Resources for Appalachian Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration

You will find, as have we, that information is scattered, sometimes contradictory, and can almost require a graduate degree to really understand! We’ve done our best to include the resources that seem most helpful. There are also many different schools of thought with their own passionate advocates, but no broad consensus. In the end, there probably isn’t any one right answer, but the answers that work for each of you. Floyd Native Plants is working to improve access to information for landowners seeking to restore ecosystems and regenerate biodiversity on their own properties, but it is a steep uphill climb and we’re still learning. We shall have to get there together!

Planting Guides

How-To Articles

Websites

Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Blue Ridge Prism. An independent non-profit dedicated to reducing the negative impact of invasive plants in the northern Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. 

Digital Atlas of Virginia Flora. Includes detailed native plant lists by county and native distribution maps.

Ecological Health Network. Working at the intersection of human health & well-being and ecological restoration

Floyd Flower Power. Local Floyd, VA initiative to encourage and help people to grow more flowers of all kinds (native and exotic ornamental), through installing plantings and helping to create local walking trails.

Heritage & Habitat assists landowners manage their land, encourages the sharing of great outdoor experiences, and is dedicated to preserving hunting and land ownership heritage. (Obviously, some limitations in broad ecological sensitivity).

Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park. Call to action to private landownders to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and removing invasive plants in places as small as small urban yards or as large as many acre private properties.

Knepp Wildland.  3,500 acre estate in West Sussex. Since 2001, the land – once intensively farmed – has been devoted to a pioneering rewilding project. Using grazing animals as the drivers of habitat creation, and with the restoration of dynamic, natural water courses, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife. Extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding here; and populations of more common species are rocketing. They host tours, retreats, educational classes, and sell the produce from the farm.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Inspiring the conservation of native plants through its internationally recognized sustainable gardens, education and outreach programs, and research projects. Native Plant Database @wildflower.org.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Provide technical expertise and conservation planning for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners wanting to make conservation improvements to their land. Virginia site. Area II (SWVA) Field office Christiansburg, 75 Hampton Blvd, Christiansburg, VA 24073, Phone: 540-381-4221, Fax: 540-381-4040

NatureServe. Research, mapping, standardization of names and definitions for species and ecosystems in North America. Conservation assessment, founding member of the IUCN Red List Partnership.

Plant Virginia Natives. regional native plant marketing partnership, initiated and coordinated by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program. Plant SWVA Virginia Natives, our local chapter has created a native gardening guide with contributions from this author. Download pdf Guide to Gardening with Southwest Virginia Native Plants. Hardcopies are available from SustainFloyd (visit any Floyd Farmers Market to pick up a copy while supplies last).

Southeastern Grasslands Initiative. “Grassland loss is the single greatest conservation issue currently facing eastern North American biodiversity. If we want to reverse the tide of grassland biodiversity loss, our response must be rapid as well as unparalleled in its magnitude.” –Director Dr. Dwayne Estes. Read A Guide to Grasslands of the Mid-South.

Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). Global network of over 4,000 members who foster the exchange of knowledge and expertise among ecological restoration practitioners and scientists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

The Mother Tree Project from Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) The premier leader in conservation, regionally and globally.

Virginia Dept of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). The state’s natural resource conservation agency. DCR protects natural habitat, parks, clean water, dams, open space and access to the outdoors. See the Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Groups and Community Types.

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program. Science-based educational opportunities for new and experienced forest landowners, with Virginia Tech.

VA Forestry Certified Burn Managers Program prepares private landowners to safely conduct controlled burns, an important land management tool believed to have shaped ecosystem evolution in North America over many thousands of years.

Virginia Native Plant Society. Founded in 1982 as the Virginia Wildflower Preservation Society, is a nonprofit organization of individuals who share an interest in Virginia’s native plants and habitats. New River Chapter.

Virginia Master Naturalists. The Virginia Master Naturalist Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Interested Virginians become Master Naturalists through training and volunteer service.

Wild Ones promotes environmentally friendly, sound landscaping to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities (no local chapter).

Xerces Society international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Their golf course initiative is interesting.

Agriforestry, Permaculture

Permaculture.co.uk. Permaculture resources based in the U.K.

