Wetlands Walk
A Guide to Wetlands
and Wildlife Sanctuaries
in the Washington,
DC, Metropolitan Area


Table Of Contents



 What is a Wetland?
 What's So Important About Wetlands?

 Audubon Naturalist Society at Woodend
 Biackwater National Wildlife Refuge
 Dyke Marsh
 Huntley Meadows Park
 Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Glendening Nature Preserve
 and McCann Wetland Education Center
Julie J. Metz Wetlands Mitigation Bank
Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Lake Accotink Park
Leesylvania State Park
 Mason Neck State Park
McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area
National  Aquarium in Baltimore
National Wildlife Visitor Center
 National Zoo and Wetlands Exhibit
Pohick Bay Regional Park
Sunrise Valley Nature Park
 Theodore Roosevelt Island

 Flora and Fauna List
37  \ What Can You Do to Help?
38  !  Wetland Resources


                      Wetlands  Walk

    A  Guide to  Wetlands and Wildlife Sanctuaries
       in the  WasJiington, DC, Metropolitan Area

A wetland is a wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, a place to watch birds,
fish or just relax. Wetlands are home to an abundance of wildlife and plants. Many can only be found in
wetlands and may be rare or endangered. Wetlands are also fragile, so when you visit a wetland, please
take care to leave it as you found it.

There are a number of wetlands on publicly owned land in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland that
are open to visitors. This collection includes a variety of wetland types in beautiful settings. Several are
accessible by car or public transportation from the urban heart of Washington.

                         What is a  Wetland?

Although wetlands are often wet, they may not be wet all year long. In fact, some of the most important
wetlands are wet only seasonally. Wetlands are the link between land and water, where the flow of
water, cycling of nutrients and energy of the sun  meet to produce a unique ecosystem characterized by
hydrology, soils and vegetation.

Wetlands generally fall under four basic categories - marshes, swamps, bogs and fens - characterized by
their vegetation and/or soils:

»  Marshes may have saltwater and/or freshwater and are dominated by soft-stemmed vegetation;
»  Swamps are mainly freshwater with mostly woody plants;
» Bogs are freshwater wetlands, often formed in old glacial lakes, characterized by spongy peat deposits,
evergreen trees and shrubs and a floor covered by a thick carpet of sphagnum moss;
»Fens are freshwater, peat-forming wetlands covered mostly by grasses, sedges, trees and wildflowers.

           Whats So Important About Wetlands?

Wetlands are some of the most valuable natural features of our environment. They are diverse and often
beautiful ecosystems that provide numerous benefits to humans and animals.

Some benefits of wetlands include:

»  Water storage. Wetlands function like natural sponges, soaking up water then slowly releasing it.
When there is a flood, wetlands slow down the momentum of the water, potentially reducing property
damage, injury or loss of life. This ability also prevents erosion and  helps to fill the reserves of ground
water below.

» Water filtration. Water moves around wetland plants, and suspended sediments drop out and settle
to the wetland floor. Excess nutrients from fertilizer, manure, leaking septic tanks and municipal sewage
that are dissolved into the water are often absorbed by plant roots and microorganisms in the soil.  Other
pollutants stick to soil particles.

»  Animal habitat. Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive natural ecosystems in the
world.  They are comparable to rainforests and coral reefs in the diversity and productivity of the species
they  support.  Their abundant vegetation and shallow water provide habitat for fish and wildlife. More
than  a third of all endangered and threatened wildlife species live in wetlands.

» Recreation. If you are visiting a wetland with this guide in hand, you know or will soon discover the
varied opportunities for recreation in a wetland. You  can take  photographs, hike or bird watch, perhaps
fish or hunt at some locations. The sites in this guide are wonderful places to get away from the pressures
of modern life and relax.

In spite of these and other important benefits of wetlands, they were for years considered by many to be
wastelands, fit only to drain and fill for other uses. In recent years, however, we have begun to appreciate
wetlands for the many values they offer. The goal of the Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) is to
increase the number of wetland acres and preserve or improve the quality of those that we already have.


»  Respect wetland inhabitants and stay on the trails or boardwalks.

»  Bring binoculars if you have them. They will allow you to observe the wetland inhabitants close up
without leaving the trail.

»    If you are interested in identifying the many plants and animals found in these wetlands, consider
bringing field guides.  Some of these locations also provide pamphlets or other information on local

»  The wetlands included in this guide are on public lands. However, they may be near or border private
property. Respect the rights of nearby property owners by staying off their land.

» If you hope to see wildlife, plan your visits for early morning or late afternoon. Many wetland inhabitants
actively search for food at these times, and your chances for observing them will be greater.

»  Visit wetlands during different seasons so that you  may observe the changes in these vibrant

»  Please take only photographs and leave only footprints.  Collecting plants or animals is prohibited in
most of these areas.

»  Before your visit check with the park contact. Hours and/or fees may have changed.

        Audubon Naturalist Society  at Woodend

Location: 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD.

Landowner: Audubon Naturalist Society

Description:  The 40-acre  nature sanctuary, home of the national birding and nature preservation so-
ciety, offers a chance for nature walks and pond exploration. Tucked away in a residential neighborhood,
the historic grounds date back to a 1699 land grant. Woodend was donated to the Audubon Naturalist
Society in 1967.

Facilities: There is a visitors'center and bookstore on the property. The Woodend Mansion, listed on the
National Historical Register,  is one of the few remaining grand old estates in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The
sanctuary is available to rent for events and special occasions. The Society hosts special events every year,
including the Birdseed Sale, Nature Fair and Holiday Fair.

Hours of operation: Dawn to dusk daily.

Restrictions:  The sanctuary is open for visitors but special arrangements are required for renting the
facilities. See the rentals section of the website or call (301)652-9188.

Fees: Special annual events are open to the public and are free; however, there may a small charge for
some activities.

