At a Glance
A meadow management plan helps enhance native wildlife habitat and unique native plant communities while protecting cultural resources in one of the country's most venerable National Historic Parks.
Valley Forge National Historic Park is the site of the winter encampment of General George Washington's Continental Army. Located 18 miles from Philadelphia and surrounded by rapidly growing suburbs, the park contains one of the largest remaining areas of contiguous tall grass meadow-1,340 acres-in southeastern Pennsylvania. While a cessation of mowing two decades earlier led to the meadow's establishment, that practice alone has not been enough to ensure that specific biodiversity goals and targets, such as an 80% park-wide native species cover, were being met.
As technical lead on a team helmed by Mills and Schnoering Architects, Biohabitats helped the National Park Service replace its 20-year old field management plan with a new meadow management plan to enhance and protect the park's biodiversity, cultural resources, and visitor experience. The primary goal was to enhance habitat values and preserve and restore natural abundance, diversity, dynamics, and distributions of native plant and wildlife populations.
Biohabitats began by analyzing a range of meadow management alternatives. Through an iterative process of data review and analysis, field assessment, and engagement with the client's own expert staff, the team developed a series of alternatives for meadow management. Using a GIS assessment of field conditions, Biohabitats provided further detail on possible field designations based on ecological function, criteria for management options, results of a suitability analysis and prioritization, and guidance for future field management. Based on sound ecology principles and incorporating adaptive management strategies, the new management plan complies with NEPA and NHPA objectives and helps chart the course for maximizing biodiversity and achieving habitat objectives while preserving the park's historic character.
Climate Change, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Water
National Park Service
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Langan Engineering & Environmental Services