This past November DOPC partnered with NPS and Rock Creek Conservancy to make our Whitehaven west entrance a little more beautiful. Over 60 volunteers made it out to help clear debris and seed the hillside below the Park entrance with a mix of native warm-season grasses including indiangrass, big bluestem, ‘Niagara’, little bluestem,Virginia wildrye, and purpletop.
Our enthusiastic volunteers used pruners and loppers to remove invasive vines and woody material, before raking the steep hillside to loosen the soil for our new seed. The seed was mixed with pine shavings to encourage its even distribution then spread by hand along the slope. Fallen branches and logs were used to create an edge to the trail, to encourage Park visitors to stay off the freshly seeded slope, which should take around three years to fully establish.
Keep your eye out for our new grasses emerging this next spring. This addition to our Park landscape will be more than just pretty to look at: the grasses will provide new habitat, retain the soil, and keep invasives from returning, while we develop plans for stormwater management in the area.