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Documentation and Fieldwork


Physical Flow Tests

Model tests were conducted to explore potential topographical forms and how they respond to water flow.

Soil Drainage Map

A study of drainage and soil types was done to investigate erodibility on the floodplain and reframe the river as a dynamic entity.

A. Piedmont-Central Appalachian Silver Maple Floodplain Forest Plant Species

B. Silver Maple Alluvial Forest Expansion 

D. Densities of Hunting and Husbandry

C. Native and Colonial Conceptions of Land

To adapt to potential changes in flooding and drought cycles due to the new dam, we propose the introduction of silvopastures consisting of plants such as silver maple, paw paw, box-elder, Canadian wood nettle, and Virginia rye. Silvopastures are used to address the needs of existing cattle while ameliorating issues of soil stabilization and plant diversity. 

A. Drawing by Madeline S. and Nita W.
B. Drawing by Madeline S. 
C. Drawing by Madeline S. and Nita W.


Stages of Pasture Transition and Wetland Implementation

The introduction of wetland ecosystems on the James River floodplain will reduce the worsening effects of erosion and sediment loss seen through the projected effects of a new hydrologic dam. Given the prevalence of cattle and farm animal pasturelands across the floodplain, a silvopasture system designed alongside establishment of wetland areas will help mitigate the strain on the land. While learning from native stewardship of the land, this inquiry into wetland-silvopasture hybrid systems calls for the reallocation of access to lands in the floodplain for the Monacan indigenous community. Access to such lands will be achieved through land-use agreements and cultivation of positive, adaptive relationships in an increased state of urgency. 


Distributed Land Use on the James Floodplain

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