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November 2022 Update

New methods are available for managing larger properties. Please see the short article at the bottom of this page and share it as widely as possible.

New LinkedIn Page

Plant NOVA Natives now has a LinkedIn page (as opposed to just a “Group.”) Please follow it to help expand our reach.

New “Outreach of the Month”

Who do you know? Please look at each monthly request to see if you know the groups we would like to reach. All you will have to do is forward them the message. (Of course, if you can help in other ways, that would be great, too!) We are seeing big progress, but we need your help to reach the many people who have not yet heard about the value of native plants and home habitat. We start our series with outreach to scouting troops.

November “Outreach of the Month” - Scouts

Do you know anyone who is involved in scouting or a parent who has a child in scouting? Please forward them this message (or something similar) before Thanksgiving. Please copy

“Dear So-and-So, I know you are involved with scouting through ___ and that troop leaders are always looking for outdoor activities that make a meaningful contribution. The Tree Rescuer program works well for this purpose. The troop would walk around neighborhoods looking for trees covered with English Ivy or other vines, and drop off a door hanger for the owners to warn them that the vines are likely to kill their trees. It looks like fun! I’m copying the organizer of the program in case you have any questions.”

Giving season is here. Can you use the opportunity to help spread the word about native plants and habitat?

· Gifts with our logos can be purchased on our CafePress site (we earn no profit from that).

· Gift certificates for native plants are appreciated by those with room to plant.

· A “Gift of Trees” will honor the recipient with trees planted in their name. All proceeds go to the Plant NOVA Natives campaign.

· And how about donating to Plant NOVA Natives/Plant NOVA Trees directly? We need more funds to keep up our outreach.

Details for all of these options are on the Plant NOVA Natives “store” page.

Report your native tree and shrub plantings

Please help Virginia meet its tree-planting obligations by reporting your tree and shrub plantings here. So far 9550 have been reported!

Report your native tree rescues

Have you saved a tree from invasive vines, excess mulch, a contractor’s chain saw, or any other threat? Add your report here to the 4,835 trees already saved!

Next Steering Committee meeting – via videoconferencing – All are welcome. Thursday, December 15, 10:00am-noon. Check our Event Calendar for future meetings.

This month’s newsletter article to share – Please use this link for social media.

Managing larger properties for birds, butterflies, and people

The outdoor space on larger properties in Northern Virginia, whether residential or commercial, is typically divided into formal landscaping close to buildings and natural areas at the periphery. New practices are emerging on how to manage both areas, practices that protect the ecosystem and support the birds and the butterflies while better satisfying human needs.

The natural areas between properties are an important amenity, providing visual barriers and sound buffers while capturing stormwater and reducing flooding. Looking around, it is evident that those natural areas are often being left to take care of themselves. The result is that they are steadily degrading as the native trees are displaced by invasive non-native trees and are directly killed by invasive vines. The shrubs and ground layers are equally damaged by invasives species at those levels. Many of these invasive plants originate from the landscaped areas where they had been planted before people knew to do otherwise. Preserving trees and habitat in both areas requires taking out the invasives and replacing them with native species, of which numerous options are available.

Some other tweaking is also needed to common landscaping practices. To name a few examples, piling mulch against the trunks of trees causes the bark to rot. Blowing the fallen leaves out from under trees destroys the cover where fireflies and many butterflies overwinter. Leaf blowers with two-stroke engines pour pollution into the air and are loud enough to damage workers’ ears. Outdoor lighting can adversely affect birds, insects and plants. Spraying insecticides kills the bees and caterpillars even more than the mosquitoes they are intended to target. Simple solutions are available to mitigate all these problems.

Professional property managers and community managers negotiate the contracts with landscaping companies and can work with them to adjust their services. Details of the various options for both landscaped and natural areas can be found on the Plant NOVA Trees website in a section specifically for professionals. Please spread the word to the managers of any properties where you live or work.


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