|Biological Inventory of the Rock Creek Floodplain
Harrisburg Area Community College Watershed Education Project
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Water Resources Education Network
Andrew Mehring and Trina Morris
432 Arch Street
Carlisle, PA 17013
Description of the Meadow
Meadow Observation Points
Description of the Forested Floodplain
Forested Floodplain Observation Points
Marker Location Map
General Description of the Meadow
Summary: To the south of the shopping center and east of the forested floodplain is the meadow, with habitat characteristics differing from that of the forested floodplain. Soils here still retain water but increased light penetration supports a different variety of plants.
Trees and Shrubs
The old field area contains scattered young trees. Many are of the same species as those found in the forested sections of the floodplain, but are of a much younger age. This area is in the early stages of succession, and may eventually revert back into a forest. The most common species of trees here are Red Elm, Silver Maple, Pin Oak, Black Willow, Black Walnut, Eastern Red Cedar, and Virginia Pine. White Ash can be found in lesser numbers within the field.
Silky Dogwood is also prevalent here, and a number of other trees and shrubs can be found in lesser numbers. These include Hawthorne, Swamp White Oak, Northern Red Oak, Black-haw, Black Cherry, Choke Cherry, Red Maple, and Callery Pear. Although Callery Pear is an exotic species, it does not appear to have spread very far into the meadow.
A number of introduced species of shrubs can be found in the more open areas of the floodplain. Tatarian Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle are found here in high numbers, along with Multiflora Rose and Autumn-olive. Autumn-olive is a serious weed in some portions of the state but is not as abundant here as the other three exotic species previously mentioned. Multiflora Rose, common in both the forested and open sections of the floodplain, is designated as a noxious weed in Pennsylvania. It prefers upland areas, but also occurs in disturbed wetlands. Multiflora rose is extremely prolific and forms impenetrable thickets in some of the more wooded portions of the floodplain behind the shopping center. This native of Japan, Korea, and Eastern China readily invades open woodlands, forest edges, and successional fields and excludes native plants once established. Exotic bush honeysuckles, such as Tatarian honeysuckle, alter habitats by decreasing light availability, and also deplete soil moisture and nutrients. Exotic bush honeysuckles may compete with native plants for pollinators. Furthermore, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles, while abundant and rich in carbohydrates, do not offer migrating birds foods of the same quality that are offered by many native plant species. Japanese honeysuckle is a bit different in that it is a creeping or climbing vine. Although very fragrant, it climbs over other vegetation and quickly smothers out other plants in areas where it is present. The four aforementioned exotic species are easily singled out from the other members of the plant community, and their removal would greatly improve the quality of the habitat.
There is a diverse array of herbaceous vegetation in the open areas of the floodplain, but this diversity is threatened by a few invasive exotic species. The most threatening exotic herbaceous species in these areas may be Crown vetch, found throughout the meadow and old field. This sprawling European perennial was once extensively planted as a ground cover for steep banks. It may rapidly cover and shade out native vegetation, and has filled in some localized areas around the floodplain with a monoculture.
Another exotic species jeopardizing the health of the floodplain is Reed canary-grass. It is capable of spreading throughout marshes, alluvial meadows, shores, and ditches, and is not easily treated with selective control. Native wetland and wet meadow species may be replaced after several years of reed canary grass presence. Furthermore, this exotic grass can actually make wetlands drier.
Although several exotic species are present in the floodplain, the area is also home to important native nectar plants. In the early summer, Dogbane flowers provide nectar for a wide variety of butterflies, bees, wasps, and other pollinators. Common milkweed begins blooming shortly after Dogbane flowers have opened. As Common Milkweed is reaching the end of its flowering period, abundant patches of Swamp Milkweed begin to open in the wetter portions of the meadow. Historical accounts describe it as being an important nectar source for the Regal Fritillaries that have since been extirpated from the Gettysburg area. Field Thistle, which is abundant in the field areas, is another important native nectar species that blooms late in the season. Several species of butterflies and moths, including Black Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Great Spangled Fritillaries, and Hummingbird Clearwings depend on these nectar plants for food. The meadow is an area of high insect activity, likely a result of the abundance of nectar plants.