Directions: From the Capital Beltway (I-495), exit Connecticut Ave. south (exit 33) toward Chevy Chase.
From Connecticut Ave. go left on Manor Road. Turn right on Jones Bridge Road and left on Jones Mill Road
to 8940 on the left. Look for the Nature Center sign.

Contact: Visit the Audubon Naturalist Society (www.audubonnaturalist.org)
or email at Contact@audubonnaturalist.org.

             Blackwater  National Wildlife  Refuge

Location: 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613

Landowner:  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Description: Blackwater is representative of Chesapeake Bay habitats and  is home to numerous species
of birds, mammals, and other wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered.  It encompasses
over 27,000 acres on Maryland's Eastern Shore and has been designated a "Wetland of International Im-
portance" by the Ramsar Convention. The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an
intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation
for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The largest waterfowl populations are
seen in late October, November and December.

Facilities: Visitors can get close to nature on several walking trails and a "wildlife drive" that leads guests
by car or foot along five miles of marshes, woods, fields and fresh water ponds. It features two land trails,
three paddling trails and, in season, a butterfly garden. There is also a visitors' center and gift shop with
exhibits and daily film showings.

Hours of Operation:  Dawn to dusk daily.

Outdoor facilities: Dawn to dusk daily.
                Visitors' center and gift shop: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through  Friday
                9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the weekend (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Fees:  Daily permits can be purchased at the visitors' center for $3 for a private vehicle, $1 for pedestrian
or bicyclist, $15 for commercial bus (up to 20 passengers) and $25 for commercial buses over (more than
20 passengers.)

Restrictions:  No camping or fishing, October through April. Picnicking is allowed only in designated
areas.  All dogs must be leashed. Boats cannot be launched from the shore.

Directions: Take U.S. 50 to Cambridge, Maryland. Once in Cambridge, take a  right at  the Refuge sign
onto MD 16 West, then a left onto MD 335 at Church Creek. After approximately five miles, take a left at
the Refuge sign onto Key Wallace Drive. Drive one mile to the visitors' center (on the right) and 2 Vi miles
to the Wildlife Drive (on the right).

Contact: Call (410)228-2677 or visit
the Blackwater National Wildlife Center (www.dnr.state.md.us/baylinks/24.html)
or Friends of Blackwater (www.friendsofblackwater.org)

                                  Dyke Marsh

Location: George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria, VA

Landowner: National Park Service

Description: Located on the west bank of the Potomac River, Dyke Marsh consists of approximately 380
acres of tidal marsh, floodplain and swamp forest. It is the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in
the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.  It provides habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals and
offers an ideal setting for a variety of recreation activities.

Facilities: The trail that leads visitors into the marsh is known  as the "haul  road."  It is a favorite of area
birdwatchers and is also used by hikers, photographers and nature lovers. Waters in and around the marsh
are popular fishing areas for people and animals. Those who explore the marsh by canoe may be rewarded
with up-close encounters with resident wildlife. Weekly Sunday morning bird walks start at 8 a.m. at the
south parking lot of the Belle Haven picnic area.  Walks are held year-round and are led by experienced

Hours  of operation: Dawn to dusk daily.

Restrictions: To protect the sensitive marsh habitat, hiking is permitted only on trails. Parking and pic-
nics are restricted to designated areas.

Fees: None

Directions: Travel south from Old Town Alexandria on George Washington Memorial Parkway toward Mt.
Vernon. After crossing the stone bridge at Hunting Creek (unmarked), take  the next left af'Belle Haven
Picnic Area/Dyke Marsh." The trail to the marsh is  beyond the bike path, on the right.

Contact: Visit the Dyke Marsh  (http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/dyke-marsh.htm)
or Friends of Dyke Marsh (http://www.fodm.org)

                        Huntley Meadows Park
Location: 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306.

Landowner: Fairfax County Park Authority

Description: Huntley Meadows lies in a wet lowland carved out by an ancient meander of the Potomac
River. The resulting freshwater wetland is one of the few left in Fairfax County. Nestled in Hybla Valley,
Huntley Meadows Park is a rich, natural island in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Its 1,425 acres harbor
majestic forest, wildflower-speckled meadows and extensive wetlands.

Facilities: There is a visitors' center with a  classroom, auditorium and exhibits.  A .5- mile trail winds
through the wetlands. There are observation platforms located at strategic points along the trail providing
exceptional viewing of birds and other wildlife. There are also a Hike-Bike trail and a 2-mile interpretive
trail system.

Hours of operation:

Park:  Dawn to dusk daily (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Years Day)

Visitors'center: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (closed Tuesdays)

Restrictions:  No disturbance to or removal of vegetation or wildlife

Fees: None

Directions:  From the Capital Beltway, take Beltway Exit 177A (Richmond Highway, Route 1). Proceed on
Route 1 south for 3.5 miles to a right on Lockheed Boulevard. The park entrance is approximately three
blocks down on the left at Harrison Lane.

Contact: Call (703)768-2525 or visit
the Huntley Meadows Park (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntley/index.htm)
or Friends of Huntley Meadows Park (http://www.friendsofhuntleymeadows.org)

                  Jug Bay  Wetlands Sanctuary
                    Glendening Nature Preserve
            and McCann  Wetland Education Center

Location:  1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian, MD 20711

Landowner: Ann Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks and State of Maryland

Description: The Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary consists of more than  1,400 acres of freshwater tidal
marshes, forests, meadows and fields along the Patuxent River. The wetlands, some of the most extensive
in the state and featuring large stands of over 40 species of aquatic plants, are home to many varieties of
birds, fish, reptiles and mammals. The sanctuary is located in southern Anne Arundel County, just 20 miles
from both Washington, DC, and Annapolis, MO.

Facilities: There are over 12 miles of trails affording ample opportunities for enjoyment of nature and
solitude. The Glendening Nature Preserve at Jug Bay is open for hiking. Parking and trail maps are located
at the Wrighton Road entrance of the Preserve and online. The McCann Wetland Education Center features
an interactive wetland exhibit. Picnic tables are available at the McCann  Center and at Farm Point (Sweet
Flag Picnic Area).

