Planning Your Landscape for Pollinators and Other Creatures

The book, Noah’s Garden, has been checked out. Take a look at the other books we offer and the list of recommentations available at the Richmond Public Library.

Good Reads for the Watershed

As the leaves fall and the last of the flowers are making seed many of us start planning next years garden in our minds. What shall we keep? What should be removed? Are there plants I could add that would benefit pollinators and others? These are very good questions and now is the perfect time to start planning! With that in mind, consider checking out this book from our lending library. (Please note that some plant species mentioned in the book may not be native to our area.)

Published to rave reviews in 1993, Noah’s Garden shows us how our landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology, wiping out entire communities of plants and animals by stripping bare their habitats and destroying their food supplies. When Stein realized what her intensive efforts at making a traditional garden had done, she set out to “ungarden.” Her book interweaves an account of her efforts with an explanation of the ecology of gardens. Noah’s Garden has become the bible of the new environmental gardening movement, and the author is one of its most popular spokespersons.

To borrow a book from Reedy Creek coalition simply 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. 

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Help Protect 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. Birds eat the fruit and spead the seed for these plants, so this will also prevent the spread of these plants to parks and perhaps even your yard.

We would really appreciate your help.

Saturday morning, November 20 from 10:00 – 12:00

  • If you can only stay an hour, that’s OK. Every hour counts.
  • 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.
  • Bring your own water bottle.
  • We will meet in the cul de sac at the end of Northrop Street.

Map to meeting site

drawing, robin

The Gift

Reedy Creek Coalition would like to share this book with our community. Yes, it’s a picture book, but we think it is appropriate for people of all ages and a wonderful opportunity for families to read together. Even better, the author and illustrator live right here in Richmond.

To borrow a book from Reedy Creek coalition simply 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. Visit our website for a list of other books we have in our lending library.

Introducing: Good Reads for the Watershed

Reedy Creek Coalition now has a small collection of books to share with you. Of the many excellent books about environmental care these are some of our favorites. Some are practical, others inspirational, a few specifically about watersheds. All provide information that could lead us to better care for our community. The majority of the books we offer are not available at the public library either because they not available from the vendors the library uses or are out of print.

This is how it works…

  • Request a book using the link below.
  • You will receive an e-mail that will include where to pick up the book.
  • Return the book when you are done, preferably within 3 weeks.

The link below also has a list of books available from the Richmond Public Library that we recommend.

GOOD READS FOR THE WATERSHED

Help Protect 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. Birds eat the fruit and spead the seed for these plants, so this will also prevent the spread of these plants to parks and perhaps even your yard.

  • Sunday,  October 24 from 1 – 3 p.m.
  • If you can only stay an hour, that’s OK. Every hour counts.
  • 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.
  • Bring your own water bottle.
  • We will meet in the cul de sac at the end of Northrop Street.

Map to meeting site

drawing, robin

Natures’ Best Hope

Native plants, especially trees and woody shrubs,  are the best way to reduce storm water runoff and therefore improve water quality.  That is why reducing lawn to make room for these plants as well as perennials is so important.  So why does our organization suggest using native plants?

That question is answered best by watching Natures’ Best Hope, a presentation by Dr. Doug Tallamy available on YouTube,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY4aV5hqkxY.  We recommend this for adults and older children; some young children might enjoy the images of insects.  Make it a movie night for the family. 

Dr. Tallamy’s book by the same name is highly recommended.  The Virginia Native Plant Society has this to say about his book by the same name:

“Tallamy’s explanations of the specialized relationships among plants, insects, and animals are fascinating stories, but also foundational building blocks for understanding the natural world we live in, whether we live in the city, the country, or anywhere between.”  

If you watch the presentation you may enter a drawing to win a native plant. The presentation itself lasts for about an hour and that is all you need to watch to enter the drawing.  The remainder of the video (Q&A and other things) is optional.  

Two native plant species, spicebush (Lindera bezoin) and ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana) , have been donated by Reedy Creek Environmental, a local native plant nursery.  These plants are local ecotype and have been propagated from seed collected in James River Park under a strict permit.  

After watching the presentation, e-mail reedycreekcoalition@gmail.com to enter the drawing.  Please indicate the species you prefer in the subject line.  Drawing will be on February 14th because we love native plants!

