Great work in Byrd Park

It’s wonderful to see that someone’s been busy cutting massive ivy vines on trees around the Vita Course in  Byrd Park.  When the ivy finally dies, the tree will be should be much better off.   The other big plus is that this tree will no longer produce thousands of berries each year and will not be the source for ivy seedlings in other locations.   Since English ivy acheives it’s mature form, producing flowers and fruit, after climbing a vertical surface, keeping ivy off the trees prevents the spread of seed.   HOW TO REMOVE IVY FROM TREES


It’s easy being green…

Kermit the Frog might argue the point, but it is easy being green if you one of the evergreen, non-native, invasive shrubs or vines.  These plants seize every opportunity to sprout and grow in urban soils that have been disturbed and aggressively replace our native species.  The invasive vines are especially destructive since they cover other plants and can climb trees.

These plants appear in your yard, the alley behind your house or your favorite park primarily because birds eat the fruit and then spread the seed, but please don’t get the idea that we should allow them to grow for feeding the birds!  Birds need much more than the fruit from just a few species.  They also need caterpillars which non-native plants do not support.  (Yes, we do need caterpillars chomping on our leaves if we are to have birds!)   Read more about native plants and diversity here:  To Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs.

It’s easy to spot these green plants now in our dormant landscapes,  especially the English ivy on trees all over town.  Take a look around your yard to see if you have any of the plants below.  If so,  please begin to take steps to remove them.  Your actions will have benefits that reach far beyond your yard and far into the future.  


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While you’re working please do preserve our evergreen native species –  American holly, eastern red cedar, partridge berry (if your lucky enough to find some) and others. Our native species, when present in variety and abundance, will support a complex ecosystem which will in turn support us.








Another Invasive Plant Workshop

Our March 1 workshop had a waiting list and so another workshop has been schedule for Wednesday April 16 from 4-7 pm.

The folks on the waiting list have been given the opportunity to register and now it is open to anyone interested.

This workshop is free.  It is our hope that those attending will organize and participate in invasive removal projects in Richmond’s city parks.

invasive flyer April 16

The parks in Richmond are being invaded!

Non-native species are covering ground (literally) and trees, too.

Several environmental groups are collaborating to provide training for invasive species identification and removal.

Please come to the workshop on March 1 to learn more.

Details below.  Registration is limited.  Register here.  

Handy Bandy Day

Please note the change in date from Feb 8 to Feb 15 and new link for volunteers…

Volunteeer here 


Here is a volunteer opportunity that may interest those who want to  help GET THE IVY (and other invasive plants) OUT OF RICHMOND….

Friends of Bandy Field will have a work day on Saturday, February 8.  

Some of the work will include invasive removal in an effort to keep these plants from infesting and consuming the parks foliaged perimeter and the its 2-acre central woods.

Learn more about Bandy Field here.



Ivy deserts growing in Richmond

ivy dseset

  As most of our native plants lose their leaves the green ivy is easy to see as you walk through your neighborhood or park.

Ivy and other non-natives are rapidly covering ground, creating ivy deserts where little else grows and some trees are nearly covered.

The problem can be overwhelming, but there is one simple thing you can do this fall and winter.

Small patches of ivy and ivy seedlings are very easy to spot when other plants lose their leaves and are very easy to pull up.

Search & Destroy!  Remove them now  before they grow.

Let’s keep our remaining natural areas ivy free and try to make your yard an ivy free zone.

Seedlings are easy to find in the leaf litter.  Remove them now.

Ivy seedlings are easy to find in the leaf litter. Remove them now.

Ivy desert in Forest Hill Park

Ivy desert in Forest Hill Park

Ivy covering mature tree.


This native fern can't last long with ivy nearby.

This native fern can’t last long with ivy nearby.