The Maryland Native Plant Society

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  • MNPS Program: Diversity of a Serpentine Grassland at Bare Hills Barrens, Lake Roland Park: A 20 Year Study

MNPS Program: Diversity of a Serpentine Grassland at Bare Hills Barrens, Lake Roland Park: A 20 Year Study

  • 01/26/2021
  • 7:30 PM
  • Zoom Webinar


Registration is closed


We can accommodate 500 viewers on Zoom. First come first served. A recording will be available 2-3 weeks after the program.

Speaker: William Hilgartner, Ph.D.

This presentation will describe an ongoing study of a serpentine grassland at Bare Hills Barrens, part of the Lake Roland Park near Baltimore, which was begun in 2000. The original purpose was to identify and record all herbaceous species in a 550 square meter plot. Blooming times and the presence/absence of grasses, sedges and other flowering plants have been monitored within that plot since 2000. After 2002 the study became a study of succession and stability, as well as providing insights into the "serpentine factor", the physiological factor(s) that governs why some species persist there while others are precluded. The uniqueness of the vegetation, community stability and change, and the impact of pine expansion and non-natives will be discussed. The webinar will include a description of a restoration site. The Bare Hills name goes back to the 1700s or early 1800s when the first mining of chromium began there in 1810.

Our speaker, Bill Hilgartner, is a paleoecologist, naturalist, and teacher. He is an adjunct faculty member of The Johns Hopkins University, Engineering For Professionals Graduate Program. He has taught plant and bird ecology, geology, and evolution at Friends School, Johns Hopkins University and MICA. His research has focused on macrofossil seeds of plants in rivers and wetlands as well as vegetation of serpentine barrens. His earlier research concerned fossil birds of the Bahamas with the Smithsonian Institution. He has two sons and 3 grandchildren, and lives with his wife Marilyn and 2 cats in Baltimore, MD.


The program will be presented online through Zoom, in webinar format. You will not be able to share your own audio or video with other participants, but you will be able to submit questions in writing during the program.

Registration is required. After you register, you will receive a registration confirmation email with a link to the Zoom program. 

The program is free and open to the public.

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