It matters to them
See how these James River Park dwellers are affected by invasive plants.
- The zebra swallowtail cannot reproduce without Spicebush and Sassafras which are its “host plants.”
- Chelone glabra, a showy native plant with white blooms, is being crowded out of its favorite damp haunts by invasive species.
- Spotted salamanders depend on healthy forests and vernal pools for shelter and breeding.
Public Health Policy for Volunteer Events
Please see our calendar for locations and dates. Volunteers should be prepared to follow the following minimum public health guidelines to protect themselves and others:
- • Do not participate in an event if you have any symptoms of illness or believe you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus.
- • During an event, avoid physical contact with others and maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others.
- Have a face mask with you to use as necessary.
- Observe basic precautions like covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue. Please see the James River Park System’s full guidelines for volunteers here. [PDF]
WINTER 2021 UPDATE:
JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force focuses on Free-A-Tree to encourage tree preservation through invasive plant control
February 22nd through February 26th is the annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The past three years, the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force observed NISAW by hosting a week of special events beginning with a kick-off at Pony Pasture.
This year, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force is again offering numerous volunteer opportunities (with limits on group size), but no in-person educational events. Instead, the Task Force is bringing attention to the plight of Richmond’s tree canopy and raising awareness of the urgent need to preserve trees through invasive plant control. All of our February 2021 volunteer events will provide opportunities to learn about the impact of invasive vines on our urban woodlands and to get hands-on experience freeing trees from the grips of ivy and wintercreeper. Please check out our calendar for details and how to RSVP or register.
You can learn more about how invasive vines—primarily English ivy and wintercreeper—threaten the health and longevity of trees:
Invasive Plants Don't Take a Winter Break - Friends of James River Park
The Holly and the Ivy - Urban Forest Dweller
And you can find step-by-step guidelines for how to save your own trees at home here:
Is the Future Forested? - Urban Forest Dweller
Love the park? Here's a chance to help
How many volunteers does it take to fight invasive plants, save trees and native plant communities, and restore habitat?
The JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force is a volunteer effort. The park of the future depends on the volunteers of today. It just takes a can-do attitude and willingness to get your hands dirty. We’ll provide the training and tools. Check out our calendar for upcoming work days.
Please do not undertake unauthorized invasive removal in the park system on your own. The Task Force works strategically in targeted places according to evidence-based methods specific to the invasive species, seasonal timing, and other factors, prioritizing key goals and protecting sensitive resources.
See where invasives impact the James River
Click on the map to reach the complete baseline study report by park unit.
Updates on Focus Project Areas
The list of Focus Project Areas is:
- Belle Island
- Pony Pasture
- Chapel Island
- Huguenot Flatwater
- Texas Beach
- Heritage Half Acre (Reedy Creek – Lee Bridge Study Area)
- Reedy Creek
- Buttermilk Trail West
Updated information coming soon.
James River Association Proves Rewards of Restoration at Chapel Island
April 1, 2021
The James River Association is a long-standing lead member of the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force. JRA adopted Chapel Island as its project focus area, having already begun management work there in 2014, the year before the task force’s inception. The JRA/Chapel Island project showcases the impact of the long game that is invasive plant … Continue reading James River Association Proves Rewards of Restoration at Chapel Island Read more
Be a Hero: Volunteer and Help Save Our Trees
February 17, 2021
Every year since 2017, the James River Park System Invasive Plant Task Force has hosted a week of special events to observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week the end of February. This year is, of course, different. No kick-off event with guided botanical walks and information booth with “name that invasive plant” quizzes and native … Continue reading Be a Hero: Volunteer and Help Save Our Trees Read more
Volunteers Continue to Transform Rapids Restoration Area
January 6, 2021
2020 was a year of adaptability and resilience. This was as true for our work in the park system as in every other area of our lives. Once Virginia’s phased reopening allowed for it, the park system and the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force had new volunteer guidelines in place so that we could safely … Continue reading Volunteers Continue to Transform Rapids Restoration Area Read more