The Shenandoah National Park Trust is funding a multi-year initiative to help our national park 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. They diminish the park’s biodiversity and ecological integrity.
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.