Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

January 2018


Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids - January 2018

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time - January 2018

Preventing Germs in Gyms: What Works? - December 2017

Study: Laws Reduce Recurrent Concussions - December 2017

Grants Awarded for Urban Water & Wildlife Habitat Restoration - December 2017

APSP University Launches New Certification Course - November 2017

New Series Aims to Empower Students With Healthy Habits - November 2017

US Club Soccer Puts Focus on Player Safety - November 2017

New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec - November 2017

L.A. Parks Earn Mostly Positive Report Card - October 2017

Health Club Memberships Up, Led by Youth & Older Adults - October 2017

Dallas Park Recognized With ASLA Award - October 2017

Adult Obesity Rates Leveling Off - October 2017

Improving Kids' Wellness—In the Classroom - October 2017

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Development Continues - September 2017

Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital - September 2017

Philadelphia Eagles Go Green - September 2017

High School Sports Participation Up, Nearing 8 Million - September 2017

Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment - August 2017

New Health Research Conducted at Special Olympics - August 2017

Protect Players From Heat - August 2017

Tackling the Active Play Deficit - August 2017

Botanical Garden Partners With Businesses on Health - July 2017

Survey Examines Parents' View of Play - July 2017

Kids Swim Free in Tucson This Summer - July 2017

Building Communities to Encourage Physical Activity - June 2017

California Campus Converts Courts to Golf Practice Space - June 2017

Where Are the Nation's Top City Park Systems? - June 2017

KaBOOM! Brings Play to Military Kids - May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game - May 2017

Educators Push Legislators to Support Health & Physical Education Programs - May 2017

NFHS Revises Rules for Competitive Spirit Squads - May 2017

Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions - April 2017

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law - February 2017

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball! - February 2017

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are 'Overfat' - February 2017

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share - February 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status - January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness - January 2017

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

By Chandler Garland

Arlington County received a $140,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's "Pulling Together Initiative" to identify and remove invasive plant species along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. The 45-mile paved trail is popular with cyclist, runners and horseback riders. It stretches through many Northern Virginia counties.

Beginning in September 2018, the project will seek to inventory invasive plant species and infestation levels along the trail. The county will then develop a five-year plan to clear these invasive plants, improve techniques and training to manage the inventoried plants, and educate nearby homeowners on curbing nonnative plant use. The grant will also support Arlington Parks and Recreation's development of a Cooperative Weed Management Area.

Because invasive plants are nonnative, they have no natural predators and therefore spread easily, pushing out native species. They also provide poor and unnatural habitats for local animals and insects, which in turn can harm these populations. Common invasive species to the Virginia area include English ivy, kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, and bamboo.

Unique to this invasive plant removal initiative is its cooperative approach and partnership with local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies, nonprofits and for-profits to encourage the community to stop the spread of invasive species and restore natural habitats. The plan will bring together the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church; the towns of Herndon and Leesburg; the community of Reston; the Virginia Department of Forestry; the National Park Service; NOVA Parks; Dominion Energy; and nonprofits Master Naturalists, Earth Sangha and Friends of the W&OD.

"Invasive plants don't care if they grow on public or private land or whose jurisdiction they are in," said Alex Sanders, Arlington County project coordinator. "By working together, we will better manage the invasive plants in our area and help homeowners join in the effort."

Local cooperative efforts in Arlington County are already making a difference. Last spring, Dominion Energy mowed green space beneath the power line along the W&OD Trail. This helped the county combat Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Since the mowing, the trail has seen a return of a mix of native species including common milkweed, dogbane and sensitive fern.

Another recent success is the Magnolia Bog in Bancroft Park. This rare habitat was overtaken by invasive plants, but thanks to the efforts of volunteers and staff, the bog has an increase in the appearance of native species such as little wood satyr butterflies, rusty blackbirds and gray fox, along with bloodroot and wood anemone.

"Better coordination, improved techniques and enhanced community education are really the one-two-three punch needed to make an impact," said Sarah Archer, Arlington County natural resources specialist. "Our partners have ongoing efforts to remove invasive plants and restore habitat. Working together, our unified approach is sure to have a greater impact in the next five years and far-off future."


Belson Outdoors - Your Outdoor Superstore
Recreation Supply - The Pool Supply Specialists
Kay Park Recreation - American Made Park Equipment Since 1954
Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association - For Unbiased Expertise in Sports Flooring
Pilot Rock - Summer Planning Starts Now. - Learn More
Vantage - Tablet Feeders for Any Size Pool
GameTime - You Were Meant to THRIVE!
Commercial Recreation Specialists - It's all here.