Come out and help Richmond Hill Park

Dates and Times for the next workday in the Park.     Come out and help your favorite forest in Asheville!!!

11/8/2014 (Sat. 9:00AM – 1:00PM) Invasive Species Event-Tools and gloves provided but bring water and snacks 

12/13/2014 (Sat. 9:00AM – 1:00PM) Invasive Species Event-Tools and gloves provided but bring water and snacks 

Sign up here today  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4da4af23a5fa7-richmond

Save the date! Richmond Hill Park Event, April 12, 2014

Be part of the first  2014 Invasive Plant Removal Events in Richmond Hill Park

LOCATION: Richmond Hill Park

When: April 12th

Time: 10am-2pm

Visit WNCA Event Page to signup (please signup in advance if you can so organizers can estimate how much equipment to bring)

The Western North Carolina Alliance needs volunteers to participate in an invasive exotic plant management/control outing from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays in Richmond Hill Park (280 Richmond Hill Drive).

It’s been three years since the first Richmond Hill Invasive Removal Event occurred and the impact is obvious. Trails are clearer, native wild flowers are coming back and the habitat for wildlife in Richmond Hill is improving, BUT there alot more work to due. Controlling invasive-exotic plants is a long term project and Richmond Hill Park needs your help!

These plants were introduced in earlier decades, both deliberately and accidentally, and have escaped into areas of our public lands. Invasive exotic plants out-compete native plants for space, sunlight, water, and nutrients, often causing a decline in biodiversity.

They can also take over and destroy native food sources, leaving wildlife with food that provides little to no nutritional value for their needs.

Staff will give instruction on how to identify invasive exotic plants of concern in the park, as well as how to use manual and chemical control methods.

Then we’ll put these skills to work treating invasive plant species found along the trail. We’ll provide gloves and equipment needed for the event. Volunteers are asked to bring lunch and water. Long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and old shoes or hiking boots (no open shoes or sandals) are required, even if the day is warm.

Visit WNCA Event Page to signup (please signup in advance if you can so organizers can estimate how much equipment to bring)

For questions contact Cynthia at  WNCA  or James Wood with the contact information at this link.

October 26 workday another success

With the help of volunteers from Warren Wilson College the October 26 workday was a success. Volunteers removed privet and multiflora rose, both invasive species from along the trail. Volunteers worked in the same area where others have worked and the results are obvious. The forest floor is opening up and making more room for native wildflowers. The trail is now more open which benefits all trail uses. Mark you calendar for December 14, as another workday is in the works.

Why is it important to volunteer in the park? Here’s why:

1. It’s a loads of fun and you learn something at the same time.

2. Without volunteers this unique park would be overrun with weeds that would inhibit access to the trails.

3. Removing these weeds makes the park more beautiful by allowing the native flowers to come back.

4. As someone who enjoy the park, it’s close access to downtown, it beautiful trails, the birds and wildlife, spending few hours of work helps me appreciate the park.

Don’t forget to follow Friends of Richmond Hill Park by clicking on the follow tab.

Prepare for changes at Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill Park is rapidly becoming one of Asheville premier parks, but park users and residents of Richmond Hill should brace themselves for change. 1,530 housing units could be built right next to Richmond Hill Park at the end of Richmond Hill Drive. The approximately 90 acres  of forest is for sale and zoned by the town of Woodfin as Urban village, allowing 17 units per acre and a mix of residential and retail space. IF this property is developed in this way, it would create serious traffic and safety issues for Richmond Hill residents as well as inflict a big blow to the ecology of Richmond Hill Park.

90 acres of forest for sale next to Richmond Hill Park

90 acres of forest for sale next to Richmond Hill Park

About 5 acres of the land that is for sale use to be part of Richmond Hill Park, but was traded to a private party in order to gain access to Richmond Hill Park at the end of Richmond Hill Drive during construction of the disc golf course and armory . This property contains high quality forest in the park, abundant wild flowers and drains into the wetlands at the north end of the park.

In a North Carolina Natural Heritage Report of the park, this property was described like this “Bluff forests on private land in the northeastern portion of the site appear to be in excellent condition with quite mature forest and almost no sign of invasives.” and “adjacent private lands east of the park should be targeted for conservation easements, as this area appears to be the portion of the site in the best condition.”  This land needs to be part of Richmond Hill Park!

Much of the shaded area on the right is the property that is currently for sale. This forest should be protect and made part of Richmond Hill Park!

Much of the shaded area on the right (coded as Montane Oak Hickey Forest, Cove Forest and Floodplain Pool) is the property that is currently for sale. This forest should be protect and made part of Richmond Hill Park! Imagine a 250+ acre forested park so close to downtown Asheville!

Part of the current disc golf course is also right along the property line and would likely be affected when the property is developed.

Whether you live in the Richmond Hill neighborhood, are a disc golf fan or use the park for other types of recreation, your voice is needed. Tell the Buncombe County, City of Asheville, the Town of Woodfin that you want this property protected and incorporated into Richmond Hill Park. If this property is incorporated into Richmond Hill Park, it would make the park over 250 acres.

Think about what a 250+ acre forest park so close to downtown could mean for Asheville and Woodfin in 50 years. Please take a moment write a letter to editor about why it is important to you to protect this forest and expand Richmond Hill Park.

The wetland on the Peterson Property that is for sale. This property contains 90+ acres of forest, great bird and wildlife habitat, wetlands and salamanders, including the rare zigzag salamander.

The wetland on the Peterson Property that is for sale. This property contains 90+ acres of forest, great bird and wildlife habitat, wetlands and salamanders, including the rare zigzag salamander.

This is an issues that needs your voice, needs your action and needs you to take a moment to let it be known that you want this forested land to become part of Richmond Hill Park!

A partnership between Buncombe County, City of Asheville, Town of Woodfin and conservation organizations could protect this forest in perpetuity. – Please spread the word!

People to Contact:

Asheville Parks and Rec. Department

Roderick Simmons, Parks Director – rsimmons@ashevillenc.gov

Al Kopf – Superintendent – akopf@ashevillenc.gov

Woodfin  – jasonyoung@woodfin-nc.gov

Buncombe County Park Department

Fran Thigpen – Director – fran.thigpen@buncombecounty.org

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