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Nature

This is a placeholder page. We could use a volunteer or two to compile and edit a list with images of key critters and birds, and basic info about the plants and trees. Till then, these sentences were lifted from from the RVNA management plan.

RVNA is composed primarily of a mature secondgrowth closed-canopy mixed lowland forest species of near uniform age, however, older trees as well as young regenerating conifers are present on site. This mixed forest community provides varied interior forest habitat for wildlife that require a larger range or are more sensitive to human encroachment. The seven streams within RVNA and a number of small wetlands throughout the site provide wildlife with a diversity of habitat and access to water year round. Undercut stream banks, downed and decaying woody debris, and standing snags all provide habitat for wildlife not typically found in urban parks. In addition, the lack of paved surfaces within the property allows for unimpeded movement for smaller wildlife and invertebrate species such as salamanders and burrowing mammals.

Flora

RVNA is located along the eastern edge of the Western Hemlock Vegetation Zone with a higher composition of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) than other sites where Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is dominant. This stand composition may be a reflection of the logging practices at the time of extraction.

The forest stand contains a mix of conifer and deciduous forest canopy. In addition to the species mentioned above, grand fir (Abies grandis), big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), red alder (Alnus rubra), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), and black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) are also canopy species. Alliances are a group of plant associations that share a similar architecture and one or more diagnostic species generally dominate the vegetation canopy. The four existing alliances at RVNA include western red cedar, Douglas-fir - bigleaf maple, Oregon ash, and bigleaf maple.

The forest understory is open, primarily vegetated with shade tolerant shrubs such as Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) and forbs such as sword fern (Polystichum munitum), Pacific waterleaf (Hydrophyllum tenuipes), Siberian springbeauty (Montia siberica), trillium (Trillium ovatum), and fringecup (Tellima grandiflora)

Fauna

In addition to common urban wildlife species, a number of less common wildlife species associated with larger conifer forests have been observed using or inhabiting RVNA, including the pileated woodpecker, olive-sided flycatcher, Northern saw-whet and pygmy owls, band-tailed pigeon, Dunn's salamander, Douglas squirrel, mountain beaver as well as larger mammals such as black-tail deer.

Insects, etc

Illipsum dorum

Birds

See our page on Birding in RVNA.