Hours of operation:
          Sanctuary: 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Saturday and  Sunday
                   Closed Sundays, December through February
          Glendening Nature Preserve: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Restrictions: To protect the unique environment of Jug  Bay, the sanctuary is open to the public on a
limited basis by reservation only. Entrance at River Farm by car is limited  to special events only. Hikers can
explore the area if they sign in at Wetlands Center first. Please contact the office for access information. All
animals and plants are protected. In all areas of the sanctuary, hikers must stay on trails and boardwalks.
Smoking is permitted only in the parking lot. No smoking on trails. Hunting and fishing are not allowed.
There are no boat launching facilities. Pets, horses and bikes are not allowed.

Fees:     Adults $3 | persons under 18, $2  seniors, $2 | Friends of JugBay free.
There is no entrance fee for the Glendening Nature Preserve, and reservations are not required.

From Annapolis
From West St. at Parole, take Route 2 south for 18 miles. At the Lothian "circle" go 3/4 of the way around
and stay on Route 2. Go past the fire station, schools and St. James Church (on left) until the next stoplight
at Route 258 then go right (west) on Rt. 258. Continue on Route 258 for 4.5 miles until this ends near the
"Park and Ride" just after crossing over Route 4. At the stop sign, turn onto Wrighton Road and continue
for 1.5 miles to sanctuary entrance on left.

From Baltimore at the Baltimore Beltway (Route 695)
From Route 695, take 1-97 south.  1-97 ends at Route 50. Take Route 50 West/301 South. 301  South will
split from Route 50. Continue on Route 301 South to Route 4 at Upper Marlboro. Go east/south on Route.
4 for 3 miles (1.5 miles after crossing over the Patuxent River) to the Plummer Lane exit on  right. Follow
Plummer Lane for .5 mile to Wrighton Road. Go right on Wrighton Road and continue for .5 mile to sanctu-
ary entrance on  left.

From Washington, D.C.
Take Pennsylvania Ave. east to the Capital Beltway (Route 495). At the Beltway, Pennsylvania Ave. be-
comes Route 4; follow Route 4 east/south for about 10.5 miles to the Plummer Lane exit. (Plummer Lane
is 3 miles east of Route 301 and 1.5 miles east of the Patuxent River). Exit right at Plummer Lane and go .5
mile to Wrighton Road. Go right on Wrighton Road and continue for .5 mile to sanctuary entrance on left.

From Culvert County
Take Route 4 north and exit at the Bristol-Deale exit (Route 258). At stop sign go left over Route 4 and
continue to stop sign at Wrighton Road (near "Park and Ride"). At the stop sign, turn onto Wrighton Road
and continue for 1.5 miles to sanctuary entrance on left.

Directions to the Parris N. Glendening Nature  Preserve Follow the directions to the Sanctuary above. The
Preserve parking lot is on the right just before the sanctuary entrance (which will be on the left).

Contact: Call 410-741 -9330, email jugbay@toad.net, or visit the Jug Bay (http://www.jugbay.org/)

          Julie J.  Metz  Wetlands Mitigation  Bank

Location: Woodbridge, Virginia

Landowner: Prince William County

Description: This site features approximately 19 acres of constructed wetlands, as well as over 200 acres
of protected natural wetlands. This mitigation bank was the first of its kind in Northern Virginia. It was
created and is protected to offset (mitigate) the impact of development activities, permitted by the U.S.
Corps of Engineers, on wetlands elsewhere in Northern Virginia. Forested, scrub and emerging wetland
communities create a mosaic attracting abundant wildlife. Viewing the larger marsh is more difficult but
worthwhile, especially in winter, when waterfowl arrive in large numbers. An array of songbirds is found
here in summer and during migrations, and winter brings a full complement of grassland birds to the dry,
grassy part of the wetlands.

Facilities: A chip-surfaced trail goes through and around a relatively dry section  of marsh. A duck blind
provides photographic opportunities, and a bird  list is posted at the entrance to the wetland.

Hours of operation: Dawn to dusk daily.

Restrictions:  Hikers should remain on the trail  to avoid disturbing the wetlands and its inhabitants.

Fees:  None

Directions: From the Capital Beltway (1-495) take 1-95 South. Take Exit 156, Neabsco Mills Road, to Route
1 South, Jefferson Davis Highway, towards Dumfries. Turn left on Neabsco Road to Julie J. Metz Wetlands
Bank on left.

Contact: Call (703) 792-6819 or email ukiste@pwcgov.org

                    Kenilworth  Aquatic Gardens

Location:  Anacostia Avenue at Douglas Street, NE, Washington, DC

Landowner: National Park Service

Description: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a National Capital Park, is a wonderful place to understand
wetlands. The aquatic gardens are part of a 14-acre marshland area in Anacostia Park. Visitors may walk
along the 1.5 mile Garden River Trail and see the water lilies and lotus that the park is known for. There is
also a variety of other plants and animals to observe, including raccoons, muskrats, turtles and beavers.
The marshes flood twice a day due to the Anacostia River's tides, so throughout the day, wildlife may
change significantly.

Facilities:  There is a visitors' center where park rangers offer walking tours. Kenilworth Park abuts the
Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Area, which is managed and operated by the District of Columbia Depart-
ment of Parks and Recreation, offers a wide variety of activities and has a track and play equipment for
children. There are also managed meadows along the perimeter of selected ball fields. The Park has been
working to establish native grasses and wildflowers along the meadow fringe where visitors can enjoy
viewing them.  Wildlife, such as birds of prey, ground-nesting birds (rare in such an urban location) and
lovely spring azure butterflies may also be sited.

Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

Restrictions: Picnics only in designated areas and no grills allowed. All dogs must be on a leash.

