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Improving Water Quality Down on the Farm

Ecotone, Baltimore County Soil Conservation, and Roseda Farm team up on stream restoration project

(Forest Hill, MD) – When Ed Burchell, owner of Baltimore County’s Roseda Farm, Maryland’s largest beef producer, was approached with the opportunity to improve the water quality in the stream on his farm, and reduce erosion and runoff, he was pleasantly surprised that the project would come at no cost to him. However, these types of endeavors are nothing new to Ecotone, an ecological restoration firm which has created innovative partnerships, such as its Memorandum of Agreement with the Baltimore County Soil Conservation District (BCSCD), and was able to secure funding by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Atlantic and Coastal Bays Trust Fund to complete the Roseda project at no cost to the farm.

Ecotone’s installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on Roseda Farm in Baltimore County added 4,829 linear feet of stream restoration and 9.14 acres riparian buffer, one of Ecotone’s largest projects of 2021. Since the stream on Roseda’s property feeds into Loch Raven Reservoir, it’s even more imperative for the water to be clean to ensure safe drinking water to the Baltimore metropolitan and surrounding area.

All decisions on the project were made collaboratively by Ecotone, BCSCD, and Roseda Farm to ensure that all work done would be in line with the daily operations of the farm and minimize any disruptions to the activities of the cattle. In addition to the stream and floodplain restoration, exclusion fencing was installed to keep cattle from trampling stream beds and depositing manure in the stream itself. To provide an alternative water source for the cattle, Ecotone installed four gravity fed watering troughs, which was funded by both the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program grants.

“This project showcases how Ecotone creates innovative and sustainable restoration solutions by utilizing comprehensive partnerships to ensure we are doing right by the environment, the client/partner, and the landowner. We should all be very proud of this project and the support it gathered throughout the community,” said Special Projects Manager Jess Single. The Roseda project also garnered a lot of positive reaction from the community, as it was a feature project in the NACD Diamonds Out of the Dust: 75 Years of Conservation District Success Stories. Ecotone also presented on this project at Center for Watershed Protection’s Sustainable Watersheds and Agriculture Symposium this year, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture completed a video segment on the project, interviewing Project Manager Chris Kidd, Ed Burchell, and BCSCD’s Jim Ensor on the benefits of the project.

About Ecotone:

Founded in 1998, Ecotone is a Harford County, MD based ecological restoration company that designs and builds sustainable ecosystems to reduce erosion of stream banks, manage stormwater, conserve and restore wetlands, and restore forests. The company provides full-delivery ecosystem restoration, mitigation, design, construction, and consulting solutions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

PUBLISHED: i95 Business Magazine

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