Author Archives: Scott

“Kudzu and bamboo and privet! Oh my! New list identifies invasive plants in Virginia”

A recent press release from Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation:

Kudzu and bamboo and privet! Oh my! New list identifies invasive plants in Virginia

National Invasive Species Awareness Week runs through Saturday.

RICHMOND — Virginians considering adding English ivy, golden bamboo or Japanese barberry to their yards may want to reconsider. These plants — and 87 others — are on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s new list of non-native invasive plants of the state (PDF).

While the list is helpful to land managers and conservationists, home gardeners can use it to make wise decisions about landscaping. The list is for educational purposes only and has no regulatory authority.

“Planting anything on this list could affect adjacent natural areas,” said Kevin Heffernan, DCR Natural Heritage stewardship biologist. “Gardeners should think twice about planting anything that might be aggressive in their yard, especially if they live near a park or a forest.”

Invasive plants can displace native plant species, reduce wildlife habitat and alter ecosystems. They threaten natural areas, parks and forests. In the United States, they cost an estimated $34 billion annually in economic loss.

Invasive, non-native plant species typically:
• Grow and mature rapidly.
• Produce seed prolifically.
• Are highly successful at germination and colonization.
• Outcompete native species.
• Are expensive to remove or control.

DCR Natural Heritage scientists used a risk-assessment protocol to determine an invasiveness rank for each species listed. Species were assigned a high, medium or low level of invasiveness in Virginia.

The list also includes species that may not be established in Virginia but are known to be invasive in habitats similar to those found here. These are referred to as “early-detection” species. If they are discovered in Virginia, the goal for these species is eradication to prevent their establishment and spread. People who spot these in Virginia should notify DCR.

One example of an early-detection species is wavyleaf grass (PDF) (Oplismenus hirtellus subspecies undulatifolius). It’s been seen in nine Northern Virginia counties and has the potential to become widespread. A native of southern Europe and Southeast Asia, wavyleaf was first discovered in the United States in 1996 in Maryland. It ranks as highly invasive on DCR’s list.

Monitoring and preventing the spread of invasive plants is a major focus for DCR scientists and land managers. This work is often conducted with the help of volunteers. The Virginia Invasive Species Management Plan (PDF) outlines challenges and strategies associated with combating invasive plants and animals.

Many invasive plant species arrived as packing material or seed contaminants and became established. The spread of plants such as Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), kudzu (Pueraria montana variety lobata) and common reed (Phragmites australis subspecies australis) has wreaked havoc on Virginia natural areas.

Links to more information

Virginia Invasive Species Working Group
www.vainvasivespecies.org
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation – Natural Heritage Program
www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invspinfo.shtml
National Invasive Species Awareness Week
www.nisaw.org

Sacred Art of Chant with Ana Hernandez This Sunday

From email announcement:

This Sunday at St. Andrew’s Church (March 1), Ana Hernandez will be leading a mini-workshop in the sacred art of chant at 10:00 am and then leading the music at the 11:00 am service. All are invited (there is no charge). For more on Ana, click here.

Ana invites us to use our voices to create sacred sounds — no matter our religious background or vocal ability. Her work also encourages people to explore the effects of rhythm and chant on their bodies. She will be delving into this art more thoroughly at 2 workshops on Saturday, February 28, at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, who is co-sponsoring this weekend with us. Information and registration for this workshop is found here: http://stthomasrichmond.org/article/ana-hernandez-is-coming-to-richmond

Plan Ahead: RZF Has New Date and Location

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From Richmond Zine Fest’s FaceBook page:

Richmond Zine Fest 2015!
Saturday October 10th at
The Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library
101 E. Franklin St.

From their website:

The Richmond Zine Fest is an annual event at which local and national (and perhaps even international if we’re so lucky) zine-makers can gather to sell and trade their zines and network with other people in the zine community. The zine fest is not just for zine creators and distros. It’s an open event for all ages with tablers selling zines as well as other DIY items, informative and fun workshops throughout the afternoon, and good times, food and conversation in general. This event happens every Fall–typically during the month of October.

Contentious Fence Proposal Withdrawn

According to an official in the City’s Dept. of Planning and Development Review, the Location, Character and Extent item for the Brown’s Island Way fence and gate (UDC #15-02) has been withdrawn from consideration from the Planning Commission. It will appear on the agenda for the meeting on March 2nd as a formality, noting its withdrawal. That agenda should go out later today.

For background on this, please visit the following links:
Fences of Contention III
Fences of Contention II
Fences Of Contention (I)

OHNA Meets Tonight

The Oregon Hill Neighborhood Association is meeting tonight (as usual, fourth Tuesday of month) at 7 pm at the William Byrd Community House.

Because last month’s meeting was cancelled, the agenda is very full.

A few points-

The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar will attend to discuss repairs to their historic site’s structures. Attending will be Patrick Saylor, Director, Marketing and PR; Christie Ann Bieber, Director of Strategic Initiatives; and Andrew Phinney, Facilities Manager, to discuss “some work that will be taking place at Historic Tredegar during the next few months. Specifically, we will be doing badly needed repair and restoration work on the canal wall at the back of the Tredegar site. The project is set to begin Feb. 23, with the removal of trees and vegetation along the wall.”

Emily Francis, a candidate for the 10th district Senate race, will be attending. “I’m running for state senate in the 10th District and was hoping to speak with you about the race before your neighborhood association meeting tomorrow”

From Rev. S. Abbott Bailey, Members of “St. Andrew’s and the Grace-on-the-Hill Residents are planning a storm-drain marking project in Oregon Hill to raise awareness about water quality, which is particularly important given our proximity to the James River.

The Tredegar Green issue was rescheduled for the March meeting.

Protest Against Dominion

This morning there was a protest march against Dominion Power that purposefully blocked the intersection of Tredegar Street and Brown’s Island Way (aka 2nd Street Connector) to raise awareness of Dominion’s role in profiteering, pipelines, pollution, and climate change. Eventually fire trucks were called to assist a massive police presence in clearing protesters from the street.
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Editorial: You have to wonder if Dominion executives are regretting their arrogant insistence on building their riverfront headquarters and 2nd Street Connector. Their corporate hegemony, combined with some of their biggest supporters corrupting and dishonoring state office is just making citizens angrier.