Serpentine Restoration Accomplishments At Soldiers Delight!

Under the direction of our Serpentine Ecosystem Restoration Program (SERP) volunteer coordinator, Maryland's Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS) biologist Paula Becker, and WHS Science Program Manager Gwenda L. Brewer, hearty volunteers successfully undertook much conservation work at Soldiers Delight in 2021. Below is a short recap by Paula of the remarkable accomplishments achieved!

“It was a rough year out in the world but at Soldiers Delight we managed to continue restoration efforts across approximately 300 acres. 40 individual volunteers donated 453.5 hours of labor on many tasks throughout the year. Here are the highlights:

276.5 hours were spent lopping small pines and girdling large Virginia pines;

110 hours were spent preparing firebreaks for prescribed burns (which, alas, have yet to be burned);

45 hours were spent pulling invasive wavyleaf basketgrass (in the blazing heat of July and August);

16 hours were spent removing deer exclosures constructed for a now-completed scientific study of the effects of deer browsing on pollinators, and;

6 hours were spent searching for and cataloging rare plants.

All of these tasks support and multiply the work of paid staff.  We simply could not restore and conserve this extraordinary place without you.”

SDCI wishes to thank Paula and Gwen and their dedicated WHS staff and volunteers and remind everyone that since the Serpentine Ecosystem Restoration Project began in 1995, hearty volunteers have logged more than 30,000 hours toward the restoration of Soldiers Delight's unusual and biologically diverse ecosystem. It could not be done without our many dedicated volunteers. SDCI would like to also publicly salute Paula Becker for her many years of dedication to this unique ecosystem.

Finally, we want everybody to remember: If you are looking for an ideal way to work off some pounds, get a good workout in the great outdoors, earn Service Learning Hours, or do significant good in service of conservation, participating in a SERP event is a wonderful way to make a tangible difference in a sensitive, unique and wonderful natural environment.

Questions or to sign up for an upcoming SERP event? Call SERP Volunteer Coordinator Paula Becker at 410-260-8568 or email her at

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