Middle Patuxent Environmental Area
The Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) is a 1,021 acres wildlife area in Clarksville. It is located next to the River Hill village in the town of Columbia, Maryland, in the United States. The MPEA was created in 1996 for educational, research, and recreational purposes.
The Middle Patuxent River had become silt clogged from farm runoff killing off some fish species habitat. By the 1980s construction activity for the planned community of Columbia caused water quality to reach its lowest levels. In 1991, The Rouse Company proposed the sale of the environmentally sensitive undeveloped land valued at $1.9 million to a Rouse managed trust paid for by Howard County for $2.2 Million. In 1993, stutdents raised $16,000 to save the 1864 Pfiffers Corner schoolhouse from demolition on its 5 acre Elkridge site. The County Planning director Joseph Rutter, pushed for a rapid purchase of the Rouse property to allow for the school to be relocated to the new MPEA. After the property was purchased, the county choose a separate site in Elkridge for the school relocation.
The MPEA is home to over 40 species of mammals, and numerous amphibians, reptiles, fishes, butterflies, plants and other wildlife. The MPEA has 5.4 miles of hiking trails including the 2.4 mile Wildlife Loop Trail and the 2.3 mile South Wind Trail. Both trails pass along the Middle Patuxent River.
- Chip Brown (21 November 1983). "Howard Residents Bemoan 'Death Knell" for Rural Life Style: Howard Residents See Sewer Project As 'Death Knell' for Rural Life Style". The Baltimore Sun.
- "IN THE NEWS: Preservation Area Is Urged Along Middle Patuxent River". The Washington Post. 23 May 1991.
- Molly Sinclair (6 May 1993). "Historic School Teaches Lesson in Frustration". The Washington Post.
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