While the Oregon Ridge Master Plan is being developed, members of the Baltimore Bird Club and others want to tell you about why the Park and its 900-acre forest is so important to us and the activities happening there so you can encourage Baltimore County decision-makers to conserve the park’s ecosystems and continue to make them available for these activities. Email your request to the addresses at the bottom of this letter.
Did you know that Birding is not just “birdwatching” – it can include identifying (by sight and sound), observing, photographing, reporting and documenting a bird’s behavior and is one of the fastest growing recreational activities around the world? Oregon Ridge Park’s forest, streams, meadows and wetlands provide opportunities to many birders. The Park’s ecosystems provide homes or migratory stopping points to over 165 different species of birds – making Oregon Ridge Park one of the highest sites of avian biodiversity in Baltimore County.
Different birds need different environments to exist – a combination of forests, meadows and streams. The Baisman Run area currently has the best-preserved habitat for forest interior dwelling species (FIDS) in the entire park ecosystem. These birds need large unbroken forests for their homes. The Park has almost 900 contiguous acres of forest “whose system,
including its herbaceous plants and wildlife, is the “County’s most important natural asset at Oregon Ridge.” Enough said – the undisturbed forest is very important!
Habitat preservation is important to citizens that utilize and in fact, depend on Oregon Ridge Park for scientific research, learning, mental health and simply living! Opening up areas of the park to more aggressive forms of recreation would have a severe negative impact on the avian diversity at the Park, the resultant benefits we currently enjoy and for which Oregon Ridge Park was envisioned.
The Baltimore Bird Club offers bird walks at Oregon Ridge several times per year. These walks are open to anyone interested. We encourage beginning and advanced birders alike; families and children are welcome! You can find details on the Baltimore Bird Club website at https://baltimorebirdclub.org/schedule.html. Many Birders who prefer a more intimate experience visit Oregon Ridge Park routinely and often come and go long before others arrive. Over 1,327 checklists have been submitted to E-Bird (https://ebird.org/home) from Oregon Ridge alone and these are only from the birders who submit sightings.
The Park is also an important site for Maryland’s Breeding Bird Survey, and various world-wide counts of birds held on specific dates whose information is used for much-needed scientific data. Information can be found at https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/citizen-science-be-part-of-something-bigger/.
This is our chance to encourage Baltimore County to conserve the ecosystems at the Oregon Ridge Park, so we may continue to provide welcome habitats for our many local and migrating bird species. Please take a moment and email the master plan consultant and County leadership below to express your support for conserving our Park’s biodiversity.
Oregon Ridge Nature Center hosts many birding programs year-round. For more information…