Fees: None

Directions: The gardens are located in northeast Washington, near the Maryland border, along the Ana-
costia River. The entrance is just west of I-295 (Kenilworth Avenue) between Quarles and Douglas Streets
on Anacostia Avenue.

Contact: Call (202) 426-6905 or visit the Kenilworth Gardens (http://www.nps.gov/nace/keaq/)

                            Lake Accotink Park

Location: 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield, VA 22151

Landowner: Fairfax County Park Authority

Description: Lake Accotink Park's 493 acres include wetlands, streams and a 55-acre lake with unique
views of waterfowl and marsh life.

Facilities: Activities and available facilities vary with the season and include canoe, rowboat and pedal
boat rentals, a 3.75-mile hiking/biking trail, fishing, tour boat rides, boat launch, bait and tackle sales,
miniature golf course, antique carousel, snack bar,  pavilion shelters, picnic area with grills and a  play-
ground. Small sailboats permitted. Special events are held throughout the year.

Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to dark daily
                    Closed December 25

Restrictions:  Swimming, windsurfing and gas-powered boat motors are  prohibited. A Virginia  State
fishing license is required for fishing.

Fees: Fees are charged for boat rentals, boat launching, miniature golf and the antique carousel. Call for

Directions:   Lake Accotink can be  accessed via 1-95 by taking Old Keene Mill Road west. After the exit,
turn right on Hanover Avenue and turn left on Highland Avenue. Turn right on Accotink Park Road and the
Park's front entrance will be on the left.

Contact: Visit the Lake Accotink Park (www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/accotink/)
or call (703) 569-3464

                         Leesylvania  State Park

Location:  2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191-4504

Landowner: State of Virginia

Description:  Leesylvania State Park fronts Neabsco Creek, Powells Creek and the Potomac River with
about two miles of shoreline.  The Park's 510 acres represent about one-quarter of a former 2000-acre
tobacco cultivation estate that has been allowed to revert to woodlands.

Facilities:  The present network of nature trails and the public boat ramps provide considerable access to
the river and its wetlands. Canoe tours, guided historic and nature walks, children's fishing tournaments,
Junior Ranger day camps and historical programming are available. The park has a  large visitors' center,
featuring historic and nature displays, an environmental education classroom and a gift shop. There are
four large picnic shelters and an open  area available  to rent. (To make a reservation, call the  Reserva-
tions Center toll-free at 1-800-933-PARK. or in Richmond at 225-3867} A  small,  tents-only  primitive
campground is available for $48 a night. Overnight boating is allowed Friday and Saturday nights from
Memorial Day through Labor Day. The park store operates from April through October and sells groceries,
marine gasoline and oil, bait and tackle.  The marina  store has a boat pump-out station and bathrooms
with showers.

Hours of operation: 6 a.m. to dusk daily

Restrictions:  No swimming is allowed. Reservations  are required for overnightfacilities. A Virginia State
freshwater fishing license is required for fishing. Motorboats are allowed and there are no restrictions on
horsepower. No hunting is allowed and horse rentals are not available.

Fees: Call or check web site for fees for parking, boat launch and horse trailers. Annual and reduced rate
passes are available.

Directions: The Park is located in the southeastern area of Prince William County, approximately 25 miles
from Washington,  DC, and Fredericksburg, VA. From I-95, take the Rippon Landing Exit 156. Go east on
Route 784 to U.S. 1. From U.S. 1 take Route610 (Neabaco Road) east two miles.

Contact: Call (703) 670-0372 or visit
the Leesylvania State Park (http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/leesylva)

                         Mason Neck State  Park             •

Location: 7301 High Point Road, Lorton, VA

Landowner: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Description: Located on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and the Potomac River, Mason
Neck is the site of several coastal wetlands. It boasts an active heron rookery and is also home to bald
eagles. It attracts migrating birds that include whistling swans and assorted wildlife. The Park contains
several wetland areas and hundreds of acres of hardwood forests with oak, hickory and other species of

Facilities: Beachcombing, pond study, bird watching, night hikes, fishing clinics and butterfly gardens
are features of this park. Regular guided canoe trips are scheduled in spring and summer, and canoes and
kayaks can be rented by the hour. Fresh and brackish  water fishing is allowed,  and  cartop boat launch
facilities are available. One picnic shelter is available for rent by reservation only, April through October,
and on a first come, first served basis the rest of the year. Limited deer hunting is by lottery only.

Environmental Education Center: The center provides an opportunity for teachers to conduct environmen-
tal studies in natural settings. The facility has an extensive collection of research materials, a wet lab and
a variety of sampling equipment. Park staff is available to assist with all phases of planning a program. In
addition, the park participates in Virginia's State Parks: Your Backyard Classroom, a 40 activity curriculum
guide for use by teachers of grades K-12. More information is available by calling the park.

Visitor Center: The Elizabeth Hartwell Environmental Education Center features exhibits on plant and ani-
mal life, area history, hands-on activities, a resource library, a volunteer exhibit and changing interpretive

Hours of Operation: Visitors'center: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, April-September
                                  10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, October-January
                                   Closed February
                                   10:00 a.m.05:00 p.m. daily,  March

                     Park: 8:00 a.m. until dark daily.

Restrictions:   A Virginia State fishing license is required for fishing. No facilities for trailer launch. No
swimming. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, with the exception of electric wheelchairs
or scooters.
Fees:  Parking: April 1- October 31 is $3 on weekdays and $4 on weekends.
             November 1- March 31, fee is $2 daily.

Directions: Take I-395 South toward Richmond (becomes I-95).  Take the VA-642 exit (exit 163) toward
Lorton. Turn left onto Lorton Road/VA-642. Turn right onto Gunston Cove Road. Turn slight right onto High
Point Road (gate access required). Turn right to stay on High Point Road to parking lot.

