Check our meetup page for upcoming opportunities!
Why Plant Trees?
Trees provide many ecological benefits. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, improve air and water quality by absorbing harmful pollutants, help retain soil and slow erosion, provide shade and windbreaks for houses which reduces energy costs, provide shade for streams which increases aquatic life, and have been shown to enhance our everyday experience of life in such an urbanized setting.
We plant a mix of native trees suitable for each location, using locally-sourced saplings from nurseries and seedlings from the VA Department of Forestry. Much of our work is funded through generous grants from organizations such as the National Fish and Wildlife Service, the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, REI, ACA, and others.
Invasive Species Removals
What are invasive species, and why remove them?
Many plant and animal species have been introduced to our area either inadvertently or on purpose. Many of these non-native species cannot survive without human help (in a garden, or as pets, for example), and even if they can survive, most do not spread widely if released.
Invasive alien species are those that grow quickly, reproduce in large quantities, and often end up posing a serious threat to the health of native ecosystems
Invasive plants crowd out native plants which creates a cascade of negative effects. Wildlife are forced to go elsewhere for food. Erosion becomes more of a problem because the root base holding the soil becomes much less diverse. Streams are affected by increased runoff. Riparian buffers no longer function as well to retain nutrients and pollutants. Invasive vines can even kill trees, growing over and around their limbs until the tree begins to suffer from lack of light and air. Winter storms can coat these vines with hundreds of pounds of ice and snow, which in extreme cases can topple the already weakened trees underneath.
For all these reasons and more, we host events to remove invasive species and restore native plant communities. Common invasive species we remove in this area include:
…and many more!