[BSW] Field trip to Hemlock Overlook Regional Park - February 3

Kathy Bilton kathy at fred.net
Mon Jan 14 21:29:20 GMT 2013

The Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the Botanical
Society of Washington invite you to the following event, part of the VNPS
year-long program -  "Celebrating the Natural Communities of Virginia".  In
this field trip, Rod Simmons will take us to the globally and state rare
plant community identified as Piedmont / Coastal Plain Eastern Hemlock -
Hardwood Forest (USNVC: CEGL006474) in the U.S. National Vegetation

Field Trip to Old-Age Hemlock Forest at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park,
Fairfax County, VA

Sunday, February 3, 2013
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Field trip co-sponsored by the Potowmack Chapter-VNPS and the Botanical
Society of Washington.

Leader: Rod Simmons

Bring:  Wear good shoes and bring lunch or snacks and water.  We'll walk
mainly on trails, but the terrain is steep and rocky in places.  (Folks who
aren't comfortable with steep grades can turn back when the gently rolling
upland ridge trail of the first segment of the walk reaches the point where
it becomes steep.)

Field trip is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP to
vnps.pot at gmail.com .

Directions: Take Ox Road (Rt. 123) or Fairfax County Pkwy (Rt. 7100) east to
Burke Lake Road (Burke Lake Road becomes Clifton Road south of Rt. 123).
Take Clifton Road southwest towards Clifton, but turn left onto Yates Ford
Road (Rt. 615) before the town of Clifton and proceed app. 1-2 miles to
parking area at entrance to Hemlock Overlook Regional Park.

*Field trip cancelled for heavy-steady snow, sleet, or pouring rain, but not
for snow flurries or drizzling rain.

For ARMN members, field trip applies per usual towards advanced training
hours in botany, ecology, and geology.

On steep rugged slopes overlooking the confluence of Popes Head Creek and
Bull Run is one of our region's most scenic and wild natural areas.  This
special place was named for the ancient stands of Hemlocks (Tsuga
canadensis) that occur on the extremely steep and rocky north-facing slopes
- relics from long ago when montane flora was more widespread in the
piedmont and coastal plain.  These rare communities have persisted for
millenia here and in a few other sites throughout the piedmont and coastal
plain in places with conditions similar to those of montane habitats.

Isolated or disjunct forest stands of Hemlock that occur in the piedmont and
rarely the coastal plain are called Piedmont / Coastal Plain Eastern Hemlock
- Hardwood Forest (USNVC: CEGL006474) in the U.S. National Vegetation
Classification and are globally and state rare.

We'll also see the Fairfax County champion Butternut (Juglans cinerea),
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera
pubescens), Shinleaf (Pyrola spp.), stands of Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida), a
variety of oak and hickory species, numerous heaths, and many other plants.


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