Contact: Call (703) 339-2380 or visit
the Mason Neck State Park (http://www.dcr.state.va.us/parks/masonnec.htm)

       McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area

Location: 18600 River Road, Poolesville, Maryland

Landowner: Maryland State Department of Natural Resources

Description: This 2,000-acre Wildlife Management Area is located near Gaithersburg and Seneca Creek
State Park and borders on the C & 0 Canal National Historical Park. The forests, streams, ponds, fields and
abundant wildlife provide a wonderful  pocket of natural beauty in the middle of the suburbs. Forests
flooded in the fall and winter form "greentree reservoirs" that attract migrating and wintering wood ducks
and other water fowl. Wild turkeys also find sanctuary here.  More than 200 species of birds have been
documented over the years by local bird clubs.

Facilities: Hikers will find trails for miles and miles, meandering through the wetlands, fields and forests.
The C&O Canal and trail border the area. It is possible to hike or bicycle east from the Park to Washington
or west as far as Cumberland, MO. Hunters may find white-tailed deer, wild turkey, woodchuck, squirrels,
waterfowl and many other species.

Hours of operation: Dawn to dusk daily

Restrictions: No motorized vehicles are allowed. Vehicle  access is via marked parking areas located on
River Road, Hunting Quarter Road and Sycamore Landing Road. Access to Maddux Island is by  boat only
from the ramp on Rileys Lock Road into Seneca Creek or at the end of Sycamore Landing Road at the C&O
Canal. Hunting  is allowed only in accordance with statewide open season dates, bag limits and shooting
hours, unless otherwise noted. All state and federal hunting laws and regulations apply.

Fees: None

Directions: From the Capital Beltway, take Exit 39 (River  Road) west toward Potomac. Proceed for ap-
proximately 11 miles to the intersection of River Road and MD112, Seneca Road. Turn left and continue on     (
River Road for about 2.5 miles. McKee-Beshers will be on the left as you head west on River Road.

Contact: For more information contact the Gwynnbrook Work Center at (410) 356-9272 or visit
the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area(www.dnr.state.md.us/publidands/central/mb.asp)

                National Aquarium in  Baltimore

Location: Pier 3,501E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD.

Landowner: The land and the buildings are owned by the City of Baltimore.
The Aquarium is run by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Inc, a non-profit corporation, which consists
of a volunteer 25-member Board of Governors and larger Advisory Board, plus a full-time paid staff.

Description: The National Aquarium features not only sea life, but wetland creatures as well. The Allegh-
eny Pond exhibit has bullfrogs, painted and soft-shell turtles and an assortment of small fish. Fresh water
flows from ponds and streams to tidal marshes, where it mixes with saltwater from the sea.

Facilities: The one-way, self-guided tour of the main Aquarium begins and ends in the lobby on Level
One. It includes stingrays, octopuses, electric eels and sharks. There are marine mammals, puffins and
tropical fish.  Some of the exhibits are tiny replicas of huge ecosystems, such as the Amazon rain forest
and Atlantic coral reefs.

Hours of operation:
                    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday-Thursday, March-June
                    9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Fridays only, March-June
                    9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, July and August
                    9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday -Thursday, July and August
                    10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday-Thursday, September-February

Restrictions: You are advised to buy tickets in advance. On especially busy days, available tickets may
not permit entry until several  hours after your purchase. You will be asked to surrender strollers upon
entering. Aquarium staff will store strollers for you and provide a backpack or front pack child-carrier.

Fees:     Adults               $21.95
          Children 3-11         $14.95
          Adults 60 and over     $20.95
          Children under 3      Free

Directions: From points south via 1-95 (Washington, D.C., Virginia, and elsewhere)
follow 1-95  North toward Baltimore. Take the 1-395 North exit (exit number 53) toward Downtown. Take
1-395 North toward Downtown/Inner Harbor. Road divides; take left fork. 1-395 becomes South Howard
Street. Go past Camden Yards, on left. Turn right onto West Pratt Street. Continue past Baltimore Conven-
tion Center and Harborplace, both on right. National Aquarium in Baltimore is on right, shortly before the
ESPN Zone restaurant. Buses and cars dropping off handicapped visitors may pull into Gunther Circle, on
right. All others continue toward designated parking area.
Contact: Call 410-576-3800 or visit the National Aquarium (http://www.aqua.org/)

                 National Wildlife Visitor Center
Location:  10901 Scarlet Tanger Loop, Laurel, MD.

Landowner: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Description: This large science and environmental education center is located on the 12,750-acre Patux-
ent Research Refuge. The visitors' center offers interactive exhibits that focus on global environmental
issues, migratory bird studies, habitats, endangered species, creature life cycles and the research tools and
techniques used by scientists.

Facilities:  The visitors' center also offers hiking trails, wildlife management demonstration areas and
outdoor education sites for school classes. A large auditorium and meeting rooms can accommodate
national and international scientific conferences,  environmental meetings, teacher workshops, environ-
mental lectures and traveling displays. A gift shop, Wildlife Images, operated by the Friends of Patuxent,
Inc. (a non-profit cooperating association), offers a variety of environmental books and other educational

Hours of operation:
                     Visitors' center: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (except for federal holidays)

                     Trails and grounds: dawn to 5:30 pm daily (except for federal holidays)

Restrictions:  No swimming, sunbathing, littering, camping, campfires, firearms, alcoholic beverages,
picnicking, boating, disturbance to or removal of vegetation  or wildlife.  Public trails may not be hiked
after 5:30 pm. All pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 10 feet and are not allowed in the water.
Fishing is restricted to designated areas only and all fresh water fishing regulations of the State of Mary-
land apply. (See web site for additional Center fishing restrictions.)

Fees: All events held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, unless otherwise noted, are free, with excep-
tion of tram tours. Tram tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens 55 and over and $1 for children
under 12. If you have any special needs or requests, please call 301-497-5763  or TDD 301-497-5779 two
weeks in advance.

