Help FODM remove invasive plants, July 8th & 22nd

Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
Haul Road Trail
Mondays, 8 July and 22 July 2019
9 am

Friends of Dyke Marsh must remove plants like mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass and garlic mustard so that these invasives do not outcompete the more than 3,500 plants FODM put in in 2018. They will help you identify the target plants (no more than 5) and show you what to do. Volunteer whatever time you can and if the heat becomes unbearable, we can stop.

Please let them know if you can help. They will have some gloves and tools, but it would be helpful if you could bring your own gloves, clippers and loppers. Bring water, wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants and sun protection. You might want to bring insect repellent. Meet at the native plant site along the Haul Road trail just past the second bench on the west side of the trail.
Please RSVP to

A regional request for volunteer help with a study on the Bradford pear 

Question 1: What is the most recent invasive tree added to Director of Conservation & Recreation’s invasive plant list?
Answer: Callery Pear, aka, Bradford Pear: Pyrus calleryana Decne

Question 2: What can we do about it?
Answer: Support a regional research project by collecting leaf samples.

Callery pear is one of the most rapidly-spreading invasive plants in the eastern U.S. This plant stems from cultivars of ornamental pears, most commonly the Bradford pear. Callery pear can have long thorns and grows singly or in thick patches in old fields, roadsides, or forested areas.

The Callery pear population genetics study, under the direction of Dr. David Coyle (Clemson) and D. Hadziabdich-Guerry (University of Tennessee), is determined to better understand the genetics of this cultivar to inform future management tactics. To this end, foliar samples are needed from Virginia. The protocol is simple and the only cost is time.

Detailed information and how to send the samples is in the attached pdf, which can also be found on the study’s website.

Summary of the basics

  • Find one or more patches of “wild” callery pears of at least 10 individuals (different sample/patches locations should be at least 15 miles apart).
  • From each individual tree (10 trees total/site), collect 10 leaves. (Ten trees in a patch are required.)
  • Put all 10 leaves from each tree into its own envelope with the GPS location noted and if the tree is thorny or not.
  • Put newspaper in between the leaves – this helps them dry out and ensures they don’t mold on the way to UT.
  • Therefore, each sampling site would have 10 envelopes (1 per tree) to send in together.
  • Envelopes can be FedEx’ed to UT (for free!) Details given in information sheet attached.

Questions?  Contact Dr. David Coyle:

Meadow Restoration Day! May 11th

8814 Jeffery Road Great Falls, VA
Saturday, 11 May 2019
2-3:30 pm

Join Resource Naturalists Christian Lansing & Nancy Wimberg for a habitat restoration project to help restore the meadow habitat and help native plants, wildlife, birds, and important pollinators thrive by keeping the invasive vine “mile a minute” OUT of Riverbend Park! Learn how to properly ID mile a minute, best control methods from experienced naturalists, and how you can make a difference! Meet at 8814 Jeffery Road Great Falls, VA.

Sign up here.

Riverbank Restoration Day! May 4th

8700 Potomac Hills St. Great Falls, VA.
Saturday, 4 May 2019
9:30 – 11:30 am

Help restore a section of the riverbank along the Potomac Heritage Trail. Volunteers helped plant new seedlings earlier this spring. Now it’s time to check the planting and remove invasive plants that are a threat to the habitat, native plants and wildlife. All are welcome!

Sign up here.