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Bird River Watershed

This map shows the location of the Bird River watershed.

The Bird River watershed is located in Eastern Baltimore County and encompasses the communities of White Marsh, Perry Hall and Chase. The watershed’s major tributary, White Marsh Run, begins at Harford Road and 695 and continues east, parallel to Rt. 43; it enters Bird River just east of Rt. 40 at Ebenezer Road. Other tributaries include Honeygo Run and Windlass Run. The tidal portion of Bird River is about 20,000 linear feet that includes Bird River and Railroad Creek and the waterfront communities of Harewood Park, Loreley Beach, Bird River Beach and Bird River Grove.

This watershed includes one of the original designated growth areas of Baltimore County – White Marsh. Under a managed growth plan established in 1983 to protect areas outside the urban/rural demarcation line (URDL) and the reservoir watersheds in Northern Baltimore County, the area was targeted for intensive residential, commercial and industrial development. Today, clusters of financial, insurance and health care operations, light manufacturing, technology and distribution surround a vibrant town center that includes the White Marsh Mall and The Avenue, a “Main Street” retail and entertainment center.

The area also boasts the recently refurbished Honeygo Run Regional Park. This 149-acre stream valley park features ball diamonds, athletic fields, an indoor recreation center, playgrounds, picnic pavilions and a wooded trail system for hiking and biking. In addition, the watershed is home to the Days Cove area of Gunpowder Falls State Park which features hiking, biking, fishing, boating and wildlife viewing, as well as an environmental education center.

The Bird River watershed was also targeted for the County’s first comprehensive watershed plan, which was completed in 1995. To date, over five miles of stream restoration have been completed on the main stem and tributaries of White Marsh Run and Honeygo Run.  In addition, numerous water quality retrofit projects have been implemented in this watershed as well as the dredging of Bird River and Railroad Creek.

Small Watershed Action Plan (SWAP)

A small watershed action plan (SWAP) for the Bird River watershed is being developed. This planning area includes the communities of White Marsh, Perry Hall and Chase. For more information, contact Nathan Forand at nforand@baltimorecountymd.gov.

On June 24, 2013, Baltimore County EPS hosted the first of two community meetings for the Bird River SWAP. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the SWAP to the public, describe the next steps in the process, and gather input from the Bird River community.

On March 25, 2014 EPS hosted the second community meeting for the Bird River SWAP.  The purpose of this second meeting was to detail the completed SWAP, introduce the local watershed association, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and to describe the restoration actions that will be used to implement the SWAP.

Watershed Management Plan

The Bird River Watershed Management Plan was completed in February of 1995.  The executive summary includes an evaluation and discussion of the water quality problems and an identification of stream based and source based water quality control measures.  The executive summary (PDF) is available for download from this web site.

Volunteer Activities

To participate in volunteer activities contact the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.

Contact Information

Watershed Management Program
Phone: 410-887-5683
Fax: 410-887-4804
Email: watersheds@baltimorecountymd.gov

Revised April 11, 2014

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