Ninety-two Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteers planted 280 native trees and shrubs at JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary in Lucketts on Nov. 2.
The aim of the event was to enhance the ecological value and habitat for amphibians and other local wildlife by linking a vernal pool in an open field to the mature forest on the property, according to conservancy officials.
“It was a beautiful, cool, sunny morning that was perfect for planting trees and shrubs. It’s always great to see so many members and volunteers come together to actively participate in the conservation of healthy wildlife habitats,” Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Executive Director Michael Myers said in a prepared statement.
This project was sponsored by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy with assistance from Loudoun County, Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, Lucketts Ruritan Club, and made possible by the help of volunteers from CarMax Cares, Leesburg Daybreak Rotary Club, Lucketts Elementary School Rudy Youth Service Club, Lucketts Ruritan Club, Northwest Federal Credit Union, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy members and the general public.
JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary is leased by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy with an intent to purchase from Chuck Kuhn of JK Moving Services. JK Moving purchased the property last year with the intent to place it into conservation easement.
Earlier this year, the property was placed under a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program studied the property and determined it contains a globally rare wetland due to its unique geological setting and zoological resources.
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s vision for JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary is to "forever preserve and enhance its globally rare wetlands by protecting the sensitive vernal pools, unique geological setting, and the rich amphibian and wildlife populations," according to officials.
A nonprofit, more information about Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy can be found at loudounwildlife.org.