For One Day of Service, we will be working to collect native plant seeds for the restoration of natural areas in Virginia. Natural Heritage Staff will instruct us on how to identify and then collect the seeds. This time of year the seed heads will be approximately waist-high, so collection should be easy. This is very important work because it will help with the re-establishment of native species in the work to restore natural habitats.
Our work will occur at the Cobane Natural Area Preserve (NAP) in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. The Cowbane Prairie NAP protects outstanding examples of wet prairies, mesic prairies, and calcareous spring marshes which were once common natural communities in the Shenandoah Valley. These communities have been reduced over the years by agricultural and industrial development. Eleven rare plants including queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula Rubra), blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), and marsh-speedwell are found at the preserve. Additionally, a reach of the South River within Cowbane Prairie NAP also provides a habitat for two watchlisted freshwater mussel species.