It's all about Connections
Chairman Connolly sums it up this way, "I think we're going to be leaving behind for future generations a real gem. And it's a gem that's going to be protected - a natural environment that's very surprising in a county as rapidly urbanizing as Fairfax County is."
Flora of the Cross County Trail
Most of our Cross County Trail lies within stream valley parkland. This parkland serves many purposes, but one of the most important is to protect our streams. The vegetation near streams helps to intercept nutrients carried from surrounding land before it enters a stream, and the roots of the vegetation help to prevent erosion. A happy benefit of this for folks enjoying our trails is the rich diversity of plants that adorn the trailside. Wood frogs, spring peepers, American toads, and spotted salamanders are a few of the amphibians that take advantage of vernal pools for reproduction. The benefit of laying eggs in a vernal pool is that there are no predators such as fish to gobble up the nearly defenseless tadpoles or larval salamanders. Nature's gamble is that these amphibians will develop fast enough to leave the pool before it evaporates. If the gamble fails and the puddles disappear early due to a dry spring for instance, a whole generation of amphibians may be lost.
This is just one example of how important it is to protect our wetlands. We try to locate our trails away from sensitive areas like vernal pools. When using our trails, please stick to the path. Nature's amphibians need all the luck they can get!
TOP REASONS TO USE THE CROSS COUNTY TRAIL (CCT)
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