Plants grow in soil, and soil is formed from rock or sediment. Maryland's diversity of native soils and underlying geological formations gave rise to our exceptional native plant diversity. Louisa Thompson, long-time MNPS member and former director who teaches classes on native plants for Master Gardeners, will take us on a photographic tour of Baltimore and its neighboring counties, explaining how the land took on its present form, and how soils became poor in nutrients or rich, neutral or acidic, well-drained or soggy. We'll look at mature forest and wetland communities to see how they are adapted to the characteristics of the site - and we'll also look at the native pioneer plants that follow disturbance. You'll learn how to read the landscape to spot serpentine soils along I-70, I-695, and I-83, rich mafic soils as I-95 edges up against the Fall Line, or a high water table influencing which plants you see on the Coastal Plain just to the east. There's a lot of ground to cover, so come early to look at exhibits - soil cores, rock samples, maps and drawings - and plan to stay till 9:00 or later. Maryland's landscapes are an open book, but few know how to read it. After this talk, you'll see new levels of meaning not only on MNPS field trips but everywhere you walk, drive, or fly.
There will be a mailing party before the meeting, starting at 6:00pm. Volunteers are welcome - the more helping hands, the merrier!
Location: White Oak Library - Large Meeting Room
Directions: Exit the Washington Beltway at New Hampshire Ave (exit 28). Go north about 2 miles. The library is the first building on the right, once you have passed under Route 29, just after the Sears store.
There will be refreshments and door prizes. Pot luck refreshments are always welcome.
The meeting is open to non-members.
Meetings take place on the last Tuesday of each month.