Dyke Marsh: G.W. Parkway


The following is an excerpt chosen from the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, study of the George Washington Memorial Parkway published February 14, 1977.

"The George Washington Memorial Parkway habitats are field, upland, forest, swamp and marsh. The western side of the parkway is a mixture of open areas (fields) and upland forest. The upland forest is vegetated with red cedar and black oak. Other species present in significant number are Virginia pine, red willow, and flowering dogwood. The open areas are seeded with several species of fescue, perennial rye, and Kentucky bluegrass. Interspersed in the grass are chickweed, speedwell, orchard grass and ground ivy. The eastern side of the parkway is largely occupied by a mature deciduous hardwood forest. The upland forest is primarily vegetated with several species of oak, black locusts, yellow poplar, and red cedar. Dense growth of Japanese honeysuckle dominate the undergrowth. The swamp habitat along the western shore of the Potomac is chiefly composed of red ash and silver maple. Additional prevalent species are sycamore, box elder, red willow, button bush, black gum, and staghorn sumac. Dominant herbaceous plants in the undergrowth are dodder, water hemp, and Halberd-leaved tear-thumb. Regularly and Irregularly inundated fresh to mildly brackish marshes occur to the north and east of the project area. These wetlands are dominated by narrow-leaved cattail, water hemp, Halberd-leaved tearthumb and sweetflag. Other aquatic and emergent vegetation present in significant quantities are pickerelweed, wild rice, yellow water lily, arrow arum and swamp rose." (p. 8-9)

"Mammals representative of the upland fields and forests adjacent to the parkway are white tailed deer, raccoon, opossum, gray squirrel, eastern cottontail, gray fox and skunk. Birds common to these upland habitats are crow, several species of sparrow, bobwhite, morning dove, mockingbird, robin, starling, common grackle, blue jay and cardinal. Mammals that utilize the wetlands are muskrat, raccoon, white tailed deer, and beaver. Birds and waterfowl present in the wetlands are redwing blackbird, long billed marsh wren, American egret and great blue heron."

Volume Two, Table of Contents
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