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Piedmont Natives Plant Database

Partner: Thomas Jefferson Soil Conservation District

Problem Definition

Ever since the first settlers arrived in Jamestown in 1607, the region and it’s landscape have been modified to meet the needs of it’s new inhabitants.  The introduction of new species ( some intentionally and some unintentionally) has a significant impact on the region's fauna and flora.  Many interdependencies in the ecosystem are fractured.  The result has been reduced biodiversity and ecosystem services. The reduction of pollinators and the endangerment of many species who depend on specific ecosystems have been removed or disconnected. Weakened ecosystems make it easier for non-native and invasive species to outcompete native species. These decreases in native species have a ripple effect in the ecosystem.   

Project Proposal

The overall goal for this project is to develop a user-centric tool which will help plant enthusiasts, gardeners, community developers, landscape architects and conservation professionals make informed choices that restore or preserve native ecosystems and aid in keeping invasive species out. 

Given the scale of this project and our dependence on volunteer work, we have decided to divide the work into the following stages:

  1. Redesign of the Piedmont native plant database to meet open database standards.
  2. Develop user-centric web based and mobile app to educate users on how to best use native plants as part of a greater ecosystem. 
  3. Integration of other resources via API call to facilitate and increase functionality 

The 1st part of the project is about updating the database that currently resides here:

There are many reasons why native plants are important for the environment, but it is often overlooked by developers when choosing plants for a property and by individual gardeners when deciding what to plant. The purpose of this database is to provide a tool to make it easier to know what plants are native to an area so that people can more easily take it into consideration when designing their plans for a new or existing area.

Who is the database for? (users)

The public, in general, but especially for:

  • Developers, land-use engineers, landscape architects, and site plan designers working on residential and commercial development projects
  • Localities that work with the development community to set requirements for those projects to satisfy code requirements, internal processes, and community interests
  • Community members who want to install native plants on their own property
  • Conservation professionals who are working with the public and localities  to design best management practice (BMP) to help with conservation projects like meadows, stormwater facilities, such as bioretention, raingardens, stream restoration and buffer projects, greenroofs, greenwalls, etc.
  • Commercial nurseries to help them better understand and market native plants to increase demand for native plants
  • General public to improve biodiversity and ecosystem services through widespread landscape restoration
  • Local farmers and vegetable gardeners in creating looking to improve crop yields by designing and installing plant communities that support native pollinators throughout the year, rather just when their crops are in bloom, examples: wine, apples, stone fruit
  • Local farmers finding the best lands to grow a specific crop based on existing land conditions, example- wine
  • Local farmers and vegetable gardeners in designing plant communities that naturally control pests by encouraging parasitoid wasps habitat
  • Ecologists studying foodweb relationships

More information about this project…

Project notes

Indoor mapping plan - 2021-09-27 Our plan:
Meeting with Maitri Patel - 2021-09-20 First meeting with Maitri Patel UVa, SoM 2024 -… more
Thurs 12th 8-9pm on zoom - 2021-08-12 Join from 8-9pm aug 12… more
IPFS file storage - 2021-07-30 went through this documentation

https://www.… more
Complete App review and documentation - 2021-07-27 The first solid review done with is… more
First LIDAR test with - 2021-07-20 Working with we're going to compare… more
App Review - 2021-07-20 Getting a spreadsheet going with a comparison of… more