Restoration of Glen Echo Heights Community Corner

This project started as an invasive plant management project -- to raise awareness in the Glen Echo Heights neighborhood -- and larger surrounding area -- about the importance of removing invasive vines and other plants from our local landscapes; it was also to serve as an on-site training opportunity for students to learn about the range of invasive vines affecting our natural areas.  But it soon became clear that the only way to truly manage the invasives, and create a space that would add value to the neighborhood, would be to restore the corner with Eco-Functioning Space (populated with hardy native plant communities).

With the help of a group of local students and the support of the Glen Echo Citizens Association, we started removing the over six species of invasive vines in January 2018.

 Looking down from the top of one of the steep side slopes of our restoration corner.

Looking down from the top of one of the steep side slopes of our restoration corner.

 Looking toward the corner area with the community's welcome sign.

Looking toward the corner area with the community's welcome sign.

But we soon realized that this area would need to be populated with native plant communities in order to remain stable (and attractive) without the invasive plants present.  

While we have had to break the project down into Phases in order to keep costs down, we have started in the most challenging sections:  the areas most closely surrounding the community sign (with the steepest slopes).  These are areas that have been challenging to clear and establish with young native plants.

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New installation of native plants (at very young stages) occurred April 7-8, 2018

 Views of newly installed native plants on April 8, 2018

Views of newly installed native plants on April 8, 2018

And today, we are actively working to help the native plants grow to maturity, as the invasive vines return, wave after wave, to attack them, smother them, and kill them off.

 Working -- with the help of volunteers from the community -- to manage the remaining invasive plants in June 2018.

Working -- with the help of volunteers from the community -- to manage the remaining invasive plants in June 2018.

 Our fearless volunteer, John, pulling mile-a-minute vines off the young plants.

Our fearless volunteer, John, pulling mile-a-minute vines off the young plants.

And although we still have a long way to go on our restoration, the native plants are holding their own.  And they have not been watered -- other than by rainfall -- since they were planted.

 A view of the community sign and the young natives growing behind it on July 14, 2018

A view of the community sign and the young natives growing behind it on July 14, 2018

 July 14, 2018 - the coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and mountain mint are blooming!

July 14, 2018 - the coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and mountain mint are blooming!

 Bees, butterflies, and birds are frequent visitors to this space now.

Bees, butterflies, and birds are frequent visitors to this space now.