• Gaines' Mill battlefield -- Watt House area

    Richmond

    National Battlefield Park Virginia

Disturbed Lands

Native meadow

Native meadow established in a disturbed field at Parker's Battery

(NPS Photo)

In the process of acquiring new property, as well as restoring and maintaining historical landscapes, Richmond National Battlefield Park encounters and creates various degrees of disturbance. If not properly planned and managed, these disturbances create the opportunity for undesirable repercussions.

Disturbed lands are much more vulnerable to threats such as erosion and nonnative species infestation. Loss of vegetative cover, often associated with disturbance, tends to lead to increased soil erosion. This, in turn, leads to the degradation of soil and water resources if not mitigated. Disturbance also tends to foster the increased establishment of invasive species, thereby degrading the overall community by displacing native flora and fauna.

Whenever possible the park uses natural buffer zones, native species plantings, and other preemptive management techniques to protect the disturbed site from these vulnerabilities. The park's management goal is to create a native species rich environment, and minimize the invasive threat to nearby undisturbed areas, while restoring important cultural landscapes to their historic conditions.

Did You Know?

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Prior to the 1864 battle, some participants called the 1862 engagement at Gaines' Mill the battle of Cold Harbor. When the armies fought here a second time, Cold Harbor was used to name the later engagement.