North Field Trail

North Trail Dogwood

As you leave the forest, the trail leads along the edge of the field and forest.

Threats to the Native Landscape

Since the first colonists settled Jamestown in 1607, people have been importing plants from around the world. Many of these have become important agricultural and horticultural assets. However, many others have escaped cultivation such that nearly one third of all wild plants in the nation today are non-indigenous. About 10% of those are considered invasive. In Virginia alone, there are 115 invasive species that are posing a threat to natural areas, parks and other protected lands.

As you walk back along the western edge of the field, note the high diversity of woody plants that make up this valuable ecotone known as "edge" habitat. Shrubs, vines and small understory trees thrive here with the full sun and the support of large trees. Look for dogwood, redbud, blackberry, and grape along this stretch. But there are also several non-natives that have become increasingly troublesome in recent years. These fast-growing, invasive species are threatening the native flora by overtopping and blocking sunlight and reducing the water, nutrients and space available.

Next: Invasives