Piscataway Creek Mitigation Site
The Piscataway Creek Mitigation Site (PCMS) is privately owned by the John M. and Sara R. Walton Foundation, Inc. in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The property contains a historic single-family residence (built in 1735), a caretaker’s residence, agricultural fields, pastures, and barns associated with the active horse boarding operation. The PCMS is situated on a 63-acre portion of the larger Walton Foundation property (126 acres) that is adjacent to and within the 100-year floodplain of Piscataway Creek, which flows through the property from northwest to southeast. The PCMS preservation area is comprised of forested wetlands adjacent to and within the floodplain west of the main stem of Piscataway Creek. The wetland restoration/creation and enhancement areas had previously been used as pastures since prior to 1938. Prior to conversion to pasture, these areas were historically comprised of a mosaic of forested, freshwater wetlands, and uplands.
The PCMS includes the restoration/creation of 9.2 acres of wetland from upland pasture, the enhancement of 1.4 acres of wetland from wetland pasture, the preservation of 50.7 acres of forested wetland, and the restoration of 1.8 acres of wetland buffer. Construction on this project was completed in July 2017. The preserved wetlands are documented as Forest Interior Dwelling Bird Species (FIDS) habitat and as a Green Infrastructure Corridor by Prince George’s County. The enhanced habitats have attracted various avian species including green heron, mallard duck, red-tailed hawk, red-bellied woodpecker, red winged black bird, wild turkey, cow bird, cardinal, and blue jay. Several species of reptiles, invertebrates, and amphibians including cope’s gray/gray tree frog, green tree frog, fowler’s toad, northern brown snake, black rat snake, and common five-lined skink have also been documented on site throughout 2017. Based on field observations of wildlife usage during the first year of monitoring, it can be concluded that significant habitat enhancements were achieved across the site.