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Middle Patuxent Environmental Area

5795 Trotter Road
Clarksville, MD 21029

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GPS Coordinates:
Decimal Degrees
NAD 83 datum
Latitude: 39.2096
Longitude: -76.9075 

MPEA Picture 2 
Park Map (Coming soon) Flora and Fauna 


General Information 

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks manages the 1021-acre Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) in cooperation with the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation. This natural area is home to a diversity of wildlife, including an impressive list of about 150 species of birds, over 40 species of mammals, and numerous amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, plants and other wildlife. The primary components of the MPEA’s mission are natural resource conservation, environmental education, research, and passive recreation. The area is managed using ecosystem management concepts to restore and protect the diversity of communities found in this region. Five and one-half miles of hiking trails, with two interpretive nature trail brochures, give visitors an opportunity to enjoy and learn about the area.

MPEA Picture 1Ongoing natural resource management projects in the MPEA include meadow habitat restoration, natural resource inventories (bird surveys, vegetation surveys, etc), forest management, deer population management, stream water quality monitoring, and the volunteer program. The objective of the MPEA volunteer program is to involve members of the community in many aspects of the MPEA’s management. Volunteers can become involved in the development and maintenance of our trail system, help fight the invasive exotics that threaten our native species, study the diverse flora and fauna communities, participate in habitat management projects, and/or help develop educational programs.

To find out more about MPEA programs and management activities, contact MPEA Natural Resources Manager, Cheryl Farfaras at 410-313-4726 or email cfarfaras@howardcountymd.gov.


For a printable brochure click on the links below:
MPEA Wildlife Loop Trail Brochure
MPEA South Wind Trail Brochure
South Wind Trail Interpretive Nature Walk - Virtual Tour 

Welcome to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) virtual interpretive nature trail. The MPEA, established in 1996, is 1021 acres in size and contains a diversity of habitat types. There are upland and bottomland hardwood forest, fields, wetlands, ponds, and riparian (riverine) habitats. The primary components of the MPEA's mission are natural resource management, education, research and recreation. There are 5.4 miles of hiking trails in the MPEA. This brochure will guide you on a virtual tour through the South Wind Trail (2.3 miles), including the grassland restoration area and a wetland area. Numbered markers along the trail (see map) correspond to the numbered interpretive point pictures. ENJOY!

Volunteer Opportunities

 MPEA Volunteer Program List
2015 Conservation Stewardship (CSP) Program Schedule
 2015 Weed Warriors Program  

Community Partners

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks manages the 1021-acre Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) in cooperation with the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation. For more detailed information please visit the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation website.

Environmental Stewardship

Many choices we make in our own homes can impact the environment. We each have the power to enact change. There are resources available so that each one of us can be environmentally responsible and take action to improve the health of our environment and the Chesapeake Bay, one backyard at a time. “From My Backyard to Our Bay” is one such excellent resource. It is a resident’s guide with tips on maintaining a healthy lawn, managing stormwater runoff, composting, recycling, reducing energy use and many more topics. Please check out the booklet “From My Backyard to Our Bay” at this link. See what actions you are already doing and what more you can do to improve your environment and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Remember – the Bay is only as far away as the nearest storm drain.

Things to Remember  

Help to keep your parks beautiful -- please take your trash and recyclable items home. Take only pictures and leave only footprints.

Dog droppings may attract disease-harboring pests, and even a friendly dog can scare the birds, wildlife and park visitors. Clean up after your dog and keep it leashed; it's the law.

All of our parks are inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife such as deer, snakes, fish, rabbits, insects and birds. Please do not disturb them; remember, this is their home.