Blue Ridge PRISM
PO Box 119
White Hall, Virginia 22987
|Primary Contact||Elizabeth Mizell|
|Primary Focus Area||Environment|
Blue Ridge PRISM reduces the impact of invasive plants on the ecosystems of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas through regional and statewide advocacy, landowner support, implementing control measures, and public education.
Blue Ridge PRISM Inc began in 2014 with Rod and Maggie Walker, landowners in Albemarle County, and Jake Hughes, Exotic Plant Management Biological Science Technician for Shenandoah National Park. Rod and Maggie were alerted to the problem of invasive plants in the Blue Ridge by Asiatic bittersweet vines that were strangling 15 acres of forest. Concerned about the economic damage posed by this invasive vine, and by the many other invasive plants that abound in this region, Rod and Maggie contacted Jake for information and advice. More people joined the conversation, and Blue Ridge PRISM was born.
Originally operating under the umbrella of the Shenandoah National Park Trust, Blue Ridge PRISM volunteers work at the local, regional, and state-level under the guidance of an Advisory Committee of key stakeholders.
In 2020, Blue Ridge PRISM became an independent non-profit dedicated to the same mission. We employ one full-time Program Director and one part-time Communications and Outreach Coordinator. Blue Ridge PRISM is supported by numerous dedicated volunteers and partners.
We serve Clarke, Warren, Rappahannock, Page, Madison, Rockingham, Greene, Augusta, Albemarle and Nelson Counties. Beginning in early 2022, PRISM expanded our service area to include Fauquier and Loudoun Counties.
|Title:||Limiting the Spread of Wavyleaf Basketgrass|
|Description:||In 2005, wavyleaf grass (Oplismenus undulatifolius) was discovered in Shenandoah National Park. This species represents one of the most significant invasive plant threats forests in the eastern United States have yet faced. Without action, wavyleaf grass will continue to spread east of the Blue Ridge, throughout the Shenandoah Valley and into West Virginia, covering thousands of acres. This outcome will result in both ecological damage on a wide scale and an ongoing expenditure of time and money by large numbers of landowners and communities. It has the potential to seriously impact Virginia’s forests by outcompeting native plants, reducing biodiversity, and preventing the regeneration of native hardwood species. “There are now more than 60 known sites in more than 20 counties in Virginia: Rockingham, Page, Greene, Madison, Warren, Fauquier, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Spotsylvania, Albemarle, Nelson, Augusta, Rappahannock, Arlington, Loudon, Prince William, Stafford, Powhatan, Rockbridge, Carroll, Richmond City and Sussex”.* Our objective is to limit the spread of this plant in Virginia.|
The project funds will be used to support ongoing control efforts in Virginia on both public and private lands. The Blue Ridge Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) will coordinate all control work working closely with the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Division of Natural Heritage in the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
|Project Timeline||May-August 2024|