Loudoun Wildlife in Action: Planting Trees and Weeding Invasives
by Joe Coleman
During April and May several Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteers either helped with or managed three different habitat restoration projects.
At the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Rust Nature Sanctuary, we helped Bruce McGranahan and Ann Garvey remove invasive alien plants around the pond and the pollinator garden and plant a number of native trees, shrubs, and perennials. On Earth Day, April 22, LWC joined forces with volunteers from the Waterford Foundation on the Phillips Farm to plant an additional 200 trees and shrubs as well as place protective shelters around them. To date over 1,200 trees and shrubs have been planted on the Phillips Farm, and the resulting healthier riparian buffer is not only providing more protection to the Catoctin but improving wildlife habitat at the same time.
Twenty volunteers on April 24 and May 3 added 170 trees, shrubs, and perennials to the more than 200 trees and shrubs and 144 perennials planted last June along Leesburg’s Town Branch, immediately downstream from where it flows under Catoctin Circle. In spite of considerably more damage from deer than at the more rural Phillips Farm, more than 95 percent of the trees and shrubs planted last year have survived. As this vegetated buffer grows and fills out it will help capture and filter the many pollutants that flow off of Leesburg’s streets and roads in this area as well as slow down storm water so it does not do as much damage downstream as it has in the past.
The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy would like to thank the following volunteers who worked on these three projects, and especially Jeff Wolinski, Consulting Ecologist, for all his planning and assistance:
Aiden, Marlena and Siena Beach
Christine, John and Virginia Breighner
Alicia, Christopher, Kent and Rosaria Butterfield
Lisa and Mia Cammarota
Candi and Casey Crichton
James, Matthew and Tyler Ragsdale