Directions: From Washington, D.C.: Take Baltimore/Washington Parkway (Route 295) north, Exit 22 to
Powder Mill Road-Beltsville exit. Turn right (east) onto Powder Mill Road and go 1.9 miles. Turn right into
Visitor Center entrance (Scarlet Tanager Loop). Go 1.4 miles to Visitor Center parking area.

From Baltimore, MD: Take Baltimore/Washington Parkway (Route 295) south to Powder Mill Road-Belts-
ville Exit. Turn left onto Powder Mill Road (East). Go  2.0 miles and turn right into Visitor Center entrance
(Scarlet Tanager Loop). Go 1.4 miles to Visitor Center parking area.

Contact: Call (301) 497-5760 or visit
the National Wildlife Visitor Center (http://patuxent.fws.gov/vcdefault.html)
or Friends of Patuxent Wildlife Visitor Center (www.friendspwvc.org)

                    National Zoo and Wetlands Exhibit

       Location: 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

       Landowner: The Smithsonian Institution

       Description: Visit the soon to be opened Wetlands Exhibit at the Zoo and learn about the value and dis-
       appearance of wetlands.  At the Bird House, see many species of birds that depend on wetlands for food,
       breeding and migratory rest stops.

       Facilities: The Zoo is a great place to discover new habitats and appreciate the diversity in wildlife.

       Hours of operation: Daily, except December 25. Hours may vary but currently are as follows:

                 Grounds:  6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., April 3 to October 29
                          6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., October 30 to April 1

                 Buildings: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm, April 3 to October 29
                          10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., October 30 to April 1

       Restrictions:  Pets, leashed or unleashed, are not allowed in the park. (Service dogs are permitted.)
       Please don't feed the animals. Rails, moats, and other barriers between you and the animals are there to
       protect you and the animals from harm. Only people in wheelchairs and children in strollers or wagons
       may ride around the Zoo. Biking is permitted only on public vehicle roads.

       Fees: There is no entrance fee. However, the Zoo offers a variety of classes and events for which there may
       be a fee.  Call or check the web site.

       Directions: By Metrorail: Take the Red Line to the Woodley  Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or the Cleve-
       land Park stop. The Zoo entrance lies halfway between these stops, and  both are a short walk from the

       By car from Virginia: Follow I-95 North to I-395 North (I-95 turns into I-395). Continue on I-395 North
       to Exit 8B Washington Boulevard.  Follow Washington Boulevard to the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Cross
       Arlington Memorial Bridge. Get into the left lane. The left lane will take you to Constitution Avenue. Turn
4'  i

right onto Constitution Avenue. Turn left onto 17th Street. 17th Street turns into Connecticut Avenue.
Continue on Connecticut until you reach the 3000 block. The National Zoo will be located on your right at
3001 Connecticut Avenue.

By car from Maryland:  Follow 1-95 South to 1-495 (the Capitol Beltway). Exit onto 1-495 West in the direc-
tion of Silver Spring.  Continue on 1-495 West to Exit 33 Connecticut Avenue. Go south on Connecticut
Avenue for approximately 5 miles. The National Zoo is located on the left at 3001 Connecticut Avenue.

Contact:  Call (202) 763-4717 to ask about tours and educational events or visit
the National Zoo (http://nationalzoo.si.edu/default.cfm)

                      Poliick Bay Regional Park

Location: 6501 Pohick Drive, Lorton,VA 22039

Landowner: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

Description: The Park features a spectacular bayside setting on the historic Mason Neck peninsula in
Fairfax County. Mason Neck is ecologically fragile land that shelters numerous wildlife species, including
the bald eagle. The developed recreation areas are concentrated to minimize disturbance to the delicate
balance of nature.

Facilities:  The Park features nature trails, four miles of bridle paths and a bluebird trail.
There is a marina with an observation deck, where sailboat, Jon boat, pedalboat and sea kayak rentals are
available for a fee. The marina also features RV/boat storage, a boat ramp and snack bar. There is also a
swimming pool, campground, 18-holeand miniature  golf courses and picnic tables. Guided canoe and
kayak trips are offered.

Hours of Operation:
          Park: Dawn to dusk daily
          Pool: Memorial Day - Labor Day
          Miniature golf: March 19 - October 29, weekends only, 8 hours per day
                        October 30-March 18, closed
          Golf: see web site below to book tee times
          Boat rentals:
          10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., April 2 - May 27, weekends only
          10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., May 28 - Labor Day, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
          10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., September 6 - October 30, Saturdays and Sundays
          October 31 -April 1 -closed

Restrictions:  A Virginia  State fishing license is reguired for fishing. Annual passes are available only
to residents of Alexandria, Arlington, City of Fairfax,  Fairfax County, City of Falls Church  and  Loudoun

Fees: Park entrance fee for nonmember jurisdictions is $7 per vehicle, per day; $14 per vehicle, per week;
and $11 per vehicle with 10 or more passengers. Annual pass is available for $25.00. See website below

for golf and boat rental fees.

Directions: Take 1-95 south of the Beltway, exit at Lorton. Turn left on Lorton Rd., right on Armistead Rd.,
right on Rt. 1 and left on Gunston Rd. Continue!  mile to golf course on left. Go 3 miles to main park.

Contact: Call (703)339-6104 (camp center) visit the Pohick Bay (www.nvrpa.org/pohickbay.html)

                     Sunrise Valley Nature Park

Location: Sunrise Valley Drive and Monroe Street, Reston, VA

Landowner: Reston Land Corporation

Description: This 15.75-acre park was constructed in 1994 to mitigate wetlands lost during the construc-
tion of the Town of Reston. It also provides an educational experience for the community, emphasizing the
functions and values of wetlands in the town's landscape.  It features over four acres of existing forested
wetlands, a rehabilitated farm pond, and upland forested buffers and islands. It is in an area surrounded
by office buildings and screened by heavy brush.