Several other native and introduced species present in the meadow comprise a diverse array of wildflowers. These include New York Ironweed, St. Johnswort, Yarrow, Wood Sorrel, Water Hemlock, Trumpet creeper, Teasel, Sundrops, Common Evening Primrose, Pokeweed, Early Goldenrod, Blue-Eyed grass, Rattlebox, Narrow-leaved Agrimony, and Sunflowers. Poison Ivy flourishes in many parts of the meadow. In some areas it forms thick impenetrable stands, while being completely absent in others. Many of the more open areas are home to low-growing asters, and are used by a large population of meadow voles. Turtles evidently use the open meadows as nesting sites, as an excavated nest was discovered, and it is likely that spring peepers will utilize the wetter portions of the meadow during the spring.
The meadow is a valuable component of the floodplain, as it is home to many plants not found in forested areas. Many of the native trees and plants found here provide food for birds and native insects, and are aesthetically pleasing. Wetland plants present here also act as filters, providing an extended buffer for water as it moves toward Rock Creek.
Meadow Observation Points
Note: Observation points are laid out in a manner that would allow the creation of an interpretive trail.
39°50.282’N / 77°13.382’W – The mowed edge
To your left, notice Dogbane, Canada Thistle, Teasle, Soladago sp., Phalaris sp., young oak (Quercus sp.), Red Elm, and Silver Maple. Rubus and Field Thistle are also present on your left.
Ahead and diagonally to the left, Jewelweed is established just along the wetter portions of the drainage ditch. Swamp Milkweed is also found here, as well as Black willow and Silky Dogwood. Notice that Black Willow grows closest to water, and is actually found directly in the center of the drainage ditch in many places.
To your right is a large Callery Pear. Native to China, this was once frequently cultivated, and occasionally escapes to roadsides and old fields. It does not appear to have spread far in the floodplain area.
Crown Vetch can be seen poking up in the understory, mixed in with strawberry. The prevalence of Crown Vetch in this area explains the presence of the wild Indigo Duskywing, a skipper that once depended solely on wild Indigo. After the introduction of Crown Vetch, the skipper began to utilize it as a host plant.
Also notice Avens and Biennial Gaura on right. Eastern Red Cedar trees (commonly called Junipers) lie across the water and to the far right, along with more stands of Teasel and Field Thistle. A large rush (Juncus effuses) grows in the water just ahead. A Common Yellow-throat was seen flitting about the vegetation, just above the water in the ditch.
39°50.276’N / 77°13.381’W – across the ditch
Plants here are similar to those visible at Point 1. You’ve just crossed the stream and passed between two Eastern Red Cedars. To your immediate left are Teasel, Soladago sp., Field Thistle, Multiflora Rose. Poison Ivy is present to the right. Also present in this area are Dogbane and Crown Vetch.
A very large Multiflora Rose Bush lies straight ahead. To the right you can see Honeysuckle, Pin Oak, and Black Walnut. Early Goldenrod and Tatarian Honeysuckle are also present in this area.
39°50.268’N / 77°13.384’W
You have just passed between Autumn Olive (on left), and Silky Dogwood and young Eastern Red Cedar on right. Hawthorne may also be found on your right. To the far left one can see Red Elm. To the right one can see Pin Oak, Eastern Red Cedar and more Red Elm. You may also encounter Daisy Fleabane, Mountain Mint, Early Goldenrod, New York Ironweed, and Water Horehound in this area. White Ash trees are also present here.
Oxeye Daisy can also be found here, along with Asters and Poison Ivy. It is good to know how to recognize this plant! At this point, head diagonally to the left to post 4.
