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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tappahannock in Essex County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rivers of Grass

Hutchinson Tract, Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

 
 
Rivers of Grass Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 16, 2016
1. Rivers of Grass Marker
Inscription.
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These rare habitats, dominated by native warn-season grasses such as little bluestem, Indian grass, and eastern gamma grass, provide food and cove for wildlife year around—even standing up to snow and ice.

Warm-season grasses serve as excellent habitat for wildlife such as bobolinks, bobwhite quail, and grasshopper sparrows. White-tailed deer use the grass for bedding and wild turkeys build their nests in them. These grasses tend to grow in bunches, making it easy for small birds and mammals to scoot along the ground with a protective visual canopy overhead.

Disappearing Act
Native warm-season grasslands thrived in North America for thousands of years. European colonists replaced native grasses with cool-season pasture grasses such as fescue and bluegrass, which provided forage for livestock. Today, native grasslands continue to be developed into residential and commercial areas. Ironically, suppression of natural grass fires hurts grasslands. Without periodic fires, wood plants take over and the grassland turns back into a forest.

Managing Native Grasslands
To ensure that grassland-dependent wildlife will find the habitat they need, the Service must prevent this valuable habitat from turning into something else. Succession naturally changes grassland into

Rivers of Grass Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 16, 2016
2. Rivers of Grass Marker
shrubland and eventually forest. Nature uses periodic fires to curb succession and maintain grasslands. To maintain grasslands, the Service uses:
*Controlled, prescribed burning
*Mowing and disking
*Applying herbicides to control invasives
*Planting warm-season grasses.
 
Erected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Wildlife Refuge System.
 
Location. 37° 56.653′ N, 76° 53.017′ W. Marker is in Tappahannock, Virginia, in Essex County. Marker is on Tidewater Trail. Click for map. This marker is on the gravel road of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19180 Tidewater Trail, Tappahannock VA 22560, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hutchinson Tract (approx. 0.2 miles away); National Wildlife System (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pollinators (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bountiful Marshes (approx. half a mile away); Toppahanock Indian Village (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rappahannock Indian Migration (approx. 1.5 miles away); William Moore Tidewater Musician (approx. 1.5 miles away); Ritchie's Birthplace (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tappahannock.
 
Categories. Environment
 
Sign at the entrance to Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 16, 2016
3. Sign at the entrance to Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 7, 2016.
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