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 Cecil Bird Club
  A Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society


  Promoting birding in northeastern Maryland
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New Beginnings – The Woodlawn Wildlife Area
Description Located near Port Deposit, The Woodlawn Wildlife Area is approximately 55 acres of undeveloped land owned by Bridgestone Americas Holdings, Inc.  The land is adjacent to the former 37-acre Woodlawn landfill, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site owned by Cecil County.  The lands are managed for wildlife by Bridgestone under the guidance of the nonprofit Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC).  Although mostly forested, the Wildlife Area has a 4-acre meadow and several early-stage reforestation areas.  The landfill site is primarily open fields and forest edge with a small retention pond that is being enhanced as a wetland.  Contact WHC (see below) prior to visiting the site.  WHC tracks community use and arranges for gate opening/closing.
How to get there From Port Deposit, take MD-276 (Tome Highway) towards Rising Sun. Make a left onto Firetower Road.  Less than a mile later, you will pass the entrance to the county transfer/recycling center.  Immediately after the center’s entrance, The Woodlawn Wildlife Area gate is on the left. 

From Rising Sun, take Rt 276 (Tome Highway) south to Rt 269, Barnes Corner Road,  Turn right (west) onto Barnes Corner and then right at the first intersection onto Harrisville Rd, which becomes Firetower Rd at the West Nottingham Academy gate.  Continue south on Firetower Rd to the entrance to the Wildlife Area, just past the intersection of Colora Rd on the right.  

Park at the small, fenced-in parking lot with the kiosk.
Map reference De Lorme MD State Atlas Book:  map page 77; grid B4.
ADC Cecil County Map Book:  map page 9; grid D2-E2.
Google map click here
What to do after arrival Park at the small lot and explore the Wildlife Area on foot.  A nature trail traverses the meadow and passes through parts of the forest in the Area.  Keep your eyes and ears open for Estern Screch Owls:  some rehabilitated owls were released in August 2004 at the small wooded area between the open meadow and recycling station. This wooded area also contains one of the county’s largest black birch trees. 

Continuing south on foot, you’ll be able to easily identify the former county landfill; this open land is separated from the Wildlife Area by a wooden fence.  The landfill has raptor perches, bluebird boxes, and a  American Kestrel boxes.  The southeastern corner of the site has a small retention pond which is being transformed into wetland habitat.  The southern border of the old landfill is bounded by woods and a small creek.  The western edge runs along the property of a small private horse farm.

Returning to The Woodlawn Wildlife Area, you’ll pass near a Cecil Master Gardeners’ project close to the educational pavilion.  A spur trail leads through the project site and through an area being reforested before connecting up with the main trail.  The main trail continues through the reforestation project area before edging into the woods that make up the relatively unexplored, large forested western border of the Wildlife Area.  More nest boxes line the trail as it emerges from the woods, and then continues around and through the meadow.  A solitary bat box stands in the southern portion of the meadow, near the reforestation project area.
Birds to look for
  • Year-round:  raptors, songbirds
  • Spring and summer:  vireos, flycatchers, warblers, tanagers, sparrows, thrushes, bobolinks, mimids, waxwings, other songbirds.
Hours/Fees/Amenities No fee.  Open dawn to dusk (unless prior WHC approval for nocturnal birding), year-round.  Picnic tables and shelter.  Portable toilet on-site.  No running water.
What to bring Binoculars.  Appropriate clothing and foot wear for hiking.
Difficulty of walking Easy to moderate.  The established trail, former landfill, and meadow are easy walking.  The large, western boundary forest will involve some moderate, off-trail hiking.  Wet areas are primarily near already established waterways, such as the creek at the southern border, small creek in the western forest, and wetland area on the landfill.  No opportunity to bird from a vehicle.
Personal safety No hunting is allowed at the site.  Recycling center employees are nearby during normal business hours.  The area is surrounded by private property whose owners are familiar with the site.  Pay phones are located at the nearby mini-mart stations at the intersection of Firetower Road and MD-276.  As always, put your valuables out of sight and lock your vehicle.
Nearby sites Perryville Town Park, Funk's Pond
For more information Woodlawn Wildlife Area website at; Wildlife Habitat Council at (301) 588-8994 or  
Copyright 1998, 1999, 2007 Cecil Bird Club;  All rights reserved.  May be printed for personal use but may not be reproduced in any form for mass or commercial distribution without permission of the Executive Committee of the Cecil Bird Club.

 Contact Us last updated 10/25/07