Boulevard to Reedy Creek Study Area
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Study area summary
The Boulevard to Reedy Creek study area includes approximately 56.6 acres of park land and was divided into six management units of various sizes. The lead organization for the baseline study of this park section was the Friends of James River Park. The task force field team in this study area identified a total of 24 invasive plant species across all management units, including:
- 12 species ranked with high invasiveness;
- 9 species ranked with medium invasiveness; and,
- 3 species ranked with low invasiveness.
Three of the six management units (1a, 1b, and 2a) were observed invasive plant cover from 50 to 75 percent (Cover Class 4), or greater than 75 percent (Cover Class 5). The remaining management units (2a, 3, and 4) had approximately 25 to 50 percent cover (Cover Class 3) of invasive plants. Throughout all management units, the worst invasive plant infestations typically included three species Chinese privet, winter creeper, and English ivy. Other invasive species observed in less abundance will likely continue to be problematic, including tree-of-heaven, mimosa, autumn olive, multiflora rose, Japanese stiltgrass, and Oriental bittersweet.
Important observations regarding the native plant community were also recorded by the task force volunteers. As in other park sections, the overstory is often dominated by native trees like tulip tree, white oak, American beech, southern red oak, northern red oak. The understory is composed of native saplings and shrubs such as ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), spicebush, bladdernut, and fringe tree, as well as herbaceous plants including jack-in-the-pulpit, Christmas fern, rockcap fern (Polypodium virginianum), and early saxifrage (Micranthes virginiensis). Volunteers also noted rock outcrop communities known for some rarer plant assemblages, particularly in the study area’s higher elevations where rock outcroppings atop higher hill slopes provide habitat for plants that thrive in xeric soil conditions.
Updates from the study area
None at this time.