Help preserve nature with Nansemond Indian Nation

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

SUFFOLK — The Nansemond Indian Nation is helping to heal and restore the land. The Tribe is gearing up for the two-day Mattanock Town Tree Planting event, which will be held on both Friday, March 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Located at 1001, Pembroke Ln, volunteers will work with the Tribe to remove invasive plant species from the lands while planting native species.

In a Feb. 21 interview, Nansemond Indian Nation Environmental Program Manager Cameron Bruce talked about the event in detail.

“So we’ll all gather here, right outside the area where we’re going to be planting. The Department of Forestry is going to provide an overview of how to properly plant the trees. There will be some deer protection that we’ll be putting around them, so they’ll show how that’s done, and there’ll be representatives from the Department of Forestry and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation,” Bruce said. “So if a volunteer is uncomfortable doing this by themselves, they can partner with someone who’s had a little bit of experience doing it to kind of make sure that it’s a very community oriented process. And that there’s a learning component to it as well.”

Email newsletter signup

Bruce also described some of the tree species that will be planted during the event.

“What we did take out was a plant species called privet. It’s not Indigenous to this area and it just kind of overrides everything. So it minimizes how well understory plants can grow, and then it also prevents taller trees from getting the nutrients they need from the soil. So we mainly treat it for that, and we’re going to be replacing it with species such as black gum, hackberry, witch hazel, all of which are native to this area,” he said.

Likewise, Bruce expressed how impactful the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the

“ … I could not do what I do here without help from partners. So it’s been very much a group effort between [us], the Department of Forestry really handled a lot of the procurement of the materials and the trees and [the] Chesapeake Bay Foundation helped us with volunteer recruitment because they have a much wider pool to pull from than we currently do,” Bruce said. “So it’s great because we can tap into their resources. Now we’re also expanding our capacity to minute or to handle stuff like this in the future. So I work regularly with both organizations and this has been a really fun event that we’re working on.”