From Seeds to Unique Habitat – AWS Interns help collect native plant species to restore wetlands and meadows

By  Emily Stransky, Fall Stewardship Intern

Native plant species are a very important component of the ecosystems of the Anacostia Watershed and as we all know too well they are being outcompeted by invasive species throughout. The presence of native species allows native animals to flourish, helps prevent soil erosion, and helps clean the water. AWS is working to increase the abundance of native species through seed collection and native plant propagation. AWS interns, such as myself, have been working hard this fall to collect Pickerelweed, Arrow Arum, Wild Rice, and Cattail seeds from the watershed. These plants are all native wetland plants, which will be planted in the spring at wetland restoration sites.


Wildflowers like this fleabane at our meadow project site provide habitat for native bees.

Because wetlands filter the water of sediments and pollution and recycle nutrients, these restoration sites will help to improve the Anacostia River’s water and wildlife habitat. AWS interns have also been collecting Late-flowering Boneset and Goldenrod seeds for the Meadow Restoration Project. A meadow along a streambank provides a buffer between the land and water, stabilizing the soil and creating a very unique habitat for birds, mammals, and insects (especially pollinators). The restoration of a meadow located on the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River will provide a unique habitat for native Wild Turkeys, will allow pollinator species to increase, and will control sediment pollution and will be a better place to hike, bike and jog.


Restored wetlands like this one at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Bladensburg, MD (one of our seed collection sites) filter the water of sediment and pollutants, recycle nutrients and provide habitat for fish and wildlife.

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