This creates an excellent opportunity for visitors to experience a wide variety of habitats across, and even within, the park's many units. For example, the Beaver Dam Creek unit consists primarily of a wide wetland area bordering the creek, although a small percentage of the surrounding floodplain is forested. The Cold Harbor unit, is made up primarily of drier upland areas where the park maintains an open savannah-like pine forest with the use of prescribed fire. The vegetation at Malvern Hill and Glendale units is a reflection of the diverse landscapes which range from flat uplands, to rich coves, drier side slopes, moist bottomlands, and wetlands. Finally, the Fort Harrison unit is primarily composed of forest, however it contains several miles of civil war fortifications maintained in either open forest or native grass for the visibility of the visiting public. The open forest community provides habitat for such forest herbs as pink ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule) and false soloman's-seal (Smilacina racemosa).
Through combinations of active management and natural factors, Richmond National Battlefield Park's native plant diversity is being preserved for generations to come.
Did You Know?
The battle of Gaines' Mill outside of Richmond, Virginia, was the first Civil War battle where both sides got help from above--in the form of observation balloons.