Master Naturalists from the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes chapter joined with three members from the Southwest Piedmont Chapter for a service project on 2/18, a beautiful February Saturday. Ryan Klopf and Wes Paulos, Mountain Region Stewards for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), led the group of 21 on a stream cleanup work day.
Muck, briars and steep terrain did not prevent the group from collecting and removing dozens of tires, junked appliances and car parts, wire, many yards of black plastic and over 20 bags of debris.
The stream begins as a spring on the Bald Knob Natural Area Preserve (BKNAP) in Rocky Mount and eventually flows under US 220 and into the Pigg River. BNAP is the largest and best known occurrence of a "Piedmont mafic barren" where exposed rocks resist weathering and have unusual chemical properties, making them and their derived soils different from typical Piedmont sites. These unique soils produce some of the rarest plants in the world. BKNAP does not yet have developed public access, DCR has begun developing a long-term management plan inclusive of plans for both resource protection and public access.
Although Saturday’s mission was to remove trash and debris from the Bald Knob stream, this small step helps decrease items leaching into the waters that feed the Pigg River. Any improvements to water quality in the Pigg, such as the recent removal of the old Power Dam east of Rocky Mount, help support the recovery of species like the Roanoke log perch, listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as endangered. http://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?spcode=E01G
Good work by all!
Blog post by Charlotte Hubbard