Invasive Species Removal at Wildlife Refuge

Friends of the Rappahannock is teaming up with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Friends of the Rappahannock River Wildlife Refuge for a volunteer restoration day at the Port Royal Unit of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This unit of the refuge is 125 acres and protects grassland, shrubs, and forested habitat for a wide range of song birds, raptors, and other wildlife species.

Our team will be focusing on removing an exotic invasive species called Autumn Olive. This shrub was originally brought over to use in riparian zones as an erosion control measure. In one regard it was a complete success as it grows rapidly, lays down root systems, and does help solve streambank erosion issues. Unfortunately, it rapidly reproduces through the spread of its seed from its berries which attract birds and other wildlife. This plant is very dominant and if left untreated, could jeopardize the health of entire ecosystems.

We will be cutting the autumn olive down and chemically treating the root systems to make sure they do not regenerate. We will then be removing the cut down shrubs and be disposing of them offsite away from the Rappahannock River and the refuge property.

If you are interested in helping to remove some invasive species we would love to have your help!

We will be meeting at the Cul de sac entrance to the Port Royal Refuge property adjacent to 1211 Caroline Street Port Royal, Virginia 22535. The event is Thursday November 17, 2016 from 9:00am-12:00pm. We will be meeting at 8:45am. We will have all the supplies needed for the event.

Please contact FOR programs manager Bryan Hofmann at for more information or to sign up.

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Posted on

November 14, 2016

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