Marl Creek Trail Tree Planting

Andrea Dono and Tom Engle plant a seedling along Marl Creek on March 5th. Photo by Sandy Greene.

On Saturday, March 5th, Master Naturalists met retired USFS Forester Charlie Huppuch at McCormick Farm in Raphine to plant bare root tree seedlings along the Marl Creek trail. Several master naturalists were joined by former Headwaters Chapter Advisor Paul Bugas to find the perfect spots for silky dogwood, persimmon, and other trees, in addition to cleaning up the trail marker signs.

We were delighted to see bluebells starting to peek out from the ground and numerous skunk cabbage at the end of their growth cycle. The crew worked for about four hours and then enjoyed a leisurely lunch break by the water.

Originally the farm was home to Cyrus McCormick who invented the reaper in 1831 and transformed agriculture. It is now the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center, part of Virginia Tech University. Years back, a group of naturalists asked that a riparian buffer be created along the creek to prevent erosion, maintain stream health, and use native plantings to facilitate thriving flora and fauna at this site. The site is open daily and offers historic buildings to visit, Marl Creek with a children’s learning trail marker system and lovely spots for a picnic.

Andrea Dono, Cohort V, March 2022

Thanks to Sandy Greene and Andrea for these photos from the March 5, 2022, Marl Creek tree planting day!

Sandy and Tom. Photo by Andrea.