The Cherry Hill Barrens is the site of an endangered grassland/savanna serpentine barrens located in Harford County, Maryland. Serpentine barrens are one type of a southern grassland biome (ecosystem) considered to be an endangered plant habitat in the southeastern United States. In 1988-1989, when Habonim Dror Camp Moshava moved to the site, campers took on the initial clearing of this rare type barrens. Conservation efforts were suspended until 2016, when former campers and other volunteers took it upon themselves to renew the grasslands and protect the rare and endangered plants that live there. Since that time, a long-term program for restoration has been organized to return the site to a sustainable serpentine barrens ecosystem.
ser·pen·tine /ˈsərpənˌtēn/ noun
a dark green mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, sometimes mottled or spotted like a snake's skin.
bar·rens /băr′ənz/ noun
a tract of unproductive land, often with a scrubby growth of trees.
"To understand, cherish, and preserve the great natural heritage of the Southern Grassland Biome should be a priority goal in America's environmental movement."
--E.O. Wilson, 2014
To understand more about this important ecosystem, the 2022 Cherry Hill Barrens Strategic Plan provides background information about the history of serpentine barrens and outlines a plan for the Cherry Hill Barrens restoration.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
volunteer for a workday
inventory native plants
coordinate conservation efforts
Note: The Cherry Hill Barrens are located on a private nature preserve that is closed to the general public.
Access is restricted to protect the rare ecosystem.