Sponsoring Organization: Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, City of Alexandria, Virginia
For the May 7, 2011 Statewide Invasives Day, the City of Alexandria is again focusing on hand-pulling Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) at a number of City parks because it is a serious problem weed throughout our parks and natural areas; it is easily recognizable; it is easily pulled and therefore appropriate for a variety of volunteers and ages; and a lot can be accomplished in the way of removing it because it is so easy to pull (each plant pulled and bagged prevents hundreds to thousands of seeds from germinating into future years’ crops).
Garlic Mustard poses a severe threat to native plants and animals in forest communities in much of the eastern and midwestern U.S. Many native wildflowers that complete their life cycles in the springtime (e.g., Spring Beauty, Bloodroot, Dutchman's Breeches, Toothworts, and Trilliums) occur in the same habitat as Garlic Mustard. Once introduced to an area, Garlic Mustard outcompetes native plants by aggressively monopolizing light, moisture, nutrients, soil, and space. Wildlife species that depend on these early plants for their pollen, nectar, foliage, fruits, seeds, and roots are deprived of these essential food sources when Garlic Mustard replaces them. Humans are also deprived of the vibrant display of beautiful spring wildflowers.
We welcome volunteers! For those interested in participating in this event, please contact the Ford Nature Center at (703) 746-5559 to sign up for one of the parks below. Site leaders will oversee activities at each park. Rod Simmons, RPCA Natural Resource Specialist, will travel from site to site assisting with efforts and site orientation. The largest number of volunteers are needed for Chinquapin Park and Dora Kelley Nature Park. Bags will be provided. Please bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes (we will have gloves on hand for those who don’t have them). Sandals, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts are not recommended.
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Timber Branch Park – a linear seepage stream valley park along Timber Branch, just off W. Braddock Road. Fairly easy site to work in. Site leader TBA. Directions: Shirley Highway (395) to King St. (Rt. 7) east exit. Stay in right lane of King St. after exiting and take first right onto Menokin Dr. (church on corner). Take immediate next right onto N. Van Dorn St. and follow to intersection of Braddock Road. Take left onto Braddock Road at light and proceed east past Episcopal High School and past intersection with King St. and Quaker Lane and continue east to Timber Branch Parkway on right (TB Pkwy is a long, linear loop). Turn right onto Pkwy and continue along park about half-way down its length to bridge. Park and meet at bridge.
Chinquapin Park – another linear seepage stream valley park along Taylor Run. The City, NVCT, ARMN, and others sponsored an English Ivy pull here in March, with some Garlic Mustard pulled. However, this site is a high priority this spring for Garlic Mustard removal, where the Garlic Mustard is concentrated on one hillside at the far eastern end of the main trail. This site is a little more challenging because of the steep slope of the hillside. Site leaders ARMN and NVCT. Directions: Shirley Highway (395) to King St. (Rt. 7) east exit. Continue east on King St. past intersection of Braddock Road and Quaker Lane and just past T.C. Williams High School to Chinquapin Dr. on right. Turn right onto Chinquapin Dr. and immediately left into small parking lot facing King St. Walk from parking lot to entrance of Chinquapin Park at edge of woods (visible from parking area). Meet at entrance sign.
Dora Kelley Nature Park - a large City park that stretches along Holmes Run at the eastern end of the Holmes Run Gorge. We also want to be sure to include the section of the park between Beauregard Street and the Shirley Highway (395) bike path tunnels. Fairly easy site to work in. Site leaders City naturalists and NVCT. Directions: Shirley Highway (395) to King St. (Rt. 7) west exit. Gradually move to left lane after exiting and take left onto Beauregard St. at bottom of hill (Beauregard St. becomes Walter Reed Dr. at this intersection at edge of City of Alexandria and Arlington County). Follow Beauregard St. south and uphill past Seminary Rd. and downhill to Sanger Ave. Take right onto Sanger Ave. and continue to its end. Turn left into parking area and proceed to parking lot at woods edge and park. Meet at Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Ave.
Holmes Run Park/All Veterans Park – the section of City parkland on both sides of Holmes Run between N. Van Dorn St. and the Duke Street (Rt. 236) bridge crossing. Fairly easy site to work in. Site leaders members of the Alexandria Tree Stewards, Wakefield-Tarleton Civic Association, and the Holmes Run Park Committee. Directions: Shirley Highway (395) to Duke St. (Rt. 236) east exit. Continue east on Duke St. past Landmark Mall and gradually move to left lane and take left onto N. Pickett St. (CVS and Beatley Library on corner). Park along right side of N. Pickett St. and All Veterans Park. Meet at the pedestrian bridge (Beatley Bridge) that spans Holmes Run. If there’s no parking along N. Pickett St., then park at Beatley Library or proceed along N. Pickett St. (becomes Holmes Run Pkwy) to N. Van Dorn St. Turn right onto N. Van Dorn St. and take next right onto Taney Ave. and proceed to Pegram St. Take right onto Pegram St. and follow to Holmes Run Pkwy. Park along the Pkwy (dead-ends at Holmes Run Park) and walk along asphalt path to bridge.
For further information, please contact:
Natural Resource Specialist
Horticulture and Natural Resources Section
Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
City of Alexandria, Virginia
2900 Business Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22314
Claudia Hamblin-Katnik, Ph.D.
Watershed Program Administrator
Office of Environmental Quality
Department Transportation and Environmental Services
City of Alexandria, Virginia
301 King Street, Room 3000
Alexandria, VA 22314
Mark S. Kelly
Director / City Naturalist
Ford Nature Center
5750 Sanger Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311
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