Restoring Habitats for Healthier Communities
During the Columbus Day weekend, a group of volunteers from the Broadlands community met at Mill Run Elementary school to plant 24 Virginia native plants. The group’s goal is to convert an unused grassy area into a natural habitat with native trees and plants that support wildlife such as birds and butterflies.
This effort was organized by the Broadlands Wildlife Habitats Committee, which finds opportunities to restore and protect wildlife habitats and promotes sustainable living. “We are very lucky to have the support of our Home Owners’ Association, Mill Run Elementary School’s administration as well as the PTO. With the help of Heritage Landscaping Services, we were able to complete this large project.
Loudoun County Public School system is the largest land owner in the county, much of which is green space. We can work together to restore natural habitats and bring more sustainability practices to our schools. This can make a huge impact on reducing our county's foot print,” said Oya Simpson, the Chair of the Broadlands Wildlife Habitats Committee.
The list of the trees and the plants will be available to students with images and information about each one's environmental value."Kids will not only enjoy these trees as they grow but they can also learn the importance of the trees, when it comes to cooling our air, filtering our water and providing habitats for wildlife," Simpson said.
“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” —U.S. Department of Agriculture
Children and the parents can now enjoy many native trees and shrubs while they visit the campus to run, toss a ball, or to simply enjoy the beauty associated with this area of Mill Run's campus.
The list of the plants used at this location:
Sassafras, River birch, Arrowwood, Serviceberry, Greystem Dogwood, Sycamore, Sweetbay Magnolia, Beautyberry, Redbud, Witchhazel, Chinkapin, Blackcherry, Persimmon, Hackberry, Bush Honeysuckle, Bottlebrush Buckeye, Indigo, American Cranberry Bush, American Filbert, Elderberry, VA Sweetspire, Scarlet Oak, Meadowsweet, and Buttonbush.