The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society
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  • Holmes Run Native Tree Planting

Holmes Run Native Tree Planting

  • 10/29/2011
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Brookevalley Park, Alexandria, VA

Sponsoring Organization: City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Activities

Numerous old-age trees grow along the Holmes Run stream valley in the City of Alexandria, from the eastern end of the Holmes Run Gorge at Dora Kelley Nature Park eastward across the broad floodplain and bottomlands in places like Brookvalley Park, Armistead Boothe Park, Ben Brenman Park, Tarleton Park, and other areas. Typical canopy species that reach great size and old-age in alluvial floodplain communities along Holmes Run are: River Birch, Northern Red Oak, White Oak, Willow Oak, Pin Oak, Swamp White Oak, Bitternut Hickory, Sycamore, Sweetgum, and Green Ash.

The goal of the Holmes Run Native Tree Planting is to increase canopy cover, encourage a well-balanced riparian forest, and increase water quality by providing richness and abundance of species in the ecosystem surrounding the stream. Volunteers will meet at the fair weather crossing in Brookvalley Park on the north side of Holmes Run at the base of Ripley Street. We will be planting at least 3 dozen oaks and other native tree and shrub species. The large trees will be planted by the Horticulture and Natural Resources Section of the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and the smaller trees and shrubs will be planted by volunteers. Transportation and Environmental Services, Office of Environmental Quality uses water quality improvement funds to purchase the trees. Some trees are also provided by the City Arborist Office and Earth Sangha. The area chosen for planting this year, as determined by our Holmes Run Park Tree Planting Plan, will mainly be on the north side of Holmes Run between the fair weather crossing and tot lot below Ripley St. and the Brookvalley Park sign about halfway between Pelham St. and Paxton St. We will also be doing supplemental plantings at All Veterans Park, but this area is the major focus for planting with volunteers this year. Since we have all sizes of plantings, everyone is encouraged to volunteer for this activity. The park needs your help!

Bring: Please bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes (we will have gloves on hand for those who don’t have them).

Note: Workday event cancelled for pouring rain but not for drizzle.

Directions: Shirley Highway (395) to Duke St. (Rt. 236) east exit. Proceed a short distance east on Duke St. and be in right lane at Landmark Mall to take exit onto Van Dorn Street heading north. Once on Van Dorn street heading north, stay in right lane and take right onto Taney Ave. a short distance downhill from Landmark Mall. Take first right onto Ripley St. and proceed to Holmes Run Pkwy. Park anywhere along Holmes Run Pkwy between Ripley St. and Pegram St. along the edge of the park in available spaces.

More Information: Rod Simmons, Natural Resource Specialist, City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities,, or Claudia Hamblin-Katnik, Ph.D., Watershed Program Administrator, City of Alexandria Department Transportation and Environmental Services,

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