Traditionally most of us see Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer. If you are one of the millions of Americans who chose to get out and hit the water during your holiday weekend, we hope you took a minute to appreciate the trees.
The James River Association (JRA) had a strong Spring planting season!
JRA regularly incorporates these A’s into our programs: Awareness, Appreciation, Action, and Advocacy. In response to the COVID 19 pandemic we’ve had to add another “A” into our work: Adaptation. JRA was able to adapt our business as usual like many of you, which allowed us to still complete our streamside forest restoration work this spring! Over 29,000 trees were planted on 75 acres of riparian buffers along waterways in Amherst, Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna and Nelson Counties.
By Deya Ramsden, Virginia Department of Forestry
In February, the winter forest may not appear to be particularly active. However, below ground, the soil remains dynamic in temperate forests even when outdoor temperatures are chilly. In a mature forest, the soil is made up of a complex mix of tree roots and a community of fungus, microbes and good bacteria.
The soil organisms are vital for breaking down organic matter so nutrients are available for uptake by the tree roots and to sustain the community itself. The soil bed maintains at a fairly comfortable temperature year-round. Even if above grounds temperatures are below freezing, soil temperatures never drop below 30˚F. In addition, the deeper layers of soil maintain even higher temperatures.
Deya Ramsden, Middle James River Forest Watershed Project Coordinator, Virginia Department of Forestry.
A graduate of Oregon State University (OSU) with a B.S. in Natural Resources, Deya spent the last ten years with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Early in her career she performed urban natural areas restoration with the Natural Resources Group. Recently she served as a Borough Forester in the boroughs of Staten Island and Queens, working to balance public safety and urban development with the preservation of the City’s mature street trees.
by Joey Shelton, James River Association
Be an ambassador for change in 2020 by becoming a Riparian Steward!
The Riparian Stewards program is a new volunteer opportunity offered by the James River Association. Dedicated volunteers are needed to assist JRA staff, other volunteers and landowners in planting trees along waterways and providing ongoing maintenance for the next three years.
Riparian Stewardship Coordinator, James River Association
I was born in Richmond and grew up In Chesterfield County. I spent my weekends camping, fishing, and paddling the James River with Boy Scouts, and as a teen spent many summer days at Pony Pasture and Belle Isle. I graduated from Longwood University with a degree in History, and spent five years working for Virginia State Parks.
by Anne Marie Roberts, James River Association
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year to go for a ride in the country, hike a trail to a magnificent view or just sit on the front porch to view the leaves changing colors. We definitely appreciate the beautiful fall colors and the falling leaves that go with the season.
Are you interested in managing invasive species, restoring hardwood tree buffers, protecting waterways from live-stock, preserving farmland and improving wildlife habitat on you farm?
Join the James River Association, VA Department of Forestry, Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Blue Ridge PRISM Conservation Services Inc., VA Outdoors Foundation, and Agricultural Solutions of Albemarle for a day of on the farm learning and sharing!
Article by Mike Downey, VA Department of Forestry
Fall is here and some parts of Virginia have not seen rain in days! Despite the dry weather, low relative humidity and unusual warmer temperatures, the red maples, river birch, and other hardwoods are beginning to change color.
by Sarah Hagan, Virginia Department of Forestry
When you picture a riparian forest buffer what pops into your head? Neatly mowed rows of trees protected by Tubex tree tubes? We’ve been planting those types of forest buffers for so long it’s hard to conceptualize anything else. But what if you could establish a buffer for a fraction of the cost without having to plant a single tree? Natural forest succession happens when we leave a site undisturbed – grass and weeds turn to shrubs, shrubs turn to trees, and eventually we have a forest. A forester’s job is to help manipulate that natural cycle and speed the process along.