Katie leads the planting crew.
The Fairfax City Earth Day event was fortuitously located immediately adjacent to the project area. Katie was represented there with a table displaying details of the project, with pots of sample invasive species being targeted. Courtesy of Lands & Waters and the Environmental Sustainability Committee, a supply of native shrubs and tree seedlings was on hand, which volunteers planted in the areas recently cleared of invasives. A cup retrived from a nearby trash bin served as a watering can. See all the photos HERE
The crew gathers after a successful workday
This weekend the Friends of Accotink were delighted to support an environmental project led by Katie, a student from Fairfax High School, removing invasives in an overgrown natural area at Daniels Run Elementary! We pulled out invasives like english ivy, honeysuckle, and porcelain berry, clearing space for the native plants. This is a patch of remnant swamp forest in the Daniels Run floodplain, with mature pin oaks and sassafras trees. Over the years, Earth Sangha has done native plantings here to help reestablish the understory, Lands and Waters created a small vernal pool in partnership with Daniels Run Elementary, with funding from a NFWF grant, and community partners worked together to protect the area during a recent stream restoration project. The City of Fairfax has been very supportive, particularly the Environmental Sustainability Committee.
Natural spaces like this need ongoing community involvement or they can get smothered by invasive plants, so we're very grateful for Katie's hard work and leadership in making this happen. In her words, "I live near Daniels Run (I went there for first and second grade) and have run/been on the trail countless times before. I love this area and am eager to help preserve it/keep it looking good for the years to come". This is part of her work with the 2018-2019 Youth Conservation Leadership Institute Program through the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Education Foundation - it's great to see young people taking the lead, and communities coming together to help the watershed!
Vines! Vines! Vines! So much yet to be done.