See Sheep Eating Baaaaad Plants

The entrance to Crooked Bransh Ravine Park at the end of Northrop Street has been overtaken by a variety of invasive, non-native plants.   This happened quickly, is now more that we can manage and so we have called for HELP!  This week-end a small herd of sheep from RVA Goats and Honey will be chomping away at that aweful jungle so that we can begin to get some control of the area and let the native plants grow.  

The sheep will arrive late Friday morning and leave early Sunday morning,   

RCC members will be there from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 and we hope you will drop by.

  • See the sheep at work.

  • Get help with invasive plant ID.  Have a question about something in your yard?  Bring a sample or snap a picture.  

  • A short, guided walk through the woods and down to the creek. 

  • Plus the opportunity to see our lending libary and perhaps go home with a good book.

Map to the site

There really is no such thing as a bad plant.  These plants (English ivy, privet, Japanese honeysuckle and others) just do not belong here!

 

 

 

Another good book…This one is about BEAVERS!

Eager – The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

This is what one of our readers has to say about the book…

“Eager Beaver is a book that was recommended by a Reedy Creek Coalition member at the invasive ivy removal workday in January. She was right, the book reads more like a story than an academic study of the ecological importance of the habit building effects of beaver dams and poses the dilemma of how to effectively balance that benefit with the often times destructive effect on human creations like culverts and bridges/roads. The kind of book you’d likely never come across if not recommended…I’m glad it was.”  

To borrow a book enter the name of the book at this link. https://reedycreekcoalition.org/contact-us/ Please allow a day or two for a response which will come to your e-mail.

Want to Learn More about Bees and other Pollinators?

Have you been looking at the bees and other pollinators buzzing about in your garden and want to learn more? Concerned about the decline in insects? Our book, Pollinators of Native Plants, may interest you.

We also have a booklet, Bee Basics – An Introduction to Native Bees, which covers the most common groups of native bees, how they nest and how different bees species use different types of plants. This is also available as a PDF.

To borrow a book enter the name of the book at this link. https://reedycreekcoalition.org/contact-us/ Please allow a day or two for a response which will come to your e-mail.

Habitat Restoration: Why does your local watershed group think this is important?

Crooked Branch Ravine Park receives about 480,000 gallons of water during a 1 inch rain event and acts like a sponge, soaking up rain water, keeping much of it where it falls.  Tree leaves, bark and roots, along with the understory plants and leaf litter on the ground, make this possible.

English ivy and other non-native invasive plants will threaten the tree canopy and, over time and, as trees no longer thrive, the ability to retain rain will be limited.  Important habitat for critters will be lost, more sediment goes into the water, and there will be more flooding events down stream.  Think of the potential for flooding at Dunston Avenue near the Reedy Creek and in Forest Hill Park.  Our efforts now will have many benefits in the future.

Please come help remove English ivy and other invaisve, non-native plants.  

  • Sunday,  May 1  1 – 3 p.m.  or as long as you can stay.
  • Bring gloves and your own tools: hand clippers, lopers, a saw or other tool you prefer.  A small garden tool for digging may be helpful as well.  An old screwdriver is sometimes helpful for removing ivy from trees; we will show you how.
  • Please bring your own water and consider some insect repellent also.
  • Bring a friend!
  • Map to meeting site

Stormwater, most of which comes from the area around Midlothian Turnpike, leaving Crooked Branch Ravine after a rain.

Quality Outdoor Time with a Purpose

Crooked Branch Ravine Park is a hidden gem above Reedy Creek not far from Forest Hill Park.  At just 18 wooded acres, it presents a unique opportunity for ecological restoration through releasing its potential from the grips of dominant invasive vine and shrub species.  The current priority is removing non-native, invasive plant species.

This is important work. We would appreciate your help.

  • Sunday,  April 3, from 1 – 3 p.m.
  • If you can’t stay the entire time, that is fine.  Every little bit helps.
  • Bring gloves, hand clippers, loppers & a small saw if you can.    An old screwdriver is sometimes helpful for prying vines away from the tree so they are easier to cut.
  • We recommend long pants and long sleeves.
  • Please bring your own water bottle
  • We will meet in the cul de sac at the end of Northrop Street.

Questions?  Let us know.   https://reedycreekcoalition.org/contact-us/

Map to meeting site

Tree canopy protects watersheds and provides cooling shade, food, and habitat.

Habitat Restoration – Crooked Branch Ravine Park

Please join us for as we work to return this little park to a more natural state by removing English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, privet and other non-native invasive plants.  We will also cut the ivy at the base of trees.  It’s a small but improtant part of our neighborhood, a sponge for rain, tree canopy for cooling and habitat for many.   

  • Sunday, March 6 from 1-3 p.m.
  • If you can’t stay the entire time, that is fine.  Every little bit helps.
  • Bring gloves, hand clippers, loppers & a small saw if you can.    An old screwdriver is sometimes helpful for prying vines away from the tree so they are easier to cut.
  • We will meet in the cul de sac at the end of Northrop Street.

Questions?  Let us know.   https://reedycreekcoalition.org/contact-us/

Map to meeting site

Here are some of the flora you could find in this little park…  

Great Backyard Bird Count

Reedy Creek Coalition will participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) on Friday Feb 18 and Sunday, February 20 in two different areas of Crooked Branch Ravine Park. A knowledgeable birder will participate in each session and so you are welcome to participate regardless of your experience or skill with bird ID. Details and sign up form are below.

The GBBC is a global event in its’ 25th year. Learn more at https://www.birdcount.org/

Friday Feb 18 – Limited to 10 participants

  • 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
  • Meet on Crutchfield Street across from the George Wythe football field.   MAP
  • There is no path into this area of the park and you must be able to navigate a small slope to access the area.  Sturdy shoes recommened. 
  • Bring binoculars if you can.  We may have a couple of extras but cannot provide for the entire group. 
  • Bring a mask with you, if not for yourself, as a courtesy to other participants.  Even though this is an outdoor activity you will probably be very close to others some of the time. 

Sunday Feb 20 – Limited to 10 participants

  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:00p.m.
  • Meet at the end of Northrop Street where there is a path into the park.  MAP
  • Birding in this area may require walking down a slope that is a bit steep for a few people.  Sturdy shoes recommened. 
  • Bring binoculars if you can.  We may have a couple of extras but cannot provide for the entire group. 
  • Bring a mask with you, if not for yourself, as a courtesy to other participants.  Even though this is an outdoor activity you will probably be very close to others some of the time. 

Sign up using this link. You must comment either “GBBC Friday” or “GBBC Sunday”.

How do I incorporate native plants into my yard?

We recently received an inquiry with this very question. It’s a great question, but we could not provide an easy answer without knowing much more. What do you have now? Sun or shade, how much space, soil conditions, long term goals? There are so many things to consider! If you are wondering the same thing we have the perfect book for you in our lending library…

This book includes chapters on lawns, trees, food, ecosystems, soil and much more in an easy to read format.  You can pick and choose which sections you feel the need to read.  Check it out at our website    https://reedycreekcoalition.org/good-reads-for-the-watershed/

It is also available as a book or e-book at the Richmond Public Library.