Crow’s Nest, Stafford County, Virginia – October 17


Co-sponsored by the Botanical Society of Washington and the Mattawoman Watershed Society

It’s been ten years since Hal Wiggins led a field trip for MNPS to the spectacular forests, wetlands, marshes, and wildlife of Crow’s Nest – too long! Just this year, it’s a pleasure to announce that much of the site – 2,900 acres - has been purchased by the state as Virginia’s 54th Natural Area Preserve.

Hal Wiggins will lead a field trip to the new Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve.  Find information about the preserve at:

This site is Virginia’s largest and northernmost example of calcareous coastal forest and is quite similar in general composition to the exceptional calcareous forests on Southern Maryland’s coastal plain, but with its own inimitable nuances.

Participants will meet at the gate, just several miles east of Brooke (check the MNPS and BSW websites for complete details).

The trip will be an all day adventure. Hal Wiggins is a member of VNPS, Environmental Scientist and naturalist, long-time advocate for Crow's Nest, and author of Virginia Native Plants and A Field Guide to Crow's Nest. This field trip is a rare opportunity to visit this special place with a guide who has explored it for many years and whose stalwart advocacy has resulted in its permanent preservation.

“…the preservation of Crow's Nest helps maintain the aquatic health of Potomac and Accokeek Creeks, where large beds of native submerged aquatic vegetation help maintain good water quality…The remaining stands of hardwood trees at Crow's Nest are some of the largest in Virginia.  The biodiversity at Crow's Nest and the recreational opportunities for learning about

Virginia's ecosystems is spectacular.”
—Hal Wiggins, Environmental Scientist, US Army Corps of Engineers
(letter to DEQ, October 14, 2004)

[Crow’s Nest] contains “some of the rarest forest communities on earth,” holding an “extremely unique assemblage of plant species”
—Tom Smith, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
(Free Lance-Star, January 13, 2004)