Laird Acres Woodland Restoration and Design
Recognizing the ecological, educational and cultural value of a 35-acre woodland on its campus in Alexandria, Virginia, Episcopal High School turned to Biohabitats to develop a plan for its protection, restoration and full integration into the campus infrastructure and community.
Biohabitats mapped and characterized the vegetative complex, identified the primary ecological drivers and threats to the forest, quantified the economic functional value of the woodland and developed a comprehensive management plan. Episcopal High School subsequently contracted with Biohabitats to design and construct a mile long, organic substrate, walking and cross-country trail through the woodland. Biohabitats also created a planting plan for the eastern gateway entrance to Laird Acres and a windbreak planting plan for the western forest edge.
As invasive species were identified as a major threat to the native biodiversity, Episcopal High School has contracted with Biohabitats to implement suppression treatments. A phased, selective approach was utilized by Biohabitats during 2007 and 2008 to address the invasive plant understory. An adaptive monitoring program was put in place to assess changes in the plant composition resulting from these interventions.
Episcopal High School is currently evaluating curriculum modifications suggested by Biohabitats to maximize the educational potential associated with this unique campus asset.