Magnolia Bogs of the Fall Line
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In 1918, W. L. McAtee described the “magnolia bogs” as a distinctive habitat present in a few dozen places on the innermost Coastal Plain (near the Fall Line) of the Washington, D.C. region. Occurring where cool water seeps from hillside gravel deposits, these specialized wetlands are characterized by the presence of the native sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) as well as other distinctive plants, such as peat moss (Sphagnum) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix). This natural community of VA is now Critically Impaired globally and statewide, ranked G1/S1. While many of McAtee’s localities have been destroyed or badly degraded by development over the past decades, a few good examples remain, including Barcroft Bog in Arlington, VA.
Speaker Bio: Rod Simmons is Natural Resource Specialist and Plant Ecologist for the City of Alexandria. He is a Research Collaborator with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; contract botanist for NatureServe and the National Park Service; a botany/dendrology instructor and field trip leader for the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs. He is an active member and a past president of the Botanical Society of Washington, and serves on the boards of the Maryland and Virginia Native Plant Societies. He is a regular field trip leader for all of these organizations. He has extensively surveyed the flora and natural communities of the mid-Atlantic region, especially the inner coastal plain and piedmont of the greater Washington, D.C. area.
When & Where
Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter
The Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) was founded in 1982 as The Virginia Wildflower Preservation Society. It is a statewide organization with approximately 2000 members supported primarily by dues and contributions. Membership is open to anyone, amateur or professional. Its purpose is to further appreciation and conservation of Virginia's native plants and habitats. Incorporated in Virginia as a not-for-profit, publicly supported organization, it is tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Society's work and activities are carried out by volunteers.
The Society's programs emphasize public education, protection of endangered species, habitat preservation, and encouragement of appropriate landscape use of native plants.
The Potowmack chapter is the largest VNPS chapter, representing over 400 members in the counties of Arlington and Fairfax; cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church.