Planting Natives at Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve

On Wednesday, April 10th, eight ESMN volunteers and four DCR Coastal Region stewardship staff planted an assortment of 163 native forbs, ferns, and shrubs and 48 plugs of American Beachgrass Calamagrostis breviligulata at Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve.

Abby Gale. Photo by Shannon Alexander.

Three weeks previously, invasive species were removed for three
consecutive days, and this area was the focus of this planting effort. Species included Golden ragwort Packera aurea, Sensitive fern Onoclea sensibilis, Winterberry Ilex verticillata, Elderberry Sambucus canadensis, Red chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia, Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis, and more.

These native plants were sourced from a Virginia nursery and grown on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. After removing decades of invasive species, some of which were allelopathic, planting species important for invertebrates and other wildlife was an important step to improve the biodiversity and ecosystem services of this preserve. Efforts to control invasive species and manage planted natives will continue.

From L to R: Bryan Ehrenfried (DCR), Ann Quigley, Jack Saladino (DCR), Doug Pocock, Kellie Piekarsky, Mimi Stitt, Will Mears (DCR). Photo by Shannon Alexander.