Our Mission Statement

Laura Van Scoyoc, left, and Lynell Tobler, are the president and vice president, respectively, of SDCI. Though they both have demanding, fulltime jobs, they've made it their mission to devote as much of their off-time as possible to help conserve Soldiers Delight for future generations. 
Soldiers Delight Conservation, Inc. (SDCI) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit group, formed in 1959, whose mission is to educate the public about Soldiers Delight and to conserve and restore its rare and endangered ecosystem for future generations. We serve as the “Friends” group for the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area in Owings Mills, Maryland, the most significant biodiversity site on any of Maryland’s State lands: it provides habitat for more than 30 rare plant and animal species, including several that occur nowhere else in Maryland.

A Natural Environment Area (NEA) is a “unit of the State Park system which is an area, ... of significant natural attraction or unique geological feature”. Soldiers Delight, as the largest remaining serpentine barrens ecosystem on the East Coast, qualifies easily. However, Soldiers Delight is more than just an NEA; it is also a State Wildlands, a designation that can only be granted by the Maryland General Assembly. Such a designation grants protections that are Maryland’s equivalent of the Federal Wilderness designation. Management activities within a Wildlands are directed at protecting or enhancing its wilderness characteristics.

As a group dedicated to preserving and conserving this unique habitat, SDCI meets regularly to strategize ways to improve opportunities for Soldiers Delight’s rare and endangered species to thrive. In addition to supporting Serpentine Ecosystem Restoration Program (SERP) events in winter, we provide funding for invasive species control during summer, staff outreach displays at community events to educate the public about Soldiers Delight all year long, and take every opportunity possible to teach residents about the importance of using native plants in landscaping in order to protect and support native habitats everywhere.