The Permaculture Orchard. A successful U-Pick model based in Quebec. This permaculture approach incorporates native ecology at an entirely higher order than traditional permaculture.

Stefan Sobkowiak – The Permaculture Orchard YouTube channel

Hugelkultur

Food Forests

Nurseries & Landscaping

Ernst Seeds (Meadville, PA) Industry leader in restoration seeds, seed mixes, and bioengineering materials. Many resources for prairie plantings.

Go Native Trees (Lancaster, PA) A very large selection of Mid-Atlantic native plants. Plant list

Juneberry Gardens (Blacksburg, VA) Women-owned landscaping company emphasizing native plants and sustainable landscaping methods.

MidAtlantic Natives (Cobbs Creek, VA) Good selection of bare root, live stakes, and plugs.

Missouri Dept of Conservation – Extremely inexpensive bare root native plants.

Mother’s Child Farm. (Local) Small native plant nursery in Floyd, VA grows and sells native plants at the Floyd Farmers Market. Owner Naomi Crews says of native plants that growing and sharing these is a devotional calling.

New Moon Nursery

Prairie Moon Nursery – highly respected Upper Midwest seed and plant source for individual species, but mixes are not recommended as they are filled with predominantly Midwestern species.

Prairie Nursery

Roundstone Seeds (Upton, KY) Industry leader in restoration seeds, seed mixes, and bioengineering materials. Many resources for prairie plantings.

Seven Springs Farm Supply – a national supplier located in Floyd County, VA.

Spikenard Farms Honeybee Sanctuary. (Local) The sanctuary grows and sells native plants of special value to honeybees and other native pollinators during its once-monthly Open Days. Check the Calendar.

VA Forestry. Inexpensive high-volume bare root trees and shrubs.

Wood Thrush Natives. (Local) Native plant nursery in Floyd, VA specializing in rare plants. Owner Ian Caton.

Books

Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Watch Your Garden Come Alive With Beauty on the Wing by Sally Roth

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Bringing Nature Home, Updated and Expanded: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas Tallamy

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas Tallamy

The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World by Oliver Milman

The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild by Enric Sala

To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Articles

The Nature Conservancy’s Priority Landscapes:  Conserving the Appalachians 

The Nature Conservancy’s Clinch Valley Program

TNC’s Resilient and Connected Landscapes for Terrestrial Conservation

SEGI’s A Guide to Grasslands of the Mid-South by Dr. Dwaye Estes

Xerces Society’s How to Create Habitat for Pollinator Insects on Golf Courses

Flora of Virginia educational videos https://floraofvirginia.org/

Ecological Health Network’s Seed & Plant Supply Chain Program

DCR’s Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration, and Landscaping

Saving Islands in the Sky at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy – about restoring high elevation Red Cedar groves.

Creating Inviting Habitats from Virginia Cooperative Extension

Rewilding in Virginia from Jane Cundiff, Wild Garden Club, Floyd, VA

“Like Manna from God: The American Chestnut Trade in Southwestern Virginia,” by Ralph H. Lutts. Access online at JSTOR (You can get a free account by signing up and access to up to 100 articles a month).

“The Lord of the Forest: the American Chestnut” at Our State website

Managing Alternative Pollinators (free PDF) by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

Apps

TNC’s Resilient Land Mapping Tool

DCR’s Virginia Native Plant Finder

Digital Atlas of Flora of Virginia. List of Floyd County native plants.

iNaturalist – report observations as well as plant ID app

iPhone’s Siri has integrated plant ID in the built-in Photo app

Picture This – plant ID app

Call of the Forest Plant-A-Tree app (Diana Beresford-Kroeger)

Topo maps of Floyd https://www.topozone.com/virginia/floyd-va/

BONAP The Biota of North America Program http://bonap.net/

NRCS (USDA) Soil survey maps app

USDA’s Plant Database. (Old website, not always accessible).

Podcasts

Pine Ridge Nursery’s Native Plants, Healthy Planet podcast

Nature at Your Door with Frank Taylor, Radford HS Biology teacher YouTube channel

Wild Plant Culture podcast

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