Organization Recognizes Virginia's Old Growth Forests

Jun 5, 2019


A blue heron watches the rapids for a meal on the James River near Downtown Richmond.
Credit Steve Helber / AP


Virginia’s James River Park System, in Richmond, became the latest public green space today to be recognized as part of the Old Growth Forest Network.



Joan Maloof founded the Old Growth Forest Network when she realized only 1-percent of forestland in the eastern U.S. has never been logged. She wanted to encourage localities to preserve what’s left.

“And also let some of our current day forest recover and become ancient again,” Maloof says. “So we can appreciate them and want to protect them.”

The organization now helps cities and counties identify and protect forestland and keep the spaces accessible to the public.

The James River Park system joins six other sites in Virginia that are already part of the Old Growth Network -- including White Oak Canyon in Madison and Fernbrook Natural Area in Albemarle.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.