Facilities: The Park features forested wetlands and a small pond. There is a path to the park and a small
bridge across the pond which allows for close up views of pond life. It is suitable for school field trips,
scouting adventures and has been used as a classroom for wetlands delineation. There is no dedicated
parking and  parking is  not permitted on Sunrise Valley Drive or the adjacent portion of Monroe Street.
Parking in the lot for the Landmark Arboretum 1 building may be available.

Hours of Operation:  Dawn to dusk daily.

Restrictions: None.

Fees: None.

Directions:  Take the Capital Beltway (I-495) to VA-267 west toward Dulles Airport. Take the VA-7100
South exit, east 11. Turn left onto Fairfax County Parkway (VA 7100 South). Turn right onto Sunrise Valley
Dr. Turn left at Monroe Street.

Contact: Visit the Sunrise Valley Nature Park (www.restonpaths.com/SunriseValley/Generalinfo.htm)

                     Theodore Roosevelt Island

Location: Near McLean, VA, off George Washington Memorial Parkway

Landowner: National Park Service

Description: This wooded island is dedicated to the memory of Theodore Roosevelt, an outdoorsman,
naturalist and conservationist. There are 2.5 miles of trails that lead through marsh, swamp and for-
est habitats, where visitors often see birds or small mammals. A memorial statue of the President is
located near the center of the island. The outdoor memorial, with Roosevelt's thought provoking quotes
and statue, captures the spirit of this energetic President who believed in conservation of our nation's
natural resources.

Facilities: The George Washington Memorial Parkway facilities and programs provide a variety of edu-
cation and recreational opportunities year round.  Guided group tours of the island are available upon
request. Maps are available at the trail head and upon request. The comfort station is closed in winter.

Fees: None

Hours of Operation: Dawn to dusk daily.

Restrictions: A parking lot is available to visitors but there is a 2-hour limit.  Dogs are allowed but must
remain on a leash. No bicycles are allowed on the island.

Directions:  The Island is accessible  by a footbridge from the parking lot off the northbound  lane of
George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia.The closest Metro stop is Rosslyn on the Blue and Or-
ange Lines, and a pedestrian bridge crosses over George Washington Memorial Parkway  from Rosslyn
Circle to the island.

Contact: Call (703)289-2550 or visit Theodore Roosevelt Island (http://www.nps.gov)

                          Flora and Fauna List

The abundant vegetation and shallow water of wetlands provide diverse habitats for fish and wildlife.
Aquatic plant life flourishes in the nutrient-rich environment, and energy converted by the plants is
passed up the food chain to fish, waterfowl and other wildlife.

The following is a species list of some of the flora and fauna that generally live in area wetlands at some
point in the year. As the seasons change, so may the denizens of the wetlands. Bring your guide book and
see how many of these species of plants and animals you can identify.
Grasses, Sedges and Ferns

Acorus calamus
Andropogon virginkus
Calamagrostis candensis
(alamagrostis cinnoides
Cinna arundinacea
(oelorachis rugosa
Cyperus spp.
Dulichium arundinaecum
Erianthus brevibarbis
Eriophorum virginicum
Clyceria canadensis
Glycerin maxima
Juncus effuses
Leersia oryzoides
Panicum virgatum
Peltandra virginica
Sweet flag
Broom sedge
Bluejoint reedgrass
Reed bentgrass
Long sedge
Tussock and uptight sedge
Stout wood-reedgrass
Wrinkled jointgrass
Flat sedges
Three-way sedge
Short-beard plumegrass
Tawny cotton-grass
Canada manna grass
Reed meadowgrass
Soft rush
Rice cutgrass
Arrow arum, tuckahoe, wampee, duck corn

Phalaris arundinacea
Phragmites australis
Polygonum amphibium
Polygonum punctatum
Pontederia cordata
Sagittaria latifolia
Sdrpus cyperinus
Scirpus pungens (S. americanus)
Sdrpus spp.
Sdrpus validus
Sparganium americanum
Spartina alterni flora
Spartina cynosuroides
Spartina pednata
Spartina patens
Typha angustifolia
Typha latifolia
Reed canary grass
Common reed
Water smartweed
Marsh or dotted smartweed, red top
Arrowhead, duck potato, wapato
Wool grass
Common three square
Soft stem bulrush
Eastern or lesser burreed
Smooth cordgrass, salt marsh cordgrass
Big cordgrass
Prairie cordgrass
Salt marsh hay, saltmeadow cordgrass, highwater grass
Narrow-leaved cattail
Broad-leaved cattail
Aster calamus
Impatiens capensis
Iris versicolor
Sweet flag
Spotted touch-me-not
Blue flag, poison flag
Spatterdock, yellow water lily, cowlily
Trees and Shrubs
Alnus serrulata
Betula nigra
Betula populi folia
Red maple
Hazel, smooth and tag alder
River birch
Gray birch

Cephalanthus ocddentialis
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Cornum amomum
Comas serkea
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Hibiscus moscheutos
ilex vertidllata
Lindera benzoin
Liquidambar styradflua
Myrica pensylvanica
Nyssa sylvatica
Platanus ocddentalis
Quercus bicolor
Quercus palustris
Quercus phellos
Sambucus canadensis
Thuja ocddentalis
Vacdnium corymbosum
Viburnum dentatum
Virurnum lentago
Atlantic white cedar, false cypress, south white cedar
Si Iky dog wood
Red-osier dogwood
Green ash
Marsh hibiscus, rose mallow
Common winterberry, winterberry holly
Common spicebush
Tulip tree
Black gum, black tupelo, sour gum
American sycamore
Swamp white oak
Pin oak, Spanish oak
Willow oak
Black willow
Elderberry, American elder
Northern white cedar, arbor vitae
Highbush blueberry
Southern arrowwood
Reptiles and Amphibians


