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Community Forest

Blandy's Community Forest

The fall tree planting of trees by the third grade students is part of a larger outreach and arboretum development project at the State Arboretum of Virginia to improve and expand the forest along the Route 50 front entrance of Blandy Experimental Farm. 

A part of our landscape master plan, increasing the forested area near the front entrance will improve both the aesthetic and ecological value of this area.

Important native tree species were planted by the students, including several types of oak, cherry, tulip poplar, sassafras, redbud, red maple, sweetgum.

Young seedling is planted in the Community Forest
Why natives? These native plant species provide important habitat and food for organisms. Invasive and non-native species do not offer these important benefits as they are not adapted for this area. Our native organisms, from bees to bears, are not adapted to utilize them either.

The Arboretum plans to continue to plant native trees in developing this community forest. The expanded and improved forest will increase wildlife habitat, provide pollen and nectar for pollinators, increase carbon sequestration, reduce runoff and mowing, improve water quality, and involve citizens in tree planting and watershed improvement.  

The trees planted in the community forest are now part of our Arboretum collection, placed in our collections database, and will receive care from our staff for years to come! And the trees in the community forest will also give back to their community…

-          As learning and teaching tools in our onsite PreK-12 and Public programs

-          Serve as an example of what trees to plant in your yard

-          Nesting birds to raise their young (and squirrels, bees, moths, chipmunks…..)

-          By providing shade to weary visitors

These third grade students joined many other community members in this forest restoration effort. Volunteers from the Virginia Master Naturalists, Tour de Trees; several public and private schools who visit the Arboretum for hands-on field investigations are other groups that gave their time and effort to this truly community driven project. 

Growing in the shadow of the mature forest, these young seedlings will soon provide habitat for Blandy's inhabitants.