39°50.260’N / 77°13.378’W
You will notice that some of the Eastern Red Cedars here are becoming quite tall. The process of succession from old field to forest is evident here, and these trees are an early successional species. As you walk through this area you may also notice young oaks (Northern Red and Pin) becoming established. Over time these will grow larger and eventually the area will likely revert back to forest. For now, remnants of an old field are mixing with plants typically associated with floodplains and wet meadows, while forest species are beginning to filter in from the surrounding areas. Notice the larger trees of the forest ahead, which provide seeds to the area.
At this point you are surrounded by Deertongue Grass, Goldenrod, Autumn Olive, Cherry, Honeysuckle, and Poison Ivy. Mountain Mint is becoming more prevalent, along with New York Ironweed. Small-flowered Agrimony and St. Johnswort are also present here. Continue straight.
39°50.258’N / 77°13.376’W
You’ve made it through the worst Poison Ivy. The thicker herbaceous layer that you have been passing through is giving way to more open conditions, as you enter the wet meadow. You will now begin to see more plants characteristic of an open field or wet meadow. Eastern Red Cedars are becoming more numerous here, and will continue to regenerate, judging by the number of young trees scattered about.
Asters and grasses (mostly “cool season” varieties) are abundant here, along with a few different species of Goldenrod including Soladago juncea. Foxglove Beardtongue, Dogbane, Mountain Mint, St. Johnswort, Common Cinquefoil, Heal-all, Poison Ivy, and Violet Bush Clover are all found here.
39°50.255’N / 77°13.364’W
At this point, Agrimony is found in greater numbers (to your left). Small stands of Mountain Mint are sprouting to the left, ahead, and all around. Many insects use Mountain Mint as a nectar source, especially wasps and bees. Heal-all (introduced) is abundant here. This is the shorter mint with purple flowers. At least two (perhaps more) species of St. Johnswort are found here, and should be visible along the path between points 6 and 7. One has been identified as Spotted St. Johnswort.
Several flowering plants of interest include Blue-eyed grass, Rattlebox, and Deptford Pink. Deptford Pink is a showy exotic that blooms throughout the summer. This is not known to become a problem in areas where it has been introduced. Blue-eyed grass is native. This perennial herb is in the Iris family (Iridaceae) and at least three species are considered rare in Pennsylvania. This flowers from May through July. Once it is done flowering it is difficult to locate, as it blends in with the surrounding vegetation. One stand was located at 39°50.286’N / 77°13.418’W (along mowed edge, near playground), and more can be found in the open meadow. Rattlebox is a short native annual that blooms and produces inflated fruits toward the end of July. The legumes become nearly black at maturity, and the seeds can be heard rattling inside the pods when shaken.
A few clumps of warm-season grass are present here, but cool-season species are more abundant. Also present are numerous asters, oxeye daisies, strawberry, Common Cinquefoil, raspberry, blackberry, Dogbane, Violet Bush Clover, Hop Clover, and Foxglove Beardtongue.
39°50.248’N / 77°13.363’W
In this corner of the meadow young Swamp White Oak, Northern Red Oak, and Virginia Pine can be found. Sunflowers bloom along the forest edge in July, along with brilliant yellow Sundrops. More Deptford Pink can be found here, as well as agrimony. Trumpet Creeper blooms along the path between posts 7 and 8 (July). In the center of the meadow, reindeer lichen (Cladonia rangiferina) and other mosses are present. Evidence of an excavated turtle nest was found in this area. Meadow voles can often be seen scampering among the vegetation, and likely live here in high numbers. Wildflowers are also abundant in this area, and include many of the species mentioned in previous post descriptions.
39°50.243’N / 77°13.383’W
Some of the Virginia Pines in the meadow are becoming quite tall, as can be seen in this area. Several Eastern Red Cedars stand to your left. Other trees at this point include Red Elm, Black Walnut, and Pin Oak (to the right). White Ash is also present. Numerous sunflowers bloom in this area in July, and can be seen to the left of the path.
