The second step in the naturalization plan is to restore organic matter in the soil around the trees. Photo by Mercie Hobson.
Members of the Great Falls Citizens Association’s Environment and Parks Committee, co-chaired by Winifred Frost and Susanne Black, met in early June to discuss the restoration of the oak grove at Grange Hall Park. An invasive management area has been identified and efforts are underway by Black to initiate habitat restoration.
Jerry Peters and Chris Rich presented a plan to committee members to naturalize the oak grove landscape behind Grange Hall and protect large oaks throughout the identified area.
The support of volunteers is essential to the success of the three-part plan to eliminate invasive plants. Rich is leading the work and asking volunteers to sign up as Invasion Management Area volunteers via Fairfax County Parks.
Habitat Restoration at Great Falls Grange Park: Sunday, July 11, 9 am to 11 am “Invasive plants are a huge threat to local wildlife, including migratory birds. Help these creatures by volunteering to remove invasive plants at Great Falls Grange Park, ”reads the volunteer registration page. The form is available online at Volunteer in an invasive management area.
Individuals must register by noon on Friday for work days / weekend events and must be 11 years of age. An adult must accompany volunteers aged 11 to 13. The number of volunteers per site is limited.
The second step of the plan will be to restore the organic matter in the soil around the oak trees. The third step consists in bringing back native plants for the undergrowth of the oak grove. The combination of the three efforts will preserve the oak area and the site boundaries.
Peters and Rich coordinate the GFCA’s efforts with the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Great Falls Grange Foundation, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, and other groups and organizations interested in improving the ecological health of public spaces.
John Burke, branch manager at the Fairfax County Park Authority Natural Resources, attended the meeting in early June. He endorsed the three-step plan of removing invasive plants, restoring organic matter in the soil, and planting native plants in the understory, which is critical to the plan’s success.
Maria Harwood, urban conservation specialist for the Soil and Water Conservation District of Northern Virginia, suggested taking a virtual tour of the Mount Cuba Center in Delaware to get a feel for successful land management. natural. Gardening is on a new level, according to the association’s website … home to thousands of native plants https://mtcubacenter.org/visit/tour/spring/.