woodlands and undeveloped spaces, and “To the preservation of this heritage and to man’s sharing in it.”
Implementation of Phase I was the planting of 1,000 trees in the B4 & B5 fields in April 2012.Over 100 BCC members and families gathered to plant 12 varieties of native trees in these former agriculture fields (below BCC family members planted 1000 native trees).
Phase II was the restoration of the C3 field and its transformation into prime, sustained, multipurpose wildlife habitat. This long neglected field was cleared of invasive plant species and overgrown and aged orinamental trees and shrubs. Again B-CC IWLA members and families turned out in April 2011 to plant over 1,100 native hardwood and evergreen trees in this former agricultural field.
Phase III was the clearing and tree planting in the B1 field with a similar mix of native trees on April 14th, 2012. Once established these trees will offer optimum wildlife habitat and to achieve the conservation goal for the B-CC IWLA Conservation Farm.
But the planting of trees in old agricultureal fields is just the beginning of the future for the BCC-IWLA Conservation Farm...
In November 2010 the B-CC IWLA purchased a 50-acre wooded property to the north and adjoining the Boy Scout Woods. In 2011 B-CC IWLA members established a loop trail that begins at the parking lot off of West Willard road to provide members with access to the Northeast Woods property. Then, in September 2012 an additional 50 acres of woodlands north of the 2012 purchase was added to the B-CC IWLA Conservaiton Farm's holdings. These new properties are very rustic, and they are in the process of succession from native red ceadar and Virginia pine to various hardwoods, and they are a very rich habitat for deer, turkey and other wildlife.
B-CC IWLA leadership is working to revise the current conservation easements on the Main Farm,West Woods I and West Woods II properties to bring them into compliance with current "best forest management practices", and to establish a conservation easement on the newly acquired Northeast Woods properties.
Implementation of the long-term plan requires continuity of thought and purpose. Continuity is a real challenge owing to the ongoing succession of the presiding B-CC Boards of Governors and the B-CC membership. A successful ongoing effort requires volunteerism and commitment of your time to this plan. If you are a member of the B-CC, you owe it to yourself and the future of the Conservation Farm to make this commitment of your time and volunteer to help implement this plan.
The management of the B-CC Conservation Farm must be management with a recognition of the reality of succession of its members and governing body, and consistent with the Core Values and Mission Statement of the B-CC IWLA. Our Conservation Fram is intended to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for B-CC IWLA members, and to serve as a natural classroom where an appreciation for the natural history of these woodlands and the wildlife that reside in them can enrich the lives of our members, and their children now and on into the future.
The B-CC IWLA is fortunate to have within its membership the talent and the commitment of its active members to continue with the development and implementation of this long-range plan for a Conservation Farm and living example of sustained and responsible habitat management for wildlife and for our children and generations to follow.
If you believe in B-CC IWLA, its purpose, mission and core values, you will support the implementation of this long-range plan and the purchase of additional habitat.