Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The county says beavers are not threatening to residents.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Glenda Booth
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Beavers in the ‘burbs? Many people think of beavers as wilderness animals. Beavers do live in wilderness areas, but they also seem comfortably at home in northern Virginia. Two places in the Mount Vernon-Lee area where you might see beavers are Huntley Meadows Park and the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Recently, beavers have been very visible in Huntley Meadows Park, said Park Manager Kevin Munroe. “This may be best time to see them because they’ve decided to build at the beginning of the boardwalk. They are very cooperative at the moment,” he chuckled. Huntley Meadows Park In 1977, beavers built a dam across Barnyard Run in the park which created a swamp or non-tidal wetland and flooded the forest. Huntley has at least three lodges, …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Bootlegging, Dredging and a National Park
This is the second of two articles on Dyke Marsh’s human history, based on a presentation by Matthew Virta to the 90 people who attended the Nov. 14 meeting of the Friends of Dyke Marsh. Virta is the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. The first article was posted on Monday. --- After the Civil War, rowdy activities like drinking, gambling and “amorous pursuits” that had been tolerated in wartime were driven underground or to the river, Virta explained, recreation that spawned the Potomac River ark boat or ark. Ostensibly a small house boat, these arks probably provided customers services beyond lodging. The arks were 24-feet-by-10-feet in size with a 12-inch draft and…
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thomas has studied Dyke Marsh for 53 years.
On July 26, L.K. Thomas, research biologist, shared his comments and some of his academic work on Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve and its restoration. He began to study Dyke Marsh in 1959 and has published many papers on various aspects of this freshwater, tidal wetland. He has visited Dyke Marsh many times, including forays wearing hip boots and chest waders. Thomas began his career with the U.S. National Park Service as a ranger naturalist in 1953 and retired in 1998 as a resource management specialist. He has an extensive background in ecosystem ecology, hydrology, resource management, wetland ecology and management of exotic species. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Invasives can impair ecological health.
On most Thursday mornings along the Mount Vernon segment of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, or GMWP, local “weed warriors” whack and pull invasive or non-native plants. They are trying to control plants like English ivy, bamboo, bush honeysuckle and garlic mustard. The National Park Service estimates that many parks and nature preserves in Virginia typically have between 25 and 34 percent non-native plants. Non-native plants can be called “invasives,” “aliens,” “exotics” or “non-indigenous plants.” Generally, they are plants introduced both intentionally and accidentally into an area far from their native habitat, and they often cause ecological and economic harm. Invasive plants have few controls or lack natural controls such an …