At a Glance
The visioning process is a critical step in ensuring the long-term stewardship of Bee Tree Preserve – as an ecological resource, a restorative retreat, and a sacred space.
Named after Bee Tree Run, a trout stream that meanders through 250 acres of woodland, meadows, and wetlands, Bee Tree Preserve has provided an inspiring and enriching retreat and passive recreation area since its donation to Towson Presbyterian Church in 1965. More recently, the Preserve was put into an environmental easement to ensure its long-term conservation, stewardship, and care. As part of the easement agreement, the Preserve was to have a plan for public access and natural resource management.
After conducting a field assessment of the Preserve lands, Biohabitats organized and led a visioning charrette for stakeholders (church members, neighbors, and other frequent users). The goal of the charrette was two-fold: to reintroduce the site to the community through the lenses of history, landscape ecology, culture and recreation; and to elicit feedback regarding stakeholders’ desires, perceptions and goals for the Preserve. This resulted in a list of priorities and next steps that lay the foundation for an ecological master plan for Bee Tree Preserve: a place that can be experienced for its natural beauty and bounty, as a spiritual retreat, as well as for its natural resources and broader ecological function.