The Maryland Native Plant Society

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  • MNPS 2006 Annual Fall Conference, "Botanical Diversity of Montgomery County: The Geology-Botany Connection"

MNPS 2006 Annual Fall Conference, "Botanical Diversity of Montgomery County: The Geology-Botany Connection"

  • 10/14/2006
  • 10/15/2006
  • The Universities at Shady Grove, Rockville, MD

Botanical Diversity of Montgomery County
The Geology-Botany Connection

This conference explores the relationship of the different geological terrains found in Montgomery County and the natural communities and plants associated with them. The schist and gneiss of the Potomac Gorge, the diabase found at Hoyles Mill and Edwards Ferry, and the serpentinite region near Rockville each support a different type of flora. Talks and field trips will emphasize these connections.

Despite intense suburban development, Montgomery County has a rich diversity of natural areas protected by national, state, and county parks. The Potomac River and the C&O Canal National Historical Park rim the entire western edge of the county with easy access at many points, including Great Falls and Little Falls. The ten mile long Potomac Gorge is known to contain some of the rarest plant communities in the eastern United States. State natural areas adjoin the C&O NHP in many areas. County parks such as Blockhouse Point, Rachel Carson, Hoyles Mill, and Little Bennett also preserve large areas of forests and stream valleys. Sugarloaf Mountain Park, on the nortwestern border of the county, surrounds a 1282-foot-high quartzite monadnock that is the highest point on Maryland's Piedmont.

Download the 2006 Fall Conference Brochure (PDF, ~242KB)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Schedule of Planned Activities
8:30amRegistration opens
9:30amFrom Gondwanaland to Georgetown: Geology of the Potomac River Fall Zone, from Great Falls to D.C.
Tony Fleming
Overview of regional geologic history, focusing on the origin, distribution, landforms, geochemistry, and soils of major rock units. The talk will examine how these factors, along with modern surface processes and hydrology, interact to produce a variety of different geologic settings in and near the gorge.

Vegetation Ecology of the Potomac Gorge
Gary P. Fleming
Overview of plant community diversity and the environmental factors that influence variation in vegetation over this topographically complex landscape.

Botanical Bounty: How Geology, Climate, and Setting Support Montgomery County's Rich Botanical Diversity
John Parrish
Montgomery County is home to a unique array of natural communities due to a moderate climate, diverse geology and soils, and geographic setting along the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers. John Parrish will share his knowledge of the geology and flora of some of these special areas, offering a glimpse into the diversity of habitats that make Montgomery County special.
12:00pmClosing Remarks
12:30pmBox Lunch (provided for those who pre-registered)
1:00pmField Trips
6:00pmDinner and Social

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Field Trips
10:00am - 3:00 pmField Trips

Speaker Biographies


Field Trip Descriptions

Hotel Accommodations

All proceeds from the conference benefit the Maryland Native Plant Society's programs and activities.

Early registration is advised. Registration fee includes lunch. Registration at the door does not include lunch. Saturday evening dinner will cost an additional $30.

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