YORKTOWN — Colonial National Historical Park is set to begin removal of invasive species to restore historic viewsheds and protect cultural and natural resources project the week of Oct. 18.
Contractors for Colonial National Historical Park (CNHP) are removing approximately eight acres of invasive plant species in two areas within the park, it said: five acres along the slopes of the historic Tobacco Road trail located adjacent to the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center, and roughly three acres at the eastern end of the American battle lines located adjacent to the Moore House subdivision.
With this project, CNHP said it is conforming to National Park Service management policies, 2006, Section 4.4.4, Management of Exotic Species and Executive Order #13112, 1999, Prevent, Detect, Control, and Monitor Exotic Species and Provide Restoration of Native Species and Habitats Condition.
Non-native species are extremely invasive, quickly establishing and growing in natural areas and on the historic battlefield, the park said, forming dense areas of vegetation, competing with native plants, and degrading food resources and habitats for wildlife.
The invasive species include Golden Bamboo, Empress Tree, Chinese Privet, Wisteria, and English Ivy. Shredding plant materials to ground level requires the use of an industrial forestry mulcher, the park said.
During the mulching operations, the park requested visitors and the general public comply with safety notices and barricades, as well as temporary area closures of the Tobacco Road trail and the pedestrian bridge connecting the Visitor Center with Yorktown.
The pulverized material and remaining root structure will serve to prevent erosion until phase two of the project is completed in early summer 2024.
Phase two will focus on the application of a herbicide treatment to remove any invasive plant species regrowth in the previously cleared areas. Following the completion of phase two the hillside will be replanted with native grasses, trees and shrubs, the park said.
To learn more about Colonial National Historical Park, visit its webpage.