Restoring Your Forest: A Matching Grant Opportunity
The Shenandoah National Park Trust is funding a multi-year initiative to help our national park managers control non-native, invasive plants and re-establish native species in high-priority areas of the park.
Over 300 non-native plant species have invaded our park. These fast-growing plants—like tree of heaven, Japanese stilt grass and the aptly named mile-a-minute vine—out-compete native species and dramatically alter the ecosystem. These invasives change the forest composition, change wildlife habitat and food sources and diminish the park’s exquisite biodiversity.
Invasive species also alter visitor’s experiences in the park. Shenandoah was set aside as a national park due in part to the collection of plants and animals these mountains harbor. For generations, people have come to Shenandoah to enjoy these native species. Visitors’ experiences in the park will surely be diminished if rapidly growing vines and non-native trees dominate the landscape.
Given the scale of the problem and the size of the national park, it is unrealistic to attempt to eradicate invasive plants from every infected area. The goal of the Forest Restoration Initiative is to remove the most egregious invasive plants in priority areas, and to re-establish native plant populations. The project area encompasses over 1,700 acres. By the end of year five of the initiative, the park plans to have planted 4,600 native trees and 10,000 additional native plants.