The Tidewater Ecobotanical Garden: Lessons in Preserving, Restoring, and Interpreting Forested Coastal Wetlands

by Roy B. Mann, Landscape Architects and Planners, Inc, Austin, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91

Abstract: The West Neck Creek and North Landing River systems of the City of Virginia Beach are representative examples of the northern coastal margin of the Mid-Atlantic Tidewater. A 580 acre municipally-owned tract of swamp and mesic forest along the margins of the Creek offers an opportunity for a ecologically-directed botanical garden, or 'ecobotanical garden', in which the meaning and significance of these estuarine woodlands would be uniquely told. A primary emphasis would be placed on the natural history and ecological importance of the West Neck Creek/North Landing River complex, with insight into its role in an ecological cross-section reaching from the forested upland through the Tidewater and the Back Bay estuarine system to the False Cape barrier beach and Atlantic littoral zone. A secondary emphasis would be placed on the cultural history of the Tidewater, with interpretation of Virginia's coastal settlement history and the role of pine, oak, Atlantic whitecedar, eastern redcedar, indigo, gentian, and other economic plants in the life of early America. The important interrelationship of the region's natural and cultural histories would be reflected in the facility's overall name, the 'Tidewater Heritage Park'.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (coastal) | Tides | Ecological restoration | Beaches | Coastal management | History | Rivers and streams | Forests | North America | Virginia | United States | Mid-Atlantic states

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