Resources for Landowners
Request a Free Property Visit
Our Land Management Outreach Associate Marie Norwood is available to visit local properties and give advice about managing land for the benefit of native plants and animals, with an emphasis on wildflower meadows and grassland restoration. Every landscape is different and every landowner has different goals. We are excited to now be able to give advice that is tailored to individual properties. If you’re interested in having Marie visit your property, you can fill out a request form here.
American Kestrel Resources
Nest box plans
These plans by Art Gingert make a kestrel box that is the right size. This box also includes a rim on the bottom of the side panel that will prevent eggs or nestlings from falling out. Commercial boxes (e.g., this one) are fine as long as their dimensions are similar to the Gingert box.
How and where to mount a nest box
Boxes can be set up in wide open fields, the more open, the better, at least 200 feet from the nearest wood-line and at least 1/4 of a mile apart. The entrance can face any direction. Boxes should be approximately 10 feet off the ground. The box should be mounted on the flat end of a 2x4x12 pressure treated board. You then screw a 2x4x6 board perpendicular to the middle of the first board for additional stability (Alan is holding this board in the photo). The whole setup can then be screwed to a sturdy fence post, with the 6-foot board resting on the top of the fence post (the opposite was done in the photo). A freestanding 6×6 post can be used if there are no fences nearby. You will also want to place a 2×2 ft square of 1/2″ hardware cloth around the pole below the box as a predator guard. Just below that can attach a 2-foot-long band of metal flashing to make it harder for snakes to get around the hardware cloth. Checking and maintaining boxes
You can easily check your box by using one of these cameras on a pole. If European Starlings try to nest in the box, their nesting material should be removed. If they try to nest repeatedly you can staple a square of cardboard over the hole to keep them from entering the box for the rest of the season.
Suggested Species for Meadow Plantings
This is a list of species that we recommend for use in native meadow plantings in the 16 county region surrounding Shenandoah National Park. Produced by the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Clifton Institute, and Virginia Working Landscapes, November 2019.
Email Marie Norwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to request a free custom seed mix recommendation.
Establishing a Wildflower Meadow from Seed
This is an excerpt from ‘Establishing a Wildflower Meadow from Seed’ by Cathy Neal, New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.
Managing Land in the Piedmont of Virginia for the Benefit of Birds & Other Wildlife
“The purpose of this guide is to provide landowners with an introduction to land management concepts and conservation tools that can be used to benefit wildlife and counter some of the threats faced by declining bird species.”
Produced by American Bird Conservancy, Piedmont Environmental Council, and Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.
Invasive Plant Species Control Treatments
“This is a list of management tactics for major invasive plants.”
Produced by the Virginia Department of Forestry, October 2018.
Piedmont Native Plants: A Guide for Landscapes and Gardens
This document, which was prepared by the Plant Northern Piedmont Natives partnership, provides handy planting recommendations that are tailored for our region.
Beyond the Bonfire: A Primer on Prescribed Fire for Virginia’s Private Landowners
This is essential reading for landowners who are considering using fire to manage their land. Produced by the Virginia Prescribed Fire Council.
This resource outlines safe and effective beaver management options for Virginia landowners. Produced by the Clifton Institute, February 2021.