39°50.252’N / 77°13.397’W
Two species of plant associated with wetlands are present here (on the left side of the path): Woolgrass and Swamp Milkweed. Turn right (as if heading straight through the Cedar.
39°50.261’N / 77°13.401’W
Some of the largest stands of nectar plants are located here. Swamp Milkweed is abundant, along with brilliant purple clusters of New York Ironweed. Woolgrass can also be found here, as well as two other rushes; bulrush and soft rush. Silver Maple and Choke Cherry are present here. As usual, poison ivy is present, along with a diverse group of plants including Water Horehound, asters, Mountain Mint, Silky Dogwood, Pin Oak, White Ash, Tatarian Honeysuckle, Teasel, and St. Johnswort. At this point, turn right to reach post 11.
39°50.272’N / 77°13.399’W
More New York Ironweed and Dogbane grows between posts 10 and 11. One of the only Black Cherry trees in the meadow is standing to the left of the post. This is more common in the forested floodplain. Continue straight.
39°50.271’N / 77°13.401’W
From this vantage point the parking lot and the slope of the land can be easily seen. For educational purposes this may be a good area to clear so that a class may gather to discuss the affects of development within the floodplain.
Rock Creek, which carries water away from the area, lies to the right. Students might be asked questions about how the parking lot affects the transport and quality of water as it moves to the floodplain.
The path from point 12 to 13 moves closer to the drainage ditch. Here Black Willows are in sight, growing in the wettest parts of the drainage, and a Red Elm lies to the right of the path. Dogbane, an important early-summer nectar source, is present here in fair numbers. Another notable wetland plant in this area is Soft Rush, which can be found on both sides of the path.
39°50.284’N / 77°13.422’W
Cattails grow in the drainage ditch here. This wetland plant should be familiar to most observers. Silky Dogwood is also present in large numbers, as well as Black Walnut, Red Elm, Silver Maple. Teasel and Field Thistle, important season nectar sources in July and August, grow among the vegetation on the left.
39°50.289’N / 77°13.436’W
This post lies at the end of another open portion of the meadow. Poison Ivy is nearly absent from this clearing, but plant species diversity is high. Again, our native Field Thistle is present in high numbers, along with large stands of Teasel. Early Goldenrod and other goldenrod species grow in this area, and low-growing asters are abundant. Strawberries, a good source of food for turtles, can be found among the ground cover. Other plants found here during the summer months include Heal-all, St. Johnswort, Oxeye Daisy, and Dogbane.
Silky Dogwood is abundant here, closer to the low wet areas. Cattails are also visible, and Hedge Bindweed is found among the vegetation lining the ditch.
39°50.295’N / 77°13.439’W
This portion passes by the opening of the drainage ditch after it has passed underground. Queen Anne’s Lace, another introduced species of the floodplain, is visible here. Much of the view of the drainage area is presently blocked by Multiflora Rose and Tatarian Honeysuckle. The overhanging canopy above consists largely of Red Elms. Some Grapes may be seen climbing the hedgerow to the left.
39°50.300’N / 77°13.439’W
At this point, the path has emerged from the wet meadow and rejoined the mowed edge of the lawn. Across the mowed grass, the point at which the drainage ditch begins to flow underground is visible. Again, at this point a guide could question the audience about the floodplain and its functions.
Along the mowed edge, Teasel and Biennial Gaura are located directly on the right. The affects of disturbance are more noticeable. Exotics such as Chickory and Queen Anne’s Lace are seen in greater numbers.
General Description of the Forested Floodplain
Summary: To the east of the shopping center and north of the meadow is the forested floodplain, with habitat characteristics differing from that of the meadow. This area is disturbed by frequent flooding and has a variety of habitats from wet depressions to riparian edges.
