Baltimore Sun: Conservancy group seeks to protect the Gunpowder River and its environs


“One young sapling out of dozens on the shore of Loch Raven Reservoir slumped against the ground May 9, its thin branches covered in thorny vines.

Gunpowder Valley Conservancy President Charlie Conklin couldn’t stand to see it. The tree was one of 5,000 that members of the conservancy have planted around Loch Raven to filter and slow stormwater runoff from reaching the lake, which flows into the Big Gunpowder Falls, then the Gunpowder River, and eventually Chesapeake Bay.

Conklin, 79, took out a silver pocket knife. He sliced open a plastic tube the protects the tree from foraging deer, and started cutting the tendrils of the vines one by one, until the tree was free of the vine’s choking grasp.

The sapling sprung back up, bent but still alive.

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy’s mission is two-fold — to protect the land in the Gunpowder watershed from development and, in turn, to improve the waterways to foster healthier land. The Gunpowder watershed encompasses 450 square miles, mostly in Baltimore County. It begins in York County, Pa., and ends at the Chesapeake Bay.”

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