Belle Isle Project

Belle Isle

Belle Isle, January of 2015.  The great majority of native trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, but   green is seen everywhere.  These are non-native, invasive species – privet, Japanese honeysuckle, English ivy and others –  crowding out the native species that would normally occupy the under-story.  English ivy also threatens mature trees.  In this situation, new native trees and shrubs will not replace those that are lost;  non-native species will continue to spread, eventually becoming the dominate species.    Since non-native plant species do not support our native insects, diversity will decrease as we loose insect species on which all others depend, directly or indirectly, for food.  The variety of fruits and nuts will also decrease.  Belle Isle is just an example.  This is occuring in every park in the City of Richmond; perhaps on your own property.


Tree Stewards intend to remove non-native species from  targeted areas of Belle Isle and replace them with native trees, shrubs and perennials.  This is a two year project in cooperation with other volunteer groups and community volunteers.  The invasive plant issue is  huge,  our efforts are small but we must start somewhere.  The hope is to expand the work area over time and to provide some educational opportunities along the way. As we work, you should be able to see a distinct difference between the restored areas and those that have been claimed by non-native species.

 Interested in joining this effort? Work days will be posted at Hands On Greater Richmond and shared on this website.  Subscribe to get updates.



Please note:

  • Some of this work is physically demanding.
  • Contact with poison ivy is possible.
  • Cancellation of a project is unlikely, but will be posted on our website if that does occur.

Questions?  Contact us using the form below.


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