Lorton in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
At Home in an Ecotone
An ecotone is a transition between two adjacent ecosystems. Areas where these different habitats meet and overlay support plant and animal species from both constraints. Because of this, they’re often the busiest and best places for observing an amazing diversity of wildlife.
This special area of habit exists at Mason Neck State Park and nearby Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, where almost 3,000 acres of open space has been protected. Here, the gradual transition occurs, from hardwood forests and fresh water streams to marshes, salt water and sandy beaches.
Forest trees among wetland grasses or tidal systems provide more food, better cover and safer nesting areas for wildlife. Raptors and wading birds hunt in creeks, marshes and bays, using mature forest trees for shelter and habitation. Migrating birds winter in the protected marshlands and nearby open waters. Other birds arrive over the warmer months to breed and raise young within the park’s deep streamside forests.
Help protect critical wildlife habitat by staying on marked trails. Keep clear of nests, dens, and rookeries that provide the conditions
Vision and Perseverance
Elizabeth Hartwell is remembered fondly as the Eagle Lady for her tireless leadership in efforts to preserve the natural environment of the Mason Neck when development threatened in the 1960s. In the face of opposition and derision she stood tall and expressed a preservation vision, winning support from the public and policy makers alike.
Erected by NOVA Parks; Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Environment • Horticulture & Forestry • Women. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks series list.
Location. 38° 38.595′ N, 77° 11.989′ W. Marker is in Lorton, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from High Point Road, 2.3 miles south of Gunston Road (Virginia Route 242/600). This marker is located near the boat launch in Mason Neck State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7301 High Point Road, Lorton VA 22079, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Birds Then and Now (here, next to this marker); Delaying Tactics (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); War in the Chesapeake (about 400 feet away); "Spirit of America"Vision, Initiative, and Dedication (about 500 feet away); The Nation's River (approx. 1.7 miles away); Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (approx. 1.9 miles away); East Coast Radio Transmitting Station (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lorton.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 25, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 300 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 25, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.