Water Quality Monitoring

Reedy Creek Coalition is looking for a few more volunteers to join our water quality monitoring team.  Sample collection occurs once a month and takes about two hours; on the job training is provided.  If you are interested in helping or if you have questions please contact us at reedycreekcoalition@gmail.com .

Our monitoring activities can make a difference right here in our own neighborhood.   Back in 2012 during our travels along the stream we found what appeared to be a potential hot spot for E. coli; our sample collection confirmed these suspicions.  We contacted Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities who investigated, found and repaired a sewer leak.  Click here for that story.

This is Citizen Science at its best!  Please join us.

Happy Trails

Imagine having thousands of visitors in your yard every year. The
wear and tear on your lawn and garden would be substantial. Grass
would be trampled, compacted beyond repair with paths worn into ruts
that pool with water when it rains. Soon your visitors, in avoiding these
areas, would widen the bare spots. That’s what is happening in our
James River Park System and in our backyard, Forest Hill Park. The
parks see thousands of visitors a year, millions in James River Park.
We hike, jog, bike and walk our dogs into the parks in all types of
weather. A frequent visitor to the parks may notice the muddy ruts in
the trails that seem to be getting bigger and taking longer to dry. This
happens when trails erode below the soil surface and the water has
nowhere to go. The muddy areas lead to another problem that’s
created when trail users dodge the mud and go off of the trail, trail
widening.

Why does erosion matter and trail widening matter?

  • Safety!  Rutted, uneven surfaces, exposed rocks and plant roots
    are a tripping hazard for hikers and joggers.
  • Environmental impact! Eroded soil can make its way into streams
    and eventually the river, increasing water turbidity and sediment
    buildup. This can have a negative impact on aquatic organisms and
    the overall health of the streams and rivers.Invasive species move into disturbed areas and compete with native species for resources to the detriment of micro and macroecosystems that depend on each other to flourish.  Invasive species seeds can be introduced to new areas from the mud in shoe or bike treads.
  • Aesthetics!  Rutted trails and bare spots on hillsides are ugly, show
    lack of care and lessen the quality of recreational experience.

What can we as park users and lovers do?

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY Stay off the trails when it has rained in the last
    24 hours. Use an alternative hard surface trail until the trails have
    dried.  *Trail conditions for James River Park as well as trail rules can be found here.  https://jamesriverpark.org/visit-the-park/trails-overview/
  • Please use ONLY existing trails DoNOT create new ones. The parks
    are home to many species of plants that can be damaged or killed
    when trampled.
  • When hiking, walk single file rather than side by side.

So, let’s work together and use our parks responsibly and preserve
their natural beauty for generations to come.

For more information:
pwrc.usgs.gov. Assessing and Understanding Trail Degradation:
Results from Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area
imba.com

https://www.americantrails.org/resources/studies-weigh-mountain-biking-hiking-impacts

Twitter info: Trail conditions @RVATrailReport

Water Quality Monitoring

Reedy Creek Coalition is looking for a few more volunteers to join our water quality monitoring team.  Sample collection occurs once a month and takes about two hours; on the job training is provided.  If you are interested in helping or if you have questions please contact us at reedycreekcoalition@gmail.com .

Our monitoring activities can make a difference right here in our own neighborhood.   Back in 2012 during our travels along the stream we found what appeared to be a potential hot spot for E. coli; our sample collection confirmed these suspicions.  We contacted Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities who investigated, found and repaired a sewer leak.  Click here for that story.

This is Citizen Science at its best!  Please join us.

Invasive Plant Removal: Why does your local watershed group think this is important?

Crooked Branch Ravine Park acts like a sponge, soaking up rain water and keeping it where it falls.  It is also home to many native plants that support wildlife, including warblers and other song birds on their long migrations.

CBR map
The circle indicates the approximate location of Crooked Branch Ravine Park.

Protecting areas like this will help keep the rain where it falls and help improve water quality; this need is great in urban areas with lots of impervious surface.   Unfortunately, this little park has many non-native, invasive plants and over time they will threaten the tree canopy (natures’ best invention for capturing rain water).  And, as native species are lost so is the diversity that supports wildlife.

This is important work. We would appreciate your help.

  • Sunday,  January 6 from 1 – 3 p.m.  or as long as you can stay.
  • Bring gloves and hand clippers.  An old screwdriver is sometimes helpful for removing ivy from trees; we will show you how.
  • Bring a friend!

Map to meeting site