Wetlands Wildlife Management Area (AREA 1-D)

Park Parcel Map, Boundary and Features: Exhibit CE Map 011- revised (pdf) This drawing includes the Pony Pasture park property
Map Title:   Property along the South Bank of the James River, Between the Willow Oaks Country Club and the Huguenot Bridge
Common Park Name:   The Wetlands

Description of Location

The Wetlands is located to the east of, and adjacent to Pony Pasture Rapids Park (see its location description).  Several residential subdivisions, with streets and houses, comprise the park’s southern boundary.   A small footbridge (ppt D.1) provides access from Pony Pasture Rapids Park to the Wetlands over Pleasant (or Rockfalls) creek.  There is also a trail from Landria Drive, which provides access to the Wetlands as well as the river.

Existing Conditions

The park is comprised of a large, wetland meadow (ppts D.14) surrounded by a young swamp forest with a small sandy “beach” cut into the shoreline (ppt  D.8 ) and a shallow pond with wildlife viewing blinds (ppts  D.4, 5, 6).  A large trail loop heads off to the east and along the border with a neighboring golf course while a small one goes to the west and follows Pleasant or Rockfalls Creek.  Another trail follows the raised berm of the old quarry railroad which roughly defines the southern border of this section.  The park includes a meadow floodplain (ppt D.14) which provides very good bird-watching.  

Buildings and Structures

A small pedestrian bridge, which also serves as a vehicle access bridge, connects the Wetlands to Pony Pasture Rapids Park over Pleasant or Rockfalls Creek. There is a footbridge through Powhite Swamp as well as a pedestrian/vehicle access bridge to the west of the pond and meadow.   There are also wildlife viewing blinds erected near the pond and meadow.

Utilities

There is a major sewer line shown on CE 0011 that that runs parallel and through part of Pleasant Creek, and sewer branches which enters the park at Landria, Northwood, Blythwood, and near Scotview.

Conservation Values

Natural Resources Values:  Including its adjacent Pony Park parcel, the Wetlands park is part of an approximate 4,000 linear feet of riverfront property on the James River, at the beginning of the fall Zone.  In a sense, the Wetlands park is the downstream  wetlands, lowlands, and infill portions of the two parks, with several drainage swails and small ponds.  Nice views are available of these, including a very popular bird-watching shelter.  The park also includes wetlands and meadow areas, a few good fishing areas, and a network of small paths.  The park has abundant wildlife and mostly undisturbed plant and animal communities.  Natural Heritage resources unknown.   

Scenic Values: Good views of the James River and Williams Island from its wooded south shore and good views upstream and down. Limited water access, but park has good woods, wetlands, ponds and swampy areas.  Good walking and biking trails, very good bird-watching.  

Landscape Values: Park has nice wooded floodplains, wetlands, ponds and swampy areas.  Shoreline interesting, rest of site mostly wooded with undisturbed floodplain, wetlands, swails and ponds, and wild upland areas.

Historic Values: limited, modest.

Other BLD Materials

  1. WWMA I –D: Pictures & Captions: 4 pages, 16 pictures with captions
  2. WWMA Appendix D: GIS coord points, photos, captions and/or descriptions
  3. GIS map with major features identified, 16 GIS photopoints