Ridge and Valley Native Plants Guide

Map of Virginia’s regional plant guides with the notable exception for our area. Image courtesy of Anna Maria Johnson.

New HMN Project

Anna Maria Johnson is excited to announce a new approved project that you can participate in for volunteer hours. Anna Maria is the coordinator of a group of plant-loving people who are working to create a Ridge and Valley Native Plants Guide. The Guide will be similar to other plant guides that have been published in different regions throughout the state. You can learn more about these regional plant guides as well as the corresponding marketing campaign to promote native plants as better options for home landscaping and ecological restoration at the website: www.plantvirginianatives.org.

The first regional guide in this series came about as part of the government-funded Coastal Zone Management program, but it was so popular that other regions decided to follow suit and design similar books featuring their own native plants. Virginia Witmer, who works for the Department of Environmental Quality, has been instrumental in helping all the regional campaigns to educate the public about the value of using native plants. She has been in conversation with Anna Maria for the past year about how to bring the project to the Ridge and Valley region of Virginia.

A collection of plant guides for other regions of Virginia. Photo courtesy of Anna Maria Johnson.

The Plant Virginia Natives Initiative brings together non-profits, businesses, and local government organizations to collaborate on ways to “increase the knowledge and use of the beautiful array of plants native to our Commonwealth.” The Ridge and Valley Native Plants guide is the most recent project in the Plant Virginia Natives Initiative and will comprise the following 11 counties: Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Bath, Rockbridge, and Alleghany.

If you are interested in getting involved with making and marketing this Guide, please contact Anna Maria Johnson for more information at annamar [at] mac.com or by phone at 540-383-2325. Many different skill sets will be needed to make this project a success including native plant knowledge, photography, graphic design, writing, editing, fact-checking, sales, marketing, distributing, and accounting. No previous experience is required, although basic knowledge of our local native plants will be advantageous.

The timeline for this project is as follows:

  • Summer: create the initial plant lists and layout the first draft using InDesign
  • Fall: fact-checking, peer review of content, editing, and improving the design
  • Winter: get the book professionally printed
  • Spring: distribute, market, and sell the book as widely as possible through tabling events, partner organizations, and online; outreach to the public, plant nurseries, garden clubs, and more

Anna Maria Johnson, Cohort VII, June 2022