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virginia's regions and ecosystems

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FC: All About Virginia by Jack Alford

1: The Piedmont Region means “foot in the mountains.” It has hills. The Piedmont is good for agriculture. Farmers grow tobacco, peanuts, and cotton for clothes. Farmers raise livestock like chickens and cattle. Livestock are different types of animals used for meat or dairy. The Piedmont is fantastic for horses. It is in the central part of Virginia.

2: The Coastal Plain covers the eastern part of Virginia. It is along the ocean and has the rivers that lead into the ocean. Fishing is an important industry there. Farmers grow corn and wheat. They also raise hogs and chickens. This region has the city with the most people in the state, Virginia Beach. The region in east of the fall line, where rivers flow downhill.

3: In the Blue Ridge Mountains region there are museums and a children's zoo. The Blue Ridge Mountains got its name because it looks blue, maybe because of the fog. Mt. Rogers is the tallest peak in the entire state. There are barely any cities in this region. The Blue Ridge Mountains begin in Pennsylvania and end in Georgia. The region stretches across the middle of Virginia.

4: The Valley and Ridge region is known for its apples, so people make lots of money by selling apples, apple sauce, and apple juice. The Shenandoah Valley has an Indian name that means “daughter of the stars.” Someone made a poem about the Shenandoah. Its big city is Harrisonburg. This region is in western Virginia. It is made up of part of the Allegheny Mountains and some valleys.

5: The Appalachian Plateau is the smallest region of Virginia. It is part of a large group of mountains called the Appalachian Mountains. It is high and it has the tiniest town, named Norton. Mining is important in this region. There is coal for electricity and industry, and zinc for iron, steel, brass, paint, and rubber tires. Farmers grow tobacco here. This region is in the narrow west end of Virginia.

6: A long time ago, forests covered more of Virginia than they do now. Long ago Indians hunted forest animals and used trees to build homes. Colonists cut down even more trees for agriculture. People who live in our state still use forests so we have to take care of them.

7: Rivers and streams are part of the freshwater ecosystem. Most of our drinking water comes from lakes and reservoirs, lakes that people make to hold water. Pollution can hurt the freshwater ecosystem.

8: There are more than 3,000 caves in our state. Salamanders, packrats, beetles, and bats live caves where it is dark, so they cannot see well. I visited Luray Caverns once and saw stalactites.

9: Wetlands absorb lots of rain and snow, so they help Virginia. Some wetlands in Virginia are beaches, marshes, and the Chesapeake Bay. Many animals live there, like foxes, fish, snakes, turtles, lizards, and birds. Wetlands are vanishing quickly and we have to try to save them.

10: Natural resources are things in the environment that we can use. We get fish from water and we also play and travel in water. We use soil for farming. We use timber for wood to build with. We use natural resources every day.

11: We should use natural resources carefully. There are places that help the environment. Wildlife refuges let animals live in their natural habitat. There are gardens for rare plants to thrive and be safe. There are state parks for people to admire nature. We have to prevent pollution also that could hurt these places and the plants and animals that live in them.

12: Virginia has fertile soil, an important natural resource. That mean crops can grow well in the dirt. In Virginia the soil is good for vegetables, hay, peanuts, tobacco, and fruits. The soil is good to grow food for the cattle so there are lots of beef and dairy cattle, chickens, and hogs in this state. We depend on the good soil for our food.

13: Virginia has state symbols. The cardinal is our state bird. The dogwood tree is our state plant.

14: This is our state seal. Virginia is a great place to live!

15: Published by Jack Alford 2009

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