Nature & Science

Autumn at the Fort Harrison interpretive trail
Early autumn at the Fort Harrison interpretive trail.

NPS Photo

Richmond National Battlefield Park is made up of over 2,900 acres divided among thirteen separate park units within Richmond and its surrounding counties. It falls within the coastal plain of Virginia and is bounded by the James and Chickahominy River watersheds.

Much of the park's land was historically cleared for agriculture. In order to maintain portions of this cultural landscape as they would have appeared during the Civil War, the park has kept certain areas open and free of trees. This has created a variety of successional stages and community types throughout the park, ranging from field to old-growth forest, creating habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. . The park is made up of forest habitat, transitioning from mixed hardwood to pine or mixed oak communities, managed fields, and about 100 acres of leased agriculture.

The park also contains about 15 miles of rivers and streams and over 400 acres of riparian wetland. Although the majority of the park's wetlands are forested, several areas (Malvern Hill, Gaines' Mill and Beaver Dam Creek) have opened up, most likely due to beaver activity, creating not only stunning scenic views but wonderful habitat for fish, turtles and water birds, such as herons and egrets.

The park provides a home for many of Virginia's native species, from deer and foxes to a large variety of birds. Learn more about the mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and bugs that live in the park.

There are a wide variety of habitats across the park, home to a diverse community of plants. Learn more about the trees, flowers, ferns and other plants that you can see at the park and the best places to look for them.
blue winged wasp
A blue-winged wasp searching for some tasty pollen.

NPS/Charles Cantrell

Learn about the makeup of the park, which includes diverse areas of forest, meadows, streams and wetlands.

The park's natural resources face challenges like water pollution, the rise of invasive non-native species and disturbed lands. The park is working on solutions to help preserve our natural resources against these problems. This section has information about how the park manages threats to natural and cultural resources.

Last updated: March 17, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3215 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23223


(804) 226-1981

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