In March, 167 students and 44 community volunteers planted 5,500 new Atlantic white cedar trees at Nassawango Creek Preserve. The National Aquarium has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy on this project for the past eight years. This year, we expanded our efforts by planting within a newly cleared 38-acre area of the preserve.
The Atlantic white cedar is an evergreen tree found in a narrow portion of the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed. Historically, Atlantic white cedar forests were common along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In recent decades, these trees have been over-harvested and the wetland ecosystems they depend on have been drained. The Atlantic white cedar is now considered a rare plant species in the state of Maryland.
Four schools in Worcester and Somerset counties participated in the event as part of the National Aquarium’s Wetland Nursery Program. Students in the program spent the fall and winter months caring for Atlantic white cedar tree saplings in their school yards, and planted the very same trees they raised during the event at Nassawango.
Since 2009, the National Aquarium has worked with our partners at The Nature Conservancy to plant more than 25,000 Atlantic white cedar saplings throughout the preserve. These efforts will help restore this rare tree species and important freshwater wetland habitats in Maryland.
Get involved in one of our future conservation events and learn more here!