Newington Conservation Area Walk with Alan Ford

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Saturday, June 8, 2024
9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Newington Conservation Area


Explore the Newington Conservation Area with Chapter President Alan Ford, located in Franconia just south of the Metro Station.


Part of the Accotink Creek watershed, the site consists of the Long Branch stream-valley and its associated floodplains and uplands. The area extends for approximately one mile along this corridor. Multiple public and private property owners have jurisdiction over parts of this largely undeveloped and intact natural area.

The site is characterized by a substantial layer of semi-consolidated gravel deposited near the end of the last glacial period around fifteen thousand years ago. This gravel layer leads to the important hydrography of this area by providing slow constant moisture to the extensive wetlands along the stream-valley characterized as Acidic Seepage Swamps (G3 / Vulnerable) and in two locations the globally and state rare (S1 G1 / Critically Imperiled) Magnolia Bog. Rainfall infiltrates easily into the gravel beds and percolates shallowly to the streambed.
The forested region above these extraordinary swamps is classified as Acidic Oak Hickory and is an integral part of the matrix which supports the retention and flow of the water. The upland section is forested in mature healthy mixed hardwoods with a complex understory and ground plain.

The floodplain is equally rich in canopy, understory and ground plane species, including Alder, Hazelnut, and other wetland favoring species, and some extensive boggy areas with particularly unique species.

LOCATION: Meet before 9:30am by the basketball courts across from Overleigh Lane.


  • No rest facilities are available onsite.
  • The walk is being hosted primarily on private land with permission of the Amberleigh Homeowner’s Association.
  • The walk is entirely on dirt and gravel trails in the forest. It is moderately challenging due to the change in elevation. The trails may be slippery in some locations.
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Please wear close-toed shoes or boots and long pants. A hat is recommended, as is tick protection. Also recommended is doing a tick check afterwards (as is always the case after a walk in the forest).

Space is limited to 10 participants.

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