Acrtis crepitans
Hyla cinera
H. chrysoscelic, H. versicolor
Pseudaccis crucifer
Rana catesbeiana
Northern cricket frog
Green tree frog
Grey tree frog
Spring peeper
Green frog

Rana palustris
Rana sylvanica
Rana utricularia


(nemidophorus sexlineatus
Eumeces fasciatus
Sceloporus undulates

Pickerel frog
Wood frog
Southern leopard frog
Six-lined racerunner
Fire-lined skink
Fence lizard
Ambystoma opacum
Ambystoma maculatum
Desmognathus focus
Eurycea bislineta
Hemidactylium saitatum
Notophthalmus viridecens
Plethodon dnereus
Pseudotiton montanus
Pseudotriton rubber
Marbled salamander
Spotted salamander
Northern dusky salamander
Northern two-lined salamander
Four-toed salamander
Red-spotted newt
Red-backed salamander
Eastern mud salamander
Northern red salamander
(arphophis amoenus
Coluber constrictor
Diandophis punctatus
Elaphe obsolete
Heterodon platirhinos
Lampropeltis getula
Opheodrys aestivus
Storeria dekayi
Eestern worm snake
Northern black racer
Northern ringneck snake
Black rat snake
Eestern hognose snake
Eastern king snake
Rough green snake
Northern brown snake

Thamnophis sirtalis
Thamnophis sauritus
Pegina septemvittata
Virginia valeriae
Eastern garter snake
Eastern ribbon snake
Queen snake
Smooth earth snake

Bufo amerkanus
Bufo woodhouseii fowleri
Scaphiopus holbrokii

Turtles and terrapins

Chelydra serpentine
(hrysemys picta pkta
Clemmys guttata
Kinostemon subrubrum
Malademys terrapin
Pseudemys rubriventris
Sternotherrus odoratus
Terrapene Carolina

American toad
Fowler's toad
Eastern spadefoot toad
Snapping turtle
Eastern painted turtle
Spotted turtle
Eastern mud turtle
Diamond-backed terrapin
Red-bellied turtle
Eastern musk turtle
Eastern box turtle
Castor Canadensis
Marmota monax monax
Mkrotus pennsylvankus
Odocoi/eus virginianus
Ondatra zibethkus
Peromyscus spp.
Procyon lotor lotor
Sciurus carolinesis
Meadow vole
White-tailed deer
Deer mouse
Gray squirrel

Sylvilagus floridanus


Amia calva
Brevoortia tyrannus
Gambusia holbrooki
Hybognathus regius
Lepomis macmchirus
Letalurus punctatus
Mkropogonias undulastus
Mkropterus salmoides
Morone amerkana
Morone saxatilis
Pogonias cromis
Pomoxis annularis
Procammbarus spp.

Cottontail rabbit
Chipmunk, Fisher's eastern
Atlantic menhaden
Eastern mosquitofish
Eastern silvery minnow
Channel catfish
Atlantic croaker
Largemouth bass
White perch
Striped bass
Black drum
Crappie, white
Anas platyrynchos
Ardea herodias herodias
Bartramia longicauda
Branta Canadensis
Bubo virginianus
Duck, wood
Heron, great blue
Sandpiper, upland
Goose, Canada
Owl, great horned
Hawk, red-tailed

Cyanocitta aistata                          Jay, blue
Dendroda ceruela                           Warbler, cerulean
Dryocopus pileatus                          Woodpecker, pileated
Ha/iaeetus leucocphalus                     Eagle, bald
Icterus galbula                              Oriole, Baltimore
Meleagris gallopavo silverstris                Turkey, wild
Nyctanassa violacea violacea                 Night heron
Pandion haliaetus camlinesis                 Osprey
Tachycineta bicolor                          Swallow, tree
Vermivora chrysoptera                       Warbler, golden-winged

Family Odonata                             Dragonfly
Family Odonata                             Damselfly
Pieris rapae                                 Butterfly, cabbage white
Eurema lisa                                 Butterfly, little yellow
EurytidesMarcellus                          Butterfly, zebra swallowtail


                      What Can You  Do  to Help?

          It may take only one visit to a wetland for you to understand and appreciate how special they
are. We hope that you will want to take personal action to help preserve and protect wetlands. Here are
just 10 simple things that you can do as a private citizen:

011 Contact your local Corps of Engineers District Office or state environmental agency to find out how to
take part in decisions on permits for projects affecting wetlands in your area.

021  Plant native grasses or trees as buffers along any wetlands on your property to protect water qual-

03 j Limit the amount of chemicals you use on your lawn to reduce polluted runoff into wetlands.

041 Plan ahead to avoid wetlands when developing or improving a site.

OS |  Invest in wetlands by buying duck stamps. Find them on-line at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service's
web site (www.fws.gov) or at your local post office.

061 Work with your neighbors to help protect the health of a wetland near you.

07 j If there is a wetland in your community, ask what your local government is doing to preserve it.

08 ]  Investigate the possibility of restoring or improving a  local wetland.

091  Join a local volunteer group to protect wetland animals and save their habitat.
Find one in your area at yosemite.epa.gov/water/volmon.nsf.

101 Walk through and enjoy a wetland, then carry out trash you find that might  damage it.
Contact your local parks department or ask at the nearest Wildlife
Refuge for nearby locations and more information, (http://refuges.fws.gov/)

                           Wetland Resources

Once you've experienced the wonders and beauty of a wetland, you may want to learn more about wet-
lands and how to protect them. For additional information, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agen-
cy's website (www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/), call the toll-free Wetlands Helpline at 1-800-832-7828 or
refer to the sources below.

On the Internet:
EPA's Wetland Home Page	www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/

USDA's Wetland Reserve Program	www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp

The Association of State Wetland Managers	www.aswm.org

The Izaak Walton League of America	www.iwla.org

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service	www.1ws.gov

Wildlife Refuges	www.refuges.fws.gov

National Wildlife Visitor Center	http://patuxent.fws.gov/vcdefault.html