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Sunday, January 12, 2020
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Arlington National Cemetery


Rod Simmons, Alexandria Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist, will lead a walk in an old-age forest remnant in Arlington Woods at Arlington National Cemetery.

From the Bay Journal, November 6, 2019

Arlington Woods is a remarkably intact descendant of the ancient forest that once blanketed much of Northern Virginia. Leaving the manicured cemetery behind to stroll among the towering oaks and hickories is to take a journey back in time, to contemplate this landscape as it was for eons. In the intervals between the whoosh of jets flying in and out of nearby Reagan National Airport, the only sounds are the whisper of wind in the trees and rustling of leaves on the ground.

“A lot of this is nature’s gift. It’s irreplaceable,” said plant ecologist Rod Simmons as he led a walking tour of the tract on a sunny Friday in October. The woodland is an old friend to Simmons, a member of the Virginia Native Plant Society, who seems to know every tree on the tract. He’s studied them, written about them and worked to save them.

This is an “old growth” patch of forest, he said, because there’s no record of it ever having been logged. He pointed out how closely the trunks were bunched, further evidence that the trees had not been planted or replanted by hand.

“You’ll see a lot of trees that were here long before the Civil War,” he promised.

For information email piedmontvnps@gmail.com.


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