Berlin Parks Included In Ongoing BioBlitz Campaign

BERLIN – Berlin’s quiet parks will see some activity and improvements in the coming months, ranging from a species survey to new fencing.

A team of at least six children and a handful of adults descended upon Berlin’s parks this week for four hours to survey as many species of plant, animal, and insect life as it could as part of a peninsula wide BioBlitz. At least 20 teams across the Eastern Shore are participating.

“We’re going to find every living thing in the town we can,” said Patricia Duffendach, chair of the Berlin Parks Commission, who participated in the BioBlitz on Thursday. “We want people to know Berlin’s parks are really something special.”

The BioBlitz team will raise money through sponsorships, either a lump sum, or per species identified, which will be split between event sponsor Delmarva Low Impact Tourism (DLITE) and the partner organization.

“If you get lots of species, you get more money,” said Duffendach.

Word on the number of species identified by the Berlin team was not immediately available.   

Berlin’s BioBlitzers hope to win a $500 prize for most species identified or most money raised when all results are formally tallied in late September.

Berlin also hopes to improve park infrastructure with an application to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Program Open Space for $19,800 to put up a three-foot fence along Tripoli St. in Stephen Decatur Park. Berlin will pay the remaining $2,200 in fencing costs.

The fencing is a good idea to preserve and maintain the park, said interim Berlin Mayor Gee Williams.

The town has received several complaints lately of people driving off the road onto parkland and leaving ruts behind.

“They don’t realize how soft that ground is,” Duffendach said.

While the initial plan called for a four-foot fence, the Parks Commission decided that a three-foot fence would be adequate, and save money. The fencing will likely be similar to the wrought-iron look fencing at Henry Park along Route 113, which is actually bent aluminum.

Administrative Director Linda Bambary reported Monday night that the varying width of the scrap tire path at Stephen Decatur Park is intentional to allow for exercise equipment to be installed next to the path. She will continue to look into handicapped access to the picnic pavilion as requested in July, Bambary said.