A few weeks ago we sent to everyone an email describing the results of a year-long trial of the mowing schedule for the large, 7-acre common area behind the homes along the southern (non-water) side of Potomac Drive.
This large field is not simply an empty field. In fact, most of the area is septic drain fields that serve 30 of our 52 lots. Waste water is piped from these lots into the drain fields in the large field. For this reason, the grass and brush on the area must be cut regularly to prevent large root intrusion into the septic drain fields.
The area of concern is on two plats of our neighborhood that are posted on the PBE POA website:
Previously the area was cut four times a year. In late fall of 2019, a group of homeowners asked that the cutting be reduced to allow and encourage use of the area by ground-dwelling and ground-nesting birds. In 2020, we cut the area before April 15 and after August 15, which is the nesting season for several species native to our neighborhood. The result was gratifying as a few nesting pairs with fledglings were observed that had not been seen for several years.
The area is being cut today, October 8, as the third and final cut for this year.
We now are in the process of certifying the 7-acre area as a Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary. To that effect, we have suspended mowing in that area from approximately April 15 to August 15 to enable the grass and wildflowers to flourish. We have already had sightings of Eastern Meadowlarks and are hopeful of attracting more bobwhites, indigo buntings, bluebirds, flickers, migratory songbirds, and other bird species along with many varieties of butterflies.
We ask that everyone tread carefully and limit human activity in this area and let us know what varieties you observe. It would be fun to keep a list of sightings and dates for our website.
Thanks to everyone for making our neighborhood a friendly place for everyone as well as for our feathered and furry neighbors.