IT’S A SILENT INVASION!
Non-native plants are taking over the park!
No, it’s not an old science fiction movie. It’s happening now in Forest Hill Park.
Non-native, invasive plants are replacing native plants and trees in our park at an alarming rate. These aggressive plants push out naturally occurring, complex plant systems (biodiversity) with vast areas of the same types of plants (monocultures).
HOW DO THEY DO IT?
- They take over the soil where native plants, like wild azalea, low bush blueberry, or native viburnums once thrived.
- They choke off air, water, and nutrients from native trees such as oak, pine, sycamore, river birch, and sweet gum.
- They do not provide appropriate food for a complex ecosystem to thrive.
Unless we do something to stop these invasives, native plants and animals will disappear from Forest Hill Park.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We have to start somewhere. Friends of Forest Hill Park, with the help of volunteers from Richmond Tree Stewards and the Department of Parks and Recreation, is working to remove non-native species in the “Old Azalea Garden” area of Forest Hill Park. (This area is located along the 3800 block of Forest Hill Avenue, opposite Brookside Rd.)
Once we have removed invasive plants from this area, we will replace them with native species, such as oaks, service berry, and Asclepias tuberosa (butterly weed). It is our hope that this effort will some day serve as a Native Plant Demonstration Garden, encouraging others to “go native” in their own backyards.