The floodplain forest community contains mature, canopy species including swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), black walnut (Juglans nigra), white ash (Fraxinus americana), boxelder (Acer negundo), and hickories (Carya spp.). Other tree species present include red maple (Acer rubrum), silver maple (Acer saccharum), black cherry (Prunus serotina), pin oak (Quercus palustris), and northern red oak (Quercus rubra).
Many small trees and shrubs are present in the floodplain including red elm (Ulmus rubra), american elm (Ulmus americana), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), black-haw (Viburnum prunifolium), silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), and maple-leaved viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium).
Floodplain forests may contain a diverse layer of herbaceous vegetation. Some of the herbaceous groundcover present on the floodplain includes jewelweed (Impatiens spp.), bedstraw (Gallium spp.), buttercups (Ranunculus spp.), rough avens (Geum laciniatum), solomon's seal (Polygonatum spp.), violets (Viola spp.), enchanter's nightshade (Circaea quadrisulcata), and jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens). Some of the low-lying wet depressions contain wetland plants such as rushes (Juncus spp.) and sedges (Carex spp.).
The wooded portion of the floodplain is a typical example of a forested floodplain in urban Pennsylvania. Many of our floodplains have been deforested and are currently in agricultural, industrial or residential use. The remaining floodplains are often small, fragmented patches. These small patches of forest are susceptible to invasive species and offer little interior forest as refugia for species that need more undisturbed habitat. Rivers and streams can also bring invasive species that spread their seeds quickly through flowing water. For these reasons, most of our floodplains contain many non-native species and overall habitat quality is degraded.
Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) may be the biggest current threat to the floodplain. Although it is not currently dominant along the creek, the plant has the ability to spread quickly and may become more abundant over the next few growing seasons. Japanese knotweed quickly spreads through vegetative propagation and seed dispersal. It forms dense stands acting as a thick canopy over native species, quickly excluding them. It is very difficult to remove and poses a severe threat to riparian ecosystems. The plant is able to withstand extended periods of flooding and can quickly colonize scoured banks and islands.
Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) is another invasive species that threatens the floodplain. This low, creeping plant spreads through seeds and vegetative growth forming a mat across the forest floor. It prefers, moist habitat and thrives in disturbed floodplains. As moneywort spreads, it forces out native species and forms a monoculture in the herbaceous layer. Early in the growing season, moneywort was the most dominate understory plant on the floodplain, likely crowding out spring wildflowers and other native plants. Overall species diversity has been reduced due to the presence of this invasive species.
Several other non-native species have been introduced to the floodplain. Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) forms thickets in some areas of the floodplain. Mile-a-minute weed (Polygonum perfoliatum) is twining weed with small spines that grows rapidly and wraps around native species, smothering native plants.
Garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata) is widespread among many habitats in Pennsylvania and also outcompetes native species in the understory. All of these species threaten the health of the forest ecosystem.
Despite the presence of harmful, non-native species, the floodplain forest community plays an important role in the ecosystem and is an important component of the Rock Creek watershed. The presence of forested buffers along streams can help to increase water quality, reduce erosion and runoff and control flooding. Floodplain forests also serve as important habitat for a variety of wildlife.
Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) and Barred Owls (Strix varia) were observed using the floodplain forest habitat. Both of these species prefer tree cavities for nesting. The presence of large, dead standing trees is critical to the survival of these species. Other species that use nest cavities are likely also present, including Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus), Great-horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) and eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).
Other mammals present in the floodplain include white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Other small mammal species are likely present including short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda), masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Bats may also use the floodplain habitat for foraging, including little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus).
Floodplains provide excellent habitat for amphibians. Temporarily flooded areas provide breeding habitats for frogs and toads. Green frogs (Rana clamitans), bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and American toads (Bufo americanus) were all observed using the floodplain forest habitat. Several reptiles were also observed using the floodplain including eastern garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), and eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).
One of the most important apsects of the floodplain is the presence of Rock Creek. The creek provides habitat for a variety of fish, crayfish and invertebrates. Two species of mussels were found in the creek. Shells from eastern elliptio (Elliptio complanata) and the creeper (Strophitus undulatus) were found along rock creek. Though no living specimens were observed, the presence of shells suggests live mussels are found somewhere along the creek. Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) were also observed using Rock Creek.
The floodplain forest along Rock Creek is an important component in the ecosystem. The forest provides habitat for a variety of species. The floodplain also serves as a buffer for Rock Creek and is an important part of the watershed. Maintaining and improving this floodplain community will benefit the wildlife and people that depend on the resources of Rock Creek.
Floodplain Forest Observation Points
39°50.429’N / 77°13.348’W
This site is on the western edge of the floodplain, near the very large swamp white oak. It is the beginning of the floodplain forest. Tree species found in the floodplain forest include swamp white oak, black walnut, white ash, hickories, red maple and boxelder. Boxelder is also one of the most common small trees along with red elm, American elm, hawthorn, and mockernut hickory. Spicebush is a common shrub along with multiflora rose, blackberries, black raspberries and grapes. Moneywort is one of the dominant herbaceous species. Others include jewelweed, sedges, enchanter's nightshade, poison ivy, Virginia creeper and violets.
39°50.411’N / 77°13.303’W
This site is along Rock Creek. Some of the tree species that can be found along the creek include pin oak, American sycamore, boxelder, pignut hickory, red oak, white ash, willow. Other species found along the creek include monkeyflower, smartweed, clearweed, poison ivy, jewelweed and violets. Moneywort can be observed growing all the way to the banks of the creek. Japanese knotweed is found along some areas of the creek.
39°50.370’N / 77°13.325’W
This site is a good example of the effects of invasive species. This low depression would likely contain rushes and sedges or other native plants such as jewelweed. This depression is almost completely covered with moneywort, with just a few sedges able to survive. This non-native species smothers more desirable native species and is not as valuable as food and cover for wildlife.
Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia)
Azure, Spring (Celastrina ladon)
Comma, Eastern (Polygonia comma)
Bumble Bee (Bombus sp.)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa sp.)
Carrion Beetle (Silpha sp.)
Cicada, Dogday (Tibicen linnei)
Cicada, Periodical (Magicicada septemdecim)
Common Whitetail Skimmer (Plathemis lydia)
Dogbane Leaf Beetle (Chrysochus auratus)
European Honeybee (Apis mellifera)
Fritillary, Great spangled (Speyeria cybele)
Moth (Autographa sp.)
Giant Resin Bee (Megachile sculpturalis Smith) * new exotic
Grape Leaffolder moth (Desmia funeralis)
Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)
Hummingbird clearwing (Hemaris sp.)
Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)
Large Lace Border (Scopula limboundata)
Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii)
Milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis)
Mosquito (Diptera, Culicidae)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
Paper wasp (Polistes dominulus) (exotic)
Paper wasp (Polistes fuscatus) (native)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Phantom Cranefly (Bittacomorpha clavipes)
Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Coleoptera, Erotylidae)
Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetropthalmica)
Skipper, Least (Ancyloxypha numitor)
Skipper, Peck’s (Polites mystic)
Skipper, Silver-spotted (Epargyres clarus)
Spittlebug (Aphrophora or Philaenus sp.)
Swallowtail, Black (Papilio polyxenes)
Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger (Papilio glaucus)
Swallowtail, Spicebush (Papilio troilus)
Thread-waisted wasp (Ammophila sp.)
Twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella)
Variant Moth sp. (Hypagyrtis esther or H. unipunctata)
Water strider (Gerris sp.)
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Wild-indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)
Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)
Yellow Jacket (Vespula sp.)
Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)
Eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus)
Meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)
Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Woodchuck, Groundhog, Whistle pig (Marmota monax)
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Common Yellow-throat (Geothlypis trichas)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Eastern Wood peewee (Contopus virens)
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)
Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)
Green Frog (Rana clamitans)
Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata)
Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Eastern elliptio (Elliptio complanata)
The Creeper (Strophitus undulatus)
Crayfish (species unidentified)
Isopods (species unidentified)
TREES and SHRUBS
Ash, White (Fraxinus Americana)
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Black-haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
Boxelder (Acer negundo)
Catalpa, Common (Catalpa bignonioides)
Cedar, Eastern Red (Juniperus virginiana)
Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina)
Cherry, Choke (Prunus virginica)
Dogwood, Silky (Cornus amomum)
Elm, American (Ulmus americana)
Elm, Red or Slippery (Ulmus rubra)
Hawthorne sp. (Crataegus sp.)
Hickory sp. 3 (Carya sp.)
Hickory, Mockernut (Carya tomentosa)
Hickory, Pignut (Carya glabra)
Honeysuckle, Bush (Diervilla lonicera)
Honeysuckle, Japanese (Lonicera japonica)
Honeysuckle, Tatarian (Lonicera tatarica)
Maple, Red (Acer rubrum)
Maple, Silver (Acer saccharinum)
Mulberry (Morus sp.)
Oak, Northern Red (Quercus rubra)
Oak, Pin (Quercus palustris)
Oak, Swamp White (Quercus bicolor)
Pear, Callery (Pyrus calleryana)
Pine, Virginia or Scrub (Pinus virginiana)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Sycamore, American (Platanus occidentalis)
Viburnum, Maple-leaved (Viburnum acerifolium)
Walnut, Black (Juglans nigra)
Willow, Black (Salix nigra)
Agrimony, Small-flowered (Agrimonia parviflora)
Aster sp. 1 (Aster sp.)
Avens sp. 2 (Geum sp.)
Avens, Rough (Geum laciniatum)
Beardtongue, Foxglove (Penstemon digitalis)
Bedstraw, Cleavers, Goosegrass (Galium aparine)
Bindweed, Hedge (Convolvulus sepium)
Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)
Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium sp.)
Burdock sp. (Arctium sp.)
Bush Clover, Violet (Lespedeza violacea)
Buttercup sp. 1 (Ranunculus sp.)
Buttercup sp. 2 (Ranunculus sp.)
Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Chickory (Cichorium intybus)
Cinquefoil, Common (Potentilla simplex)
Cinquefoil, Rough (Potentilla norvegica)
Clearweed (Pilea pumila)
Clover, Hop (or Yellow) (Trifolium agrarium)
Clover, Least hop (Trifolium dubium)
Clover, Red (Trifolium pratense)
Clover, White (Trifolium repens)
Crown vetch (Coronilla varia)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron sp.)
Daisy, Oxeye (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Dandelion (Taraxacum sp.)
Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)
Dogbane, Indian hemp (Apocinum cannabinum)
Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata)
Gaura, Biennial (Gaura biennus)
Gill-over-the-ground or Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
Goldenrod, Early (Solidago juncea)
Goldenrod, species 2 (Solidago sp.)
Grape sp. (Vitis sp.)
Heal-all or Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)
Hedge Nettle, Common (Stachys tenuifolia)
Horehound, Water (Lycopus americanus)
Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense)
Ironweed, New York (Vernonia noveboracensis)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit or Indian Turnip (Arisaema atrorubens)
Jewelweed, Pale touch-me-not (Impatiens pallida)
Jewelweed, Spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis)
Knotweed, Japanese (Polygonum cuspidatum)
Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Meadow Rue, Tall (Thalictrum polygamum)
Mile-a-minute weed, Devil’s Tail Tearthumb (Polygonum perfoliatum)
Milkweed, Common (Asclepias syriaca)
Milkweed, Swamp (Asclepias incarnata)
Mint, Narrow-leaved Mountain (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)
Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia)
Monkeyflower, Winged (Mimulus alatus)
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
Nettle, False (Boehmeria cylindrical)
Nightshade, Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)
Nightshade, Enchanter’s (Circaea quadrisulcata)
Onion sp. (Allium sp.)
Pimpernel, Scarlet (Anagallis arvensis)
Plantain sp. (Plantago sp.)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
Primrose, Common Evening (Oenothera biennis)
Ragweed, Common (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
Ragweed, Great (Ambrosia trifida)
Raspberry, Black (Rubus occidentalis)
Rattlebox (Crotalaria sagittalis)
Robin’s plantain (Erigeron pulchellus)
Smartweed (Polygonum sp.)
Spatterdock or Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar variegatum)
Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
St. Johnswort sp. 2 (Hypericum sp.)
St. Johnswort, Spotted (Hypericum punctatum)
Strawberry, Indian (Duchesnea indica)
Strawberry, wild (Fragaria sp.)
Sundrops (Oenothera fructicosa)
Sunflower (Helianthus sp.)
Sweet Clover, White (Mellilotus alba)
Sweet Clover, Yellow (Mellilotus officinalis)
Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris)
Thistle sp. 2 (Cirsium sp.)
Thistle, Canada (Cirsium arvense)
Thistle, Field (Cirsium discolor)
Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)
True Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum sp.)
Trumpet creeper, Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)
Vervain, White (Verbena urticifolia)
Violet sp. 2 (Viola sp.)
Violet sp. 3 (Viola sp.)
Violet, Pale (Viola striata)
Violet, pale (Viola striata)
Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Water Hemlock or Spotted Cowbane (Cicuta maculata)
Wild carrot, Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota)
Wild Yamroot (Dioscorea villosa)
Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris)
Wood sorrel sp. 2 (Oxalis sp.)
Wood sorrel, Yellow (Oxalis stricta)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)
Soft Rush (Juncus effusus)
Woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus)
Carex sp. 2
Grass, cool-season – numerous species
Grass, Deertongue (Panicum clandestinum)
Grass, Reed-canary (Phalaris arundinacea)
Grass, warm-season – possibly only one species here
Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina)
Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians. Eastern
and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, MA. 450pp.
Glassberg, J. 1999. Butterflies Through Binoculars, The East. A Field Guide to the
Butterflies of Eastern North America. Oxford University Press, New York.
Graves, A.H. 1992. Illustrated Guide to Trees and Shrubs – A Handbook of the Woody
Plants of the Northeastern United State and Adjacent Canada, Revised Edition.
Dover Publications, Inc. New York, NY. 271pp.
Merritt, J.E. 1987. Guide to the Mammals of Pennsylvania. University of Pittsburgh
Press for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Pittsburgh, PA. 408pp.
Milne, L. and M. Milne. 1980. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North
American Insects and Spiders. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 989pp.
Nedeau, E.J., M.A. McCollough, and B.I. Swartz. 2000. The Freshwater Mussels of
Maine. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Augusta, Maine.
Newcomb, L. 1977. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Little Brown and Company.
Boston, MA. 490pp.
Sibley, D.A. 2001. National Audubon Society’s The Sibley Guide to Birds. Alfred A.
Knopf. New York. 544pp.
Strausbaugh, P.D. and E.L. Core. 1973. Flora of West Virginia, Second Edition. Seneca
Books, Inc. Morgantown, WV. 1079pp.
We would sincerely like to thank Sue Cipperly of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development for her constant support and guidance throughout the course of the project. We would also like to thank Sharon Sontheimer, HACC Adjunct Professor of Biology, for her assistance and valuable input.
Funding for this project was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Nonpoint Source Management Program through Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania - Water Resources Education Network Project for community based educational projects that protect the community's watershed.
Thanks to the Gettysburg Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College for providing the opportunity to conduct this survey.