The Habitat and Trail team is a group of dedicated volunteers who keep the trails and pathways of Lake Roland clear and free of debris so families, walkers, runners and dog fanciers can enjoy the park more easily.
On the second Saturday morning of each month, these hardy volunteers help clear fallen trees and brush andcut back invasive plants such as multi-flora rose and porcelain berry vine to help get sun to areas that are perpetually muddy. Grooming the many trails in the park is a never-ending process but it is good, dirty fun.
As volunteers clear the pathways they are also painting colored ‘blazes’ on trees to mark the route of each trail. These agreed-upon pathways correspond to a map being developed by Baltimore County and the Nature Council.
John Goodrich, a twenty-something who grew up riding his bike on the trails through the park, recently adopted the L’Hirondelle Trail. John and Jeffrey Budnitz, a Nature Council board member, have groomed the trail from L’Hirondelle Club Road to the trestle, taking out encroaching green brier and multi-flora rose that made it almost impossible to hike without getting your legs scratched or your clothes torn.
An added benefit is that the L’Hirondelle Trail and the nearby Lake Roland Meadow are now accessible to both the park ‘gator and the fire department should an emergency arise.
Other volunteers and groups have been busy in different areas of the park. For example, Mary & Frank Emerson have toiled on trails in the fragile Serpentine area near the Home & Hospital School. Several Eagle Scouts have also cleared and stabilized some trails in the interior of the park.
The park has some of the best trails in Baltimore, but they require constant upkeep. So – if you like to work outside, get your hands dirty and do a good deed, join a ranger and the Habitat and Trail team on the second Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to help maintain the beauty of Lake Roland. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring water.
